Webinar with Harold Underdown

Revising and Re-Imagining Your Novel or Chapter Book
February-April 2019

Are you revising a novel or chapter book, or planning to get started on revising one soon? Do you want to learn a variety of techniques to help you find problems and create new material? Then this online webinar series is for you.

Class sessions will be held online February 26, March 5, March 19, April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23--scroll down for session details. All sessions begin at 8:30 PM Eastern time, on Tuesdays. Video recordings and transcripts will be made available after each session. We provide handouts and "homework." All students will get feedback and answers to questions between classes, and an optional manuscript consultation will be available for an added fee--more on this below. Limited to 50 participants.

Registration is now open. Click here for early-bird registration. The fee for the course is $285, reduced to $245 during early-bird registration through January 30. Registration is a two-part process: you fill out the short registration form, and then pay using the link you receive after submitting the form. You must do both to be registered. Alumni pay a reduced rate of $205--we will ask you if you are an alum during sign-up (You are an alumnus if you have attended our Revision Retreat or taken one of our previous webinars.) 

Additional options in the class: A self-guided version of our line-editing webinar will be available as an optional add-on for $150. Manuscript consultations will be available for an additional $125 (20 pages plus synopsis, 15 minute phone meeting.)

A free preview will be held live February 12: A Demonstration of Creating a Revision Grid: A Free Webinar and Preview. This webinar features a demonstration showing how to make and use a "revision grid" (a key revision tool), information about what is covered in the class, and an opportunity to ask questions. Click through to the information page to learn more and to sign up.

Promotion giveaway: We would appreciate your help in spreading the word about the webinar! To show our appreciation, everyone who posts about the class on social media will get an entry in our promotion giveaway -- click through for details.

What to expect from the class:

Clear presentations of proven tools via a slideshow and video feed.

Plenty of handouts and recommended resources. 

Text chat during presentations for discussion and questions.

Question time, with all questions answered. 

"Homework" for those interested, including feedback from one of us.

Video recordings of the sessions and transcripts posted online.

Optional 20-page manuscript consultation. 

An optional add-on: our line-editing course.

What not to expect:

  • One single tool that will solve all of your revision problems. 
  • Promises of access to editors or agents--we focus on the process.
  • Door prizes, gimmicks, or special guests. We want you to join us for the content and insights we provide.
  • Hype or a hard sell. 

Class rationale and who it's for:

Based on what we have developed for our Revision Retreat at the Highlights Foundations and for workshops at writing conferences around the country, this online course will teach you proven revision techniques and tools. But you don't just get a presentation of working methods. We will help you try them out and understand how they work so that you will feel confident when you need to choose, adapt, or even make your own. Through practice, we show you how to use these tools to become better at self-editing your own work so you can eventually present your best manuscript to an editor or agent. This webinar will help you become more comfortable with revision, giving you a toolbox you could use with any story. 

There's more to revision than finding problems, of course. What do you do once you've done that? That's why we also teach techniques to help you re-imagine different elements of your story, and create new scenes, explore and flesh out characters, build settings, change or refine voice, and to tinker with the overall story and emotional arc.

In this class, we focus on the craft. We built it for writers of different experience levels: for beginners, the techniques and approaches will be new to them, but structured to be understandable right away; experienced writers will be reminded of techniques they might want to try and challenged to rethink how they approach revision.

Getting personal help:

In all of our classes, online and in person, we make sure that students questions are answered and that they get the help they need. In this class, we will do that in two ways.

Questions and homework feedback: We answer questions that come up in class during class. Students don't have to save questions for class time, though--we will have a dedicated email address you can use to contact us. That same email address will also work if you need feedback on a homework exercise. 

Manuscript consultation: Students who want focused guidance with a particular manuscript can get a consultation with one of us. For $125, students can submit up to 20 pages of a manuscript, plus a synopsis and cover letter. One of us will discuss your manuscript in a 15-minute phone meeting, offering key feedback and helping you plan next steps in revising it.

What's in each session (After the first session, each will open with a look at sample "homework" and answers to questions remaining from the previous session):

February 26 -- Reading Like an Editor: An introduction to "reader response theory," how it works in comparison to literary analysis, and how to use it in revision. 

March 5 -- Getting Feedback from Others: The good and bad magic of critique groups, how to make them work better, plus beta readers and feedback from children. 

March 19 -- Revising at the Big Picture Level--1: Holistic techniques, including methods of reading, asking questions, using checklists, and making maps.

April 2 -- Revising at the Big Picture Level--2: Analytic techniques, including outlines, understanding scenes, and different ways to use the "revision grid."

April 9 -- Re-Imagining Your Story--1: Ways to create new material, rethink characters, reshape your setting, and more.

April 16 -- Re-Imagining Your Story--2: Ways to create new material, rethink or find your voice, rebuild your plot, and more.

April 23 -- Putting on a Final Polish: An introduction to line-editing; tools to use in place of hiring a professional copy-editor, from Wordles to reading backward.

Tech details: Our "platform" provides a simple interface with a slideshow-style presentation, a small video/audio feed of the presenter, and a text chat "room." It works well on almost all computers and tablets. It also works on cellphones or similar small devices, but we do not recommend using them as the slides will appear very small. Once you register, you will receive an email confirmation that includes a link to the presentation, with instructions for downloading and setting up the software (a mostly automatic process). We may set up a practice and set-up session before the first session, if there is interest. We will also be recording the sessions (minus the text chat) and making them available to all students for at least two weeks following each session; there will also be transcripts of the audio.

Registration is now open. Click here for early-bird registration. The fee for the course is $285, reduced to $245 during early-bird registration through January 30. Alumni pay a reduced rated of $205--we will ask you if you are an alum during sign-up (You are an alumnus if you have attended our Revision Retreat or taken one of our previous webinars.) 

Registration details. Registration takes two steps. On the registration page, we ask you for some essential information, and provide a space for question and comments. Filling out and sending the form is the first step. You will then receive an automated confirmation by email, which will include a link to Paypal for payment of the $245 early-bird registration fee. Making that payment is your second step. If your name or email address on Paypal is different from the name or email address you used to sign up, please let us know so we can match your payment to your signup (If you can not pay via Paypal, please let us know). If you are an alumnus do not use that link to pay, but wait for us to send you a separate link--which we will do in response to you identifying yourself as an alum when you signed up. We will confirm receipt of payment as soon as we can, but this must be done by hand, so you may not hear from us until a day or two later. Once the class starts, handouts and other communications will be sent to the email address you used to register.

Questions asked and answered:

If you don't find an answer to your question here, please send it to us at webinar@kidsbookrevisions.com and we will update this list as needed. 

I took your "Editing without an Editor" workshop, your revising picture books webinar, or your Revision Retreat. How much overlap is there? We want anyone who has been to our retreat or has taken either of those webinars to know there is overlap. But you would encounter some new material too, so it's up to you--this one could serve as a refresher, and it does concentrate on novels.

Why novels and chapter books? We feel that books with chapters--from chapter books to YA novels--have many similar characteristics, at least when you look at revision techniques that work with them. So we are covering the whole range, and distinguishing them from picture books, for which we have a separate webinar course.

Will you offer scholarships? We will offer scholarships. Details will be announced closer to the time of the webinar. 

Harold Underdown and Eileen Robinson teamed up in 2008 to bring something different to aspiring authors. Since then they have created online classes, tutorials and in-person workshops, presenting and working with writers at SCBWI conferences, workshops in western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh, a weekend retreat in central NY, and an annual 4-day retreat at Highlights.

stephanie@moodyviews.com       © Stephanie Moody 2011