Jay Wurts Writer and Editor
About Jay Wurts Writer and Editor

Classes & Workshops

Small group classroom

Critical self-evaluation and concept redevelopment are among the hardest things any writer can do.

Summing Up

While there is no substitute for one-on-one book manuscript analysis or book proposal analysis by a seasoned developmental editor, many writers find encouragement, inspiration, and fresh ideas at the many writers’ groups, writers’ workshops, and writers’ conferences held annually across the nation. Academic writing courses have their place, too, but degree-granting programs, such as MFAs, require a commitment of time and money that’s beyond the reach of many authors.

Nonetheless, I offer two group courses in flexible formats ranging from brief (one or two hour, one day, or one weekend) introductory sessions to semester-long programs designed to college accreditation standards.

  • The Art of Revision: Rewriting and Selling Your Book or Script shows aspiring or established authors how to apply the techniques of developmental editing to a variety of literary problems and teaches participants how to think more creatively outside their box.
  • Literary Collaborations: Practical Ways to Work with Others examines the nuts and bolts of coauthored projects, from the basics of collaboration agreements and making cooperative editorial and business decisions to working productively with agents and publishers.

For some writers, group training becomes an end in itself. They set out to learn new skills and achieve publication but end by becoming conference (or contest) “junkies,” attending every writer’s event they can find. That’s fine—you can never know too much about your craft—but for some the quest for approval from peers, instructors, panelists and judges replaces the quest for publication. This is a special risk for writers stuck in a rut with a favorite project: reworking the same material for each new course or contest but never making real progress.

Designed for the College of Marin and Book Passage University in San Rafael, California, The Art of Revision: Rewriting and Selling Your Book or Script takes a more practical approach to group learning. Appropriate for both published and first-time authors, the program is aimed at any writer who seeks to revitalize a beloved project, rework a rejected masterpiece, or refine a work-in-progress—writers committed to turning their original good idea into good reviews and royalties. Other workshops, conferences, and classes got you started on the road to publication; this one guides you around the bumps, potholes, and detours that too often block the way.

The Art of Revision Is Not...
...A course in English composition, creative writing, copy editing, or literary criticism—though you’ll deal with issues in each and learn to spot both good and not-so-good writing.

The Art of Revision Is...
...A one-evening, one day, one weekend, or full-semester immersion into the world of professional writing. You’ll learn to think like a published author, not a struggling beginner, and find ways to see old material through new eyes (and new material from fresh perspectives) while exploring new strategies for showcasing your ideas.

Each session begins with a brief lecturette and group discussion of topics directly related to re-writing, self-editing, and marketing or re-marketing literary and dramatic property. You’ll participate in intriguing exercises aimed at dispelling misconceptions, banishing bad writing habits, and getting the most from your material. Although no group program can provide all the benefits of extensive, one-on-one coaching, ample time is available before and after every session to meet individually and discuss your current project.

What You’ll Gain from These Sessions
Critical self-evaluation and concept redevelopment are among the hardest things any writer can do, yet they are an inevitable part of any creative career. As the old saying goes, self-help is the best help (and ultimately, the most economical), especially when your goal is to transform an intensely personal—and sometimes idiosyncratic or unsalable—idea into one that can be marketed successfully to industry professionals. Although all workshop materials are designed to college accreditation standards, a non-credit (ungraded) format assures a supportive atmosphere where all feedback is constructive and solution-oriented.

What You’ll Need to Participate
A pen, pad of paper, and willingness to experiment and have fun is all you need for each session. Although many participants use excerpts from past or current projects as the subject for many exercises, all workshop materials—including a bibliography of essential writer’s references—are provided.

How to Find or Schedule a Course or Workshop In Your Area
Go to the Contact page of this web site and click on the link to my e-mail. Give me your name and city and if The Art of Revision is scheduled for your area, I’ll let you know where and when. If you’d like to arrange for a course or workshop, provide the name of your group, its location, and the dates you’d like to schedule a program—specifying if you want the workshop (evening, all-day, or weekend) or extended (semester) versions—and I’ll reply with reservation details.