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"From Begun to Done: 10 Problems with Your First Draft and How to Fix Them" with Sara Kocek

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St. Edward's University, Trustee Hall 303
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

12/6/2014 From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

PLEASE NOTE: Online registration for this workshop is now closed. Tickets will only be sold at the door of the event as long as seats remain, and walk-up rates will apply. Please see our Classes page for more details.


$99 members (log in for member pricing)

$159 nonmembers

Writing to the end of your first draft exposes all the problems with your dazzling beginning—the flat characters, plot loose ends, weaknesses in your world-building, and hidden agendas. This fun, fast-paced workshop will use a combination of lecture, handouts, and brief writing sessions to cover scene construction, effective description within a scene, use of dialogue, different types of scenes, and the eternal problem of too-much exposition. No matter your genre, learn how to make your manuscript more appealing to readers and editors alike by scrubbing it clean of the top ten problems afflicting most first drafts.

Who should attend?

  • Writers of literary fiction or genre fiction (including mystery, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, YA, middle grade)

  • Writers struggling to finish the first draft of a novel

  • Writers whose finished novels are not gaining traction with literary agents

  • NaNoWriMo writers who want to revise their novel draft

About the instructor...

Sara Kocek is the founder of Yellow Bird Editors and the author of the young adult novel Promise Me Something (Albert Whitman, 2013). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, where she taught fiction and poetry to undergraduates. Prior to pursuing her MFA, Sara graduated with a B.A. in English from Yale University, where she worked as Writing Fellow, tutoring undergraduate and graduate students in academic and creative writing. A former full-time editorial intern at Random House and Penguin, she now lives in Austin, Texas. In addition to 5+ years of experience teaching and editing fiction, Sara has 7+ years of experience with college essay coaching for high school students.

REGISTRATION BY MAIL: If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click HERE for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

NOTE: Tickets are not refundable, but they are transferable. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster. For more information, visit our Classes page.


This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services Office/Cultural Arts Division believing an investment in the Arts is an investment in Austin’s future. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to


The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank St. Edward's University for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit