If you have finished your first draft and are wondering what to do next, why not take our online course? Taking your novel from final draft to submission level can be a daunting process, but Kathryn Price – leader of our online Edit Your Novel course – is here to explain how our course can help. The next run begins on 3 February and there’s still time to apply!
1) Describe the Edit Your Novel course in one sentence.
In a nutshell: we’re teaching you the tools of the trade – aiming to help you turn a good book into a great one, that’s ready to submit to agents.
2) How much writing experience do I need to have to sign up to the course?
We teach authors with a range of abilities and backgrounds, from relative beginners (though not usually complete beginners) up to previously published writers. It’s a supportive environment, with peer-to-peer feedback which is proven to be the most effective way of learning.
3) I want to start submitting my novel to agents, but I’m not sure it’s ready. Is this course for me?
Yes, absolutely. The course exercises provide an opportunity to analyse your novel from various angles. This gives you a great sense of what’s working, what’s not, and what you can do to ready it for submission. Then, at the end of the course, our course members gain access to our list of trusted agents once they’re ready to submit.
4) What are the three main things you want everyone to take away from the course by the end?
Firstly, that editing is a skill, like any other – and it’s something you can learn. Authors can sometimes find it daunting, but by deconstructing it here, we turn it into a series of manageable steps.
Secondly, that the publishing world is not as impenetrable as it can seem. Agents want to hear from good writers – they want to find the next big thing. Here, we have insights from lovely agents and editors to help demystify the submission process and find the right way to catch someone’s eye.
Finally – and this is really the logical conclusion of one and two – that editing is essential. It’s not just window dressing – it’s absolutely vital if you want to take a first-draft novel and turn it into something that might get snapped up. But it can also be fun!
5) Why do you think the Edit Your Novel course is so special?
It’s designed by editors. This is really fundamental, because there are a lot of courses out there that will teach you how to write, but editing is the next step on from that, and a professional editor has a unique insight into that process. When you get feedback from the trade, we want you to know what their jargon means. When someone asks you to ‘tighten up the second act’, we want you to be able to nod sagely and tackle the revision head on. We want to prepare you to approach editing like a complete pro, so you’re ready to submit to agents by the end.
6) What’s your favourite part about teaching the course?
I love seeing the way authors develop – not just analysing their own work, but learning to study other people’s writing like an editor, too. From the beginning to the end of the course is such a huge journey: in the first few classes authors can be a bit tentative and unsure of themselves but by the end they’re picking out key issues in a piece of writing, talking about them confidently and making suggestions for revision. It really is rewarding to watch.
Applications for the next run of the course are open – click here to apply!