Are you preparing to query agents but first want to make sure your novel holds up beyond its opening pages? Have you received extensive feedback at the sentence level but not at the big picture level, or vice versa? This ten-week workshop will give you both. You will submit the first 15,000 words—the equivalent of about 60 pages—at the workshop start, along with a synopsis or outline. You will also be invited to a group phone call so you can get to know all group members. Then, in round robin style, you will review each of your peer’s first 15,000 words from different angles. Initially, you will make (and receive from your peers and Sangeeta) “reactive” notes that reflect your initial reaction to the pages. You will then dig deeper and provide “suggestive” edits before tackling “directive” edits, or line edits with margin comments (guidelines for each of these types of notes/edits will be provided). We’ll end the workshop with another group phone call, during which we will discuss how best to address the feedback you’ve received from both your peers and Sangeeta. By the end of the workshop, you will have seen your novel from a fresh perspective and be equipped with new resources to help you take your writing--and editing skills-- to the next level.
Prerequisites: Participants should have completed a full draft of their novel, self edited it for grammar and style errors, and be ready to post the first 15,000 at the beginning of the workshop. They should have also written a synopsis of their completed novel (up to 750 words) and be ready to post it by the second week of the workshop (synopsis guidelines to be provided in advance of the workshop start).
From a fall 2019 participant: "I loved the opportunity to have more of my novel critiqued than just the first ten pages. Because the manuscript lengths were longer, the feedback was deeper and far more useful. I gained admiration and respect for the other writers in our workshop. Thank you for providing this resource! It was the push I needed to get back into revising my novel." - Alissa
This group will be capped at 4 participants to keep the workload manageable. This means participants will have 3 other manuscripts to critique in the workshop timeframe.
Who this workshop is for: This workshop is for MG and YA writers working on realistic fiction. (It is not ideal for those writing science fiction or fantasy, though those who include light elements of SFF or magical realism are welcome.) Although this workshop is craft-focused, it is geared toward writers who are actively working to get their manuscript submission-ready, or who are currently querying their work.
Group size: 6 writers
Submissions: There will be one submission of 15,000 words. Writers will also submit their novel synopsis or outline at the workshop start.
Members: $285; Non-members: $320
Sangeeta Mehta has worked in the publishing field since the late 1990s. She has been an acquiring editor at both Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (the children's division of the Hachette Book Group) and Simon Pulse (the teen paperback division of Simon & Schuster). She currently consults on book projects for corporate and independent book publishers and individual authors. She also mentors aspiring teen writers through the Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. She is a board member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary.
A California native, Sangeeta moved to New York City in 2002, after working for two literary agents and earning a Masters degree in comparative literature from UCLA. She continues to live in the heart of the publishing industry and enjoys taking on clients from all over the world. Visit her website at www.mehtabookeditingnewyork.com.
May 4: Workshop begins
May 5 or 6: Introductory group phone call (45 minutes)*
May 6: Post first 15,000 words of novel
May 13: Post synopsis of novel
May 15: Reactive feedback on the first peer manuscript due
May 22: Reactive feedback on second peer ms due
May 29: Reactive feedback on third peer ms due
June 12: Suggestive feedback on all three peer mss due
June 26: Directive feedback on all three peer mss due
July 7 or 8: Revision strategies group phone call (1.5 hours)*
July 10: Workshop ends
*Although the exact details of the phone meetings will be determined by the participants, they will likely take place after 6 p.m. Eastern Time.