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Featured Online Editing and Revision Class

Keep Calm and Edit On

WRITING IS REVISING: HOW TO BECOME A BETTER EDITOR by Chelsey Clammer

START DATE: Monday, August 5, 2019

END DATE: Sunday, September 1, 2019

DURATION:  4 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Writing Is Revising: How to Become a Better Editor is a 4-week online class in which participants will learn and practice different skills, tips, tricks, and perspectives on the process of revising—which isn’t just about commas and grammar rules you learned (and promptly forgot) way back when. Making revisions is its own type of creative process and it’s where the real writing happens. Anyone can write, but the key to being a successful writer, is being a great editor of your own work. Whether publication is your main goal, or perhaps it’s just figuring out how to best convey what goes on inside your head, editing is what separates piles of word vomit from well-polished (and published!) tidy lines of words.

On the first day of class, students will submit to the instructor an essay they wrote and have been struggling with in terms of doing revisions. Over the course of the next four weeks, that essay will be revised by the instructor and other workshop participants every week so that the author can see how to edit different aspects of the essay. Through this, participants will gain knowledge of how to revise any piece of writing, will be able to identify and fix problem areas in their own work, and how to give and receive helpful feedback.

This class includes a 30-minute phone consultation.

I have taken two of Chelsey Clammer’s classes and I cannot wait to take my third. She is a very accomplished author and is so generous about sharing her talents with her students. The materials are timely, relevant and inspirational. I have no problems balancing coursework with other commitments; in fact, the work is so much fun that I find myself easily pushing everything else out of the way to write. Thanks to Chelsey and the feedback of classmates, I have several new writing projects that I plan to submit soon for publication! ~ Ashley Memory (Previous WOW class participant)

Chelsey Clammer is one of the best writing teachers I’ve ever had. When I signed up for this course, I had hit a dead period in my writing, when I felt I might not be able to write another essay ever. After 20 years as a publisher of a magazine I founded and years of coming up with a personal essay and a prose poem for the cover every month, I simply hit a wall. I was convinced I’d lost my mojo, but a friend had taken the same class with Chelsey and raved about it. This course was a major breakthrough for me, and I came up with drafts for three essays over the course of the four weeks! Thank you, Chelsey, for helping me find my words and my self-confidence. ~ Nikki Hardin (Previous WOW class participant)

Chelsey’s class has been absolutely amazing. I have produced three refined and excellent pieces—one has already been pubbed by The Nervous Breakdown, and I just got an acceptance from Hippocampus for the second! The third is still out there, submitted to three places. Chelsey provided me excellent edits and emailed back quickly when I had questions. The class was fun, I learned a lot and was inspired to continue writing after it ends using the prompts she gave. She was even generous enough to answer questions I had about MFA programs. I am thankful that I ended up in her class. ~ Sarah W. (Previous WOW class participant)

Having Chelsey for a writing teacher happily exceeded my expectations. She a gifted and accomplished writer, fully dedicated to the writing life and to sharing her talent and knowledge with others, and it felt to me she was a much a member of our class as she was the instructor, which allowed me to trust her and take risks with my writing. ~ Patricia Heim

Ms. Clammer taught me that, whether published or not, all of my writings are important. She showed me how rewarding it is to investigate a portion of one’s life and share it with an audience. I discovered I could write about a tiny segment of my past. The resultant essay gave information and a degree of entertainment to my readers. ~ Carole M. (Previous WOW class participant)

This past August I signed up for Chelsey Clammer’s four-week WOW! course, The Women Writers’ Book Group: Furiously Happy. Not only have I never participated in an online book club or writing class, but I have never tried my hand at flash/short fiction or humorous fiction. But I can read, and thought it would be fun to dissect the book with an instructor and other writers. And laugh a little along the way. I was blown away. Not only was the online class a lot of fun and very informative, but Chelsey’s exceptional insights into the book combined with her weekly exercises and feedback gave me some confidence and inspiration to try my hand at writing humor. She kept the pace and energy level of the class high, not easy to do online. Chelsey also expertly guided me with her edits and encouragement. She suggested I submit a couple of my pieces that came out of her exercises. I was so new to all this, I didn’t even know where to begin to submit. Chelsey walked me through that process, too! I thought you’d like to know that one was published online. I couldn’t have been published without Chelsey and the WOW! classroom. Thank you so much for offering the opportunity to grow as a writer! ~ Kate Bradley-Ferrall (Previous WOW class participant)

