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Shaping Your Book to Sell with Carol Dawson

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Sul Ross University
Alpine, TX

7/21/2013 to 7/26/2013 From 10 AM to 4 PM

An Intensive Workshop on the Art and Skill of
Self-Editing and Revision 
Summer Writing Retreat - Sul Ross State University

Online registration for this event is now closed. There might be one or two slots still available.  If interested, please email informing us of your intention to purchase a ticket and which workshop you are interested in. We will arrange sales on a first come/first served basis until the class is full.

Orientation is Sunday evening, July 21.
Classes run Monday through Friday, July 22 to 26, from 10 am to 4 pm


The art of editing and revising a manuscript is as exacting and demanding as the art that went into the initial writing of it. But because it's a very different process, requiring a separate set of skills honed by a different part of the brain, most writers spend years, and much agony, learning how to effectively deploy it.

This course will teach writers how to jump that brain separation so that you can look at your manuscript from the editing vantage point. During four intensive sessions, the instructor will introduce the basic elements of strong narrative. We will then take your individual manuscript, read and assess a section of it, and edit and revise that section in class. This course has as its chief goal the crafting of your book for professional acceptance.

Class Takeaways

  • You will learn how to develop the skills that shape your book into the best form it can attain.
  • You will learn what to look for in order to give your manuscript its greatest power.
  • You will learn how to create authority on the page through editing and revision: how to trim away excess, sharpen dialogue, deliver thrust, flesh out what has been left unrealized, and persuade the reader with the certainty of your authorial voice and your crisp prose.
  • Most especially, whether you are writing a fiction or non-fiction narrative, you will learn how to keep that reader fully engaged in the story you want to tell.

Who Should Attend

  • Fiction writers editing manuscripts
  • Nonfiction writers editing manuscripts
  • Writers wanting to learn more about the editing and revision process

You must bring a completed or partially-completed manuscript to class. Please be prepared to read from it out loud (an essential tool in objectifying and problem-searching your pages). The instructor will also edit a section of each of your books in after-class hours, to provide you with ongoing editing examples to suit the specific needs of your narrative.

Carol Dawson is both a novelist and nonfiction author whose books include the novels The Waking Spell, Body of Knowledge, Meeting the Minotaur, and The Mother-in-Law Diaries, all published by Algonquin Books, Simon and Schuster, Viking-Penguin, and translated overseas. Her award-winning non-fiction book House of Plenty: The Rise, Fall, and Revival of Luby's Cafeterias was published by the University of Texas Press. Carol has taught creative writing and literature at the College of Santa Fe, as well as in numerous workshops. In addition, her work has been published in magazines and journals, including Texas Monthly, Southern Living, The Oxford-American, Parenting Magazine, etc. Her last book is an historical novel, and she is currently at work on two more--one historical, one set in the future. She also works as an independent professional manuscript editor.

For more details on the Writers' League of Texas Summer Writing Retreat and information about lodging, click

Refund Policy:

We're sorry, but no refunds can be made. Please make sure you can commit to the dates before purchasing. Tickets are transferrable, so if something unforeseen arises you can make arrangements to have someone go in your stead. Simply alert the office via phone (512.499.8914) or email ( to pass along