Revision Love Course
Self-edit your writing and make your words shine.
A Five-Week Course
Become a skillful editor of your own writing, with helpful assignments from an author and a literary magazine editor (that’s me!). Gain confidence as you bring your revision skills—and writing career—to the next level in this self-paced course.
Registration is Currently Closed
Registration will open again in March 2021. Join the waitlist below to be notified.
Is this you?
- You’re stuck in revision.
- You avoid taking a piece of your writing apart because you are unsure how to put it back together again.
- You have trouble discerning which advice to heed after a writing critique.
- You need motivation to go back to your drafts and bring them home.
If you identified with any of the above, Revision Love is for you.
Self-Edit & Make Your Words Shine!
After Revision Love...
- You’ll confidently edit your own writing.
- You’ll have ten concrete strategies that will improve your writing.
- You’ll know how to receive (and give) good feedback.
- Your writing will be ready for publication.
Hi, I'm rachel Thompson
Bring your self-editing skills to the next level with lots of help from me!
I am a literary magazine editor (with Room), a published author, and the host of the Lit Mag Love Podcast (For Creative Writers Who Want to Publish).
I am here to help you write and publish your most luminous work.
I feel like the lessons were built for me. I have so many ideas, revelations, and a lot of clarity about my writing now.
The fact that Rachel is an editor as well as writer, felt like she was qualified from a unique and valuable perspective. The revision techniques I learned in the course has helped me challenge myself more, and I’m more confident as I write my stories.
I was able to put on my revision hat on as I worked through a piece that I’m surprised and delighted to say won first place in the Prairie Fire CNF contest.
During the course, I was able to polish and organize a chapbook manuscript and it was shortlisted for Quattro’s Best New Canadian Poets contest!
Revision Love Student Stories
How Lacey went from frozen to finding the way through her novel revision.
Lacey Yong was in the early stages of her writing journey.
“I had just moved back to Canada from London, UK and suffered a serious illness, and in the wake of these major life changes, I decided to pursue my dream of being a writer.”
Encouraged by an acceptance from a lit mag, she leaped into drafting her first novel.
“I began writing creative nonfiction at the end of 2019, and the second piece I ever wrote was accepted for publication by Prairie Fire in January 2020. I completed the first draft of my novel in a whirlwind seven weeks.”
When it came to revision, she felt frozen. (And alone.)
“The length of the manuscript and the prospect of correcting each problem I saw was overwhelming.
I tried outlining; I tried reading blog posts on revision; I tried beating myself into revising every day and berating myself when I failed. No matter what I did, the magic of the initial creation was gone and all I succeeded in doing was exhausting myself.
I was also writing in isolation, without a community with whom I could talk to about my struggles.”
She just wasn’t sure how to make progress with her writing.
“I struggled to understand what revision is (and what it isn’t!) and how to transform it into a systematic approach that would help me make measurable progress on my manuscript.”
In the Revision Love course, Lacey found a way into revising her writing—one that was surprisingly joyful.
“One of the most valuable things Revision Love gave me was a reliable starting point. Every time I revise a chapter, I begin with the gems in the way that Rachel taught me. It was a revelation to learn that revision doesn’t always have to be painful and that it can be as generative as the first draft.
Focusing on what is working, rather than the ‘problems,’ changed everything for me.”
Now that she’s completed the Revision Love course, she’s says, “The future feels very hopeful to me.”
“Revising a novel is like creeping around in the dark: you move slowly and you hope the direction you are headed in is the right one. However, thanks to Revision Love, I have a candle to guide me.
I have returned to revising my novel with a renewed sense of purpose, and I aim to start the query process in 2021. There are days when it is still hard, but speaking with Rachel and connecting with the community she has created reminds me that I have to forgive myself when I think I am falling short, and keep going.”
About the course, Lacey says:
“Take Revision Love! Rachel’s kind and wise instruction, her asynchronous learning format, and the beautiful group of writers she attracts will keep you going through the darkest nights of the soul.”
How Mridula learned to polish her precious words.
Mridula Morgan has loved words as long as she can remember.
“Raised by a grandmother and mother who both taught in Catholic schools in India, I fell in love with words quite early. Reading and writing are akin to inhaling and exhaling to me—I need them to survive.
But she found writing became more challenging over the years.
“While it was easy to write stories growing up, winning 2nd place in a poetry contest along the way, creative writing in adulthood has been increasingly difficult. I blame it on that elusive creature ‘time’ – I don’t have enough of it because _______. ”
With this sense of urgency, everything she wrote became precious, and therefore difficult to revise.
”Every word I manage to squeeze out/get down feels like an accomplishment and I feel quite protective of it. I believe it is vitally important and thus nearly impossible to cut out words as I generally tend to write about issues that mirror my identity as a cis settler of colour and speak to issues of oppression and living at/on borders.”
She knew that she needed to edit her writing in order to publish.
“Shitty first drafts, I’ve learned, are meant to be re-sculpted. After putting aside first drafts for a day or two, I’d go back and re-read and try to pull out a sentence, add a word, or move a paragraph and sit back with satisfaction thinking I’d edited my draft. And still, nothing felt worthy of being submitted for publication.”
In the Revision Love course, she learned those self-editing skills.