In May, I took Chelsey Clammer’s course on writing memoir based on the empathic writings of Leslie Jamison. Discussion and analysis of Jamison’s essays, formed the backdrop for our approaches to our essays. I worried; I’d been writing only poetry for the past five years. Would I have enough ideas and skills to shape a coherent essay for feedback from the mentor and classmates? Ms. Clammer taught me that, whether published or not, all of my writings are important. She showed me how rewarding it is to investigate a portion of one’s life and share it with an audience. I discovered I could write about a tiny segment of my past. The resultant essay gave information and a degree of entertainment to my readers. Two of the essays completed during the four-week course are now under consideration by editors: one at an essay contest at Under the Gum Tree and the other at Mom Egg Review. ~ Carole Mertz (Full review at 1888 Center.)

Chelsey is a careful and thoughtful editor who let’s other writers’ voices stand out while at the same time helping them clarify and distill their words. ~ David Olimpio

Chelsey Clammer is professional and prompt, with a keen eye for detail. I trust her editorial advice absolutely. ~ Jen Palmares Meadow

Working with Chelsey I feel I’m in a rich partnership that as much about preparing essay drafts for publication as it is about growth, discovery, and the joy that comes from telling the stories that matter to me. ~ Kineret Yardena

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

WEEK 1: It’s Not Just about Commas

For this first week of the class, we will read both creative and craft essays that address how editing is where the real writing happens. We’ll look at how to best approach a piece of your own writing you want to revise so that those revisions end up making the piece better instead of worse.

Assignment: Read the three assigned essays, respond to at least one discussion question, complete two brief editing exercises, submit one of the exercises to the instructor, provide feedback on other participants’ exercises.

WEEK 2: Zooming Out for the Macro

This week we will look at the larger aspects of a piece of writing that should first be addressed when making revisions before we focus on the little things. We’ll explore different issues about organization, narrative flow, and how to ensure that a piece of writing has a purpose.

Assignment: Read the three assigned essays, respond to at least one discussion question, complete two brief editing exercises, submit one of the exercises to the instructor, provide feedback on other participants’ exercises.

WEEK 3: Zooming In on the Micro

Now that we have learned how to look at the larger structural issues, this week we’ll zoom in on the tiny things—the line edits! We’ll explore how punctuation, word choice, point of view, imagery, and sentence structure can make a huge impact on how a reader experiences your writing.

Assignment: Read the three assigned essays, respond to at least one discussion question, complete two brief editing exercises, submit one of the exercises to the instructor, provide feedback on other participants’ exercises.

WEEK 4: Sound it Out—Editing by Ear

This is the week where we throw out all the grammar rulebooks and style guides and focus on improving our work by how it sounds. We’ll learn ways to identify areas in a piece of writing that need improvement just because of their sound, not because of how they match up with some rule. This final week, we will also come up with a checklist of sorts for participants to refer to every time they go to edit their own work.

Assignment: Read the three assigned essays, respond to at least one discussion question, complete two brief editing exercises, submit one of the exercises to the instructor, provide feedback on other participants’ exercises.

Materials needed: All readings will be provided by the instructor.

Chelsey ClammerABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Chelsey Clammer is the award-winning author of Circadian (Red Hen Press, 2017) and BodyHome (Hopewell Publications, 2015). A Pushcart Prize-nominated essayist, she has been published in Salon, Brevity, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Normal School, Hobart, The Rumpus, Essay Daily, and Black Warrior Review, among many others. Her third collection of essays, Human Heartbeat Detected, is forthcoming from Red Hen Press. You can read more of her writing at: www.chelseyclammer.com.

COST:  $150, which includes weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor, a 30-minute phone consultation with the instructor near the end of class, and an emotionally safe space to face your anxiety over semicolons.

BUY NOW: WRITING IS REVISING: HOW TO BECOME A BETTER EDITOR with Chelsey Clammer (6 weeks, starting 8/5/2019) Limit: 8 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 8/5/2019

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Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. Just before class begins, she will e-mail you with instructions on how to get started.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com

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