Revision Intensive, with Emily Lackey
Writing and revising are two processes that are often mistaken for the same thing. Some writers get sucked into revising when they mean to write, while others spend hours writing when what they mean to be doing is revise.
Revision—or re-seeing a draft, being able to see its strengths and identify its weaknesses—is a completely different process. It requires distance. It requires perspective. It requires a critical eye that, in the generative phase of our work, would be stifling to the creative process. Revising a draft requires radically different techniques and strategies than writing, and the process of revising makes entirely different emotional demands on us as writers. It is a critical step of every writer’s writing process. It’s where meaning is made, stories are shaped, and craft is refined. Ask any writer worth their salt, and they will say that revision is where the real writing happens.
But why then is it so hard to revise the thing we’ve already written? In this six-month Revision Intensive, writers will meet monthly to study strategies for mastering the parts of their drafts that need the most work, discuss innovative ways to see their drafts anew, and set goals for the month ahead. This intensive will help you to master the craft elements that will make your drafts stronger (such as character desire, narrative structure, theme, and purpose), give you time and space to put these lessons to use, and provide the accountability and support to get your draft done.
Each month, writers will spend a Sunday in our warm and inspiring studio, discussing our goals for the month, investigating ways to organize our projects, exploring new craft elements, and spending the afternoon diving deep into our own work. In addition to this monthly meeting, regular emails from the instructor will keep writers motivated, offer support, and inspire your work when the process gets tough.
At the end of the six-month intensive, writers have the opportunity to sign on for another six-month session or turn in their completed drafts for one-on-one editing.
“The best way out is always through,” Robert Frost said, and the same can be said for our writing. The best way to finish it is to dive headfirst into your messy first draft and find your way through.
The Revision Intensive meets on the third Sunday of the month; six-month session begins May 17, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ($950)
“This workshop was a perfect blend of technique, free writing, discussion, and actual revising time to apply what we’d learned with the instructor still there for questions and clarification as we worked. The workshop was full of options so that writers in any genre could find what would be most useful to them. Emily is open, honest, encouraging, knowledgeable, and willing to share her own writing experience. This workshop was worth every penny and then some!” -Kim H.
“I loved Emily’s worksheets and how she really deconstructed what revision is. She gave us so many ways into our drafts.” -Amelia P.
“Emily is a good teacher and knows her stuff!” – Doug B.
“Emily is a fantastic workshop leader, and the tools for revision she gave us were of great ongoing value. Having the time to put them in practice was terrific.” -Susanne D.
Emily Lackey is the Assistant Director of Writers in Progress. Her stories and essays have been published in Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Post Road, The Literary Review, Longreads, The Rumpus, Green Mountains Review, The Huffington Post, Bustle, Hobart, and Cleaver Magazine, among others. She was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and an artist-in-residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and Newnan ArtRez. After receiving her MFA from the University of New Hampshire in 2014, she taught writing at the University of New Hampshire and in the graduate writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. She is at work on a book of stories and a memoir.