Craft focus: how to edit your story (fiction and non-fiction)

Course Dates: 05/12/20 - 06/12/20
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online

Editing is an essential skill for any writer. Learn the different types of editing process and how to polish your own prose in this workshop for writers who are ready to find a readership for their work. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

This course is about helping your fiction and/or non-fiction find the best version of itself. You may be interested in working with a professional editor, or connecting directly with a readership, or you may simply want to understand how to apply a critical eye to your own creations. This course will help you understand the different types of edit available to writers, and enable you to apply and practice a key skill from each essential editorial stage to your own work.

This course will focus on the editing process exclusively. It will not cover self-publishing, or submitting work to agents and professional editors.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- What is editing? Purpose, stages, and key approaches
- Stage one: structural edit
- Stage two: line editing
- Stage three: copy editing and proofreading
- How to find a professional freelance editor
- Working with a professional editor: what to expect.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand the essential elements of the professional editing process
- Use key techniques in each of the editorial phases to edit your own work
- Develop strategies to apply the techniques you learn to the rest of your writing.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an intermediate course. Students should have attended an introductory creative writing course at City Lit and have some of their own writing available to put through the editing process. You will need to be open to sharing and critiquing your own work, and fluent in English.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

A mix of editing exercises, group work, pair work, class discussion around edited samples and formal instruction from the tutor.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs. You will need to bring the following to class:

- Max 2 pages of your own writing to use for editing practice.
- 1-page outline of your fiction or non-fiction project
- Writing materials. Please bring your own laptop or tablet if you feel it will help you.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

If you would like to continue developing your editing skills you can enrol in the longer course Editing your manuscript: from first draft to final proof. If you are ready to submit your work for rigorous constructive feedback, you may also consider enrolling in one of our Advanced Fiction Writing Workshops or Creative-nonfiction. Collect the remainder of our Craft focus courses, on elements such as character, plot, setting, and point of view to give your prose further focused attention.

You may also be interested in the following professional development courses:
- Create your author platform online
- How to write a novel synopsis
- Approaching an agent

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.


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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Excellent teaching, but class too big.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 12/07/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Nicola Doherty

Nicola Doherty’s first novel ‘The Out of Office Girl’ was published by Headline in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists Association Awards in the Romantic Comedy category. She has since published two more novels with Headline, and two YA books with Orion, most recently ‘Lola Offline' (2017). Her books have been translated into Italian, French, German, Polish and Turkish and have sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. Before beginning her writing career, Nicola was a commissioning editor at Hodder & Stoughton. She now writes full time and also works as a literary consultant with Cornerstones.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HW401

Sat-Sun, day, 05 Dec - 06 Dec '20

Duration: 2 sessions

Full fee: £69.00
Senior fee: £69.00
Concession: £28.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2717

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.