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Writing Workshops

Beware the Adjective: A Series on Revision with Makenna Goodman (Sold Out)


4 sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Tuesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT January 10 to January 31, 2023

Online via Zoom

This workshop has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Randy Winston at [email protected].

Editing can be enjoyable, and it is an art. But it can also be heart-wrenching, challenging, and creatively and intellectually draining. Even if you don’t like editing (or think you’re not good at it), this workshop aims to help you practice the skills to recognize what writing needs to stay, what can change . . . and what must go.

This isn’t about getting rid of “bad” ideas, but making ideas resonate in a more effective form. Good editing is the key to it all. So, if you’re attached to your adjectives, come prepared with a good reason—you’ll need it! (If this statement makes you say, “this workshop is not for me, as I love adjectives and need them,” fear not. I’m open-minded, and, ultimately, it’s your writing. Just hear me out first.)

If you want to hone your editing skills and practice mastering a ruthless pithiness, then this revision series is for you. Come prepared to talk about your work, destroy it, then piece it back together. Most of this editing will be done individually and privately, but we will discuss process together. Each week will focus on an element of the editing process, informed by one or two short readings or videos. This is not a “traditional workshop” where participants offer critiques on colleagues’ work—class time is used for individual practice on editing mechanics. The final workshop will be for each person to share a before-and-after snapshot of what you’ve been working on.

Participants must submit, at least one week before the first class, a piece of writing to focus on throughout the series, no longer than 10 pages (excerpts of longer works are welcome). Plus, I will ask everyone to fill out a brief questionnaire about your goals (which will remain confidential).

Course Outline:
  • Session 1: Big Ideas—what is my literary project?
  • Session 2: Tone and Style—what tools am I using to convey my ideas?
  • Session 3: Cutting Room Floor—what can I get rid of, to enhance the best of what’s here?
  • Session 4: Sharing + Next Steps—what’s my plan for further revision?

Capacity: 12

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Led By

  • Makenna Goodman - Vermont Natural Resources Council VNRC

    Makenna Goodman

    Makenna Goodman

    Makenna Goodman is the author of The Shame (Milkweed Editions, 2020), which was named a Harvard Review Favorite Book of 2020, a White Review Recommended Read, a Refinery29 Best New Book, a Literary Hub Recommended Read, a Bustle Most Anticipated Book, a Book Club Pick, and more.

    Goodman has written literary criticism, essays, interviews, and short fiction for international publications including the New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Catapult, Harvard Review, the White Review, BOMB, and ASTRA magazine, and has been interviewed in the Paris Review Daily, Guernica, the Rumpus, the Millions, EcoTheo, and on NPR and the Commonplace Podcast, among others.