Revision Retreat 2019

About This Event

Overview

All writers need to revise, wherever they are on their journey: this workshop will show you how and give you time to get started doing it.

Have you completed a rough draft, know that it has problems, but don’t know what to do next? We’ll help you find those “big picture” problems and plan what to do about them.

Have you fixed the big problems in your manuscript, and want to get it ready to go out? We’ll show you techniques you can use to polish it.

Are you stuck somewhere in the middle and don’t know what do to next? We’ll help you figure out where you are, find a new approach or create new material, and get back on the road.

Do you want to develop a deeper understanding of the revision process, and how you can get feedback from others? We will take you through it from start to finish.

Whether you’re writing picture books, graphic novels, poetry, nonfiction, or novels, you’ll benefit from developing strong revision strategies. Not convinced? See our Top 10 Reasons You Need to Revise Your Manuscript.

What You’ll Learn

Editors Eileen Robinson and Harold Underdown have been working with writers on revision for many years, both as independent editors and through their Kid’s Book Revisions partnership. From that experience, they bring tested techniques for self-editing and revising, help students try them out, and give them time to use them to make their manuscripts stronger.

Mornings in the revision retreat are dedicated to learning revision techniques and afternoons to optional critique groups, individual meetings, and writing time. Participants will work on their rough or finished draft of a novel, picture book, graphic novel or narrative nonfiction.

Participants will:

Try out a variety of techniques for self-editing, from big picture revision down to copy-editing alternatives

Explore ways to gain objectivity and more focused responses to manuscripts

Learn how editors respond to manuscripts and use that approach on their own

Discover improvisational and creative techniques to take manuscripts new places

Learn how to use critique groups and take part in model critique groups, if interested

Contribute to group discussions and share favorite techniques

Meet with an editor for individual consultations

Who Should Attend

Someone who is working on a manuscript, has completed a draft of a manuscript, or is planning a manuscript for children in narrative form (picture book, novel, nonfiction, fiction) and wants help with the revision process.

Specifically, you should attend if:

You’ve completed a rough draft and want to take the next step.

You’re ready to clean up the manuscript for submission.

You’re trying to figure out what to do next.

You just want to learn more about different revision techniques.

Agenda

Day 1

Appetizers & Dinner.

After dinner: getting acquainted and sharing of “touchstone” books, schedule review.

Day 2

Morning

Two Sides of the Reading Coin: Literary Analysis and Reader Response.

Getting Feedback from Others: Using Critique Groups and Beta Readers.

Afternoon

Individual appointments and goal-setting with Eileen and Harold or individual writing time.

Groups and beta reader pairs may choose to meet and give each other feedback.

A walk before dinner!

Evening

Appetizers & dinner.

After dinner: Writing and recovery time (or groups and beta readers if you have the energy!)

Day 3

Morning

“Big Picture” methods: finding objectivity or responsiveness; plot, character, setting; checklists, outlining,

visual breakdowns and more.

Trying out “Big Picture” methods and discussion.

Afternoon

Writing time!

Groups and beta reader pairs may choose to meet and give each other feedback.

Eileen and Harold are available for impromptu consultations or to sit in on groups as needed.

A walk before dinner!

Evening

Appetizers & dinner.

After dinner: Writing and recovery time (or groups and beta readers if you have the energy!)

Day 4

Morning

“Tight Focus” methods: polishing and tweaking: language and word choice; line and copy-editing your own writing.

Falling Up: Stretch Your Imagination–improvisation and other techniques to generate new material.

Afternoon

Individual appointments and post-retreat planning with Eileen and Harold, or individual writing time.

Groups and beta reader pairs may choose to meet and give each other feedback.

A walk before dinner!

Evening

Appetizers & dinner.

After dinner: Writing and recovery time (or groups and beta readers if you have the energy!)

Day 5

Morning

General wrap-up session, sharing of plans and goals; final creativity exercise.

Eileen and Harold chat about the publishing business and answer your questions.

Afternoon

Lunch and farewell.

Optional tour of Highlights for Children and Boyds Mills Press.

Resources

Links to resources (book or web) related specifically to revision

Seeing Your Manuscript by Listening

7 Quick Tips for Beginning Writers

How to Start Revising That First Draft

Testimonials

“Harold and Eileen had so much wisdom and resources to share. Their presentations were informative and engaging. The prompts and other writing and reviewing activities encouraged us to think out of the box and also meet our fellow conference-goers. My idea of my own work radically changed a few times! I love that I was presented with new perspectives on how to see my writing. I was happy to receive 2 beautiful books to help me in revision, and I was very glad to talk to Ellen Cormier and Cherie Matthews and hear what they had to say about the industry.”

“Harold and Eileen were very knowledgeable and approachable. They were always willing to answer questions and give feedback as well as to spend time getting to know us. They gave helpful suggestions and the mentoring experience showed me what I needed to work on and what steps to take to do so. They did a great job!”

“The revisions retreat was really great. I have a number of solid and helpful revision tool takeaways, including some really strong, revised pieces. I met with my agent this morning, and he was impressed with where we got things and came up with a new submissions list.”


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