”Each lesson offered insight into how I might get under the surface of what was on the page. Nearly every lesson, complete with worksheets and assignments, offered new content on the craft of revising. I’d never considered beginning to dissect from the middle of the piece, or to look at how vital it can be to balance form-mood-senses.”
And the format of the course helped her stay motivated and generate new ideas.
“While at first the weekly expectations felt daunting for me, I found it helped me to focus. I’d examine a piece and imagine how it could be redesigned with new ideas and insights.”
After taking the course, she still references the lessons as she revises her work.
”I often refer to the lessons when I’m working on a piece that needs attention. The examples offered and questions posed, balanced with my own changing life experience, support me in reimagining pieces for publication.”
What Mridula says if you’re thinking about taking the Revision Love course:
“If you’re writing then you will be undoubtedly be editing and refining your work. I’d highly recommend investing in Revision Love to grow your ‘writing toolbox’ during this process.”
How Kate Went from Having Doubts About Her Writing To Making Business Cards That Say: I’m a Writer!
Kate Finegan teaches at a university by day. When she’s not working on her novel, she writes short stories for a bit of a break.
Before Kate took Revision Love, she says she felt very alone in her writing process.
“I moved to Toronto two years ago, but I still feel like I’m struggling to find my people. Finding a network of writers to help me with my revision process has probably been the hardest thing for me, because I have social anxiety.”
A lot of Kate’s concerns about her writing came from self doubt.
“There’s always the feeling with revision that I’m just kinda moving things around and changing things, but I don’t know if I’m actually making it any better or just making it different, or maybe making it worse!”
She wondered, “Am I just being a perfectionist, or am I just changing things recklessly and not making anything better?”
She said that being completely isolated in her revision made that feeling worse, because she didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. She was reading books and blog posts about revision, and how to make a story better, but she said it was so much nicer in the course when she had other people to talk to and say “here’s what I’m actually going through and how can I fix this one issue that’s actually in my story, and not just advice for a generic story.”
Before signing up for Revision Love, Kate was nervous about it.
“But then, getting into the course I found that I wasn’t the little baby bird writer where everybody else was better than me and wouldn’t listen to the work that I was writing. Now I know that there are other people struggling through the same kinds of revision issues that I’m having.”
Now she says, “I feel more confident because I feel like I have tools that can help me if I’m getting stuck on my writing.”
After completing the course, Kate finished the first draft of her novel (325 pages!), revised a second draft, joined a writers’ group dedicated to her genre, and submitted segments of the novel for publication in lit mags (18 times!). She placed as runner up in The Puritan‘s contest and is currently on the shortlist for the Cambridge Short Story Prize for the piece she worked on during the course.
“Having a step-by-step plan for revision helps me overcome that gut-sinking feeling of oh gosh, now I have to revise this thing. Having this toolkit makes revision a less daunting process, which means I’m more eager to sit down and do it, and less likely to allow fear and discouragement to keep me away from my desk.”
“I feel very good about the future of my writing and a lot of that came from the course—helping me feel prepared and ready and like I’m actually a real writer.”
(Kate even made business cards to hand out at writing events to connect with other writers!)
Revision Love Course Details
WHAT’S IN THE COURSE?
There are ten lessons to help you develop the self-editing skills you need to make your writing shine. The suggested course pace is five weeks, meaning you would do two lessons each week. Each lesson builds on the next as you work on one work in progress. Here’s the entire course curriculum so you can make sure Revision Love is right for you:
- Lesson One—Openings
How to write an opening that will hook your readers from the beginning. After this lesson, you’ll be able to craft an opening that compels your reader to continue, hungry for more.
- Lesson Two—Endings
How to identify a fitting way to end your story or poem. By the end of this lesson, you’ll find several new ways to end your piece and probably surprise yourself with what you learn about endings.
- Lesson Three—Expanding Energy
How to resuscitate your draft when its energy dwindles. After this lesson, you’ll know where your writing vibrates and has momentum, where it fizzles, and how to fix this.
- Lesson Four—Making Sense
How to assess (and fix) causality problems in your writing. And for poets, how to squeeze more meaning out of every line in your work. After this lesson, you’ll identify all the cause and effects in your narrative and make the meaning crystal clear
- Lesson Five—Getting Specific
How to write more precisely and invite readers in. By the end of this lesson, you’ll know how to use concrete, specific language to make your work more compelling and believable.
- Lesson Six—Bringing Balance
A bird’s eye view at the whole of your piece. When you’re done this lesson, you’ll get the big picture on your writing, and learn to bring balance to the work as a whole.
- Lesson Seven—Emotional Resonance
How to write so your reader can not only learn about other experiences, but feel them. By the end of this lesson, you’ll know in your heart and mind how to master emotion in your writing.
- Lesson Eight—Simplifying Language
How to make your sentences and stanzas tighter and clearer. By the end of this lesson, you’ll have techniques to cut down baggy language, a common problem editors identify in work submitted to them.
- Lesson Nine—Finding Theme
How to uncover the ways your writing relates to the experience, issues, and challenges life presents. When you’re done this lesson, you’ll know how to identify themes in your writing.
- Lesson Ten—Titles
How to tackle the challenge of naming your work. When you’re done this lesson, you’ll have several title options for your piece and be prepared to narrow it down to the one that best fits your work.
Registration is Currently Closed
The self-paced course will open again on December 2, 2020. Join the waitlist below to be notified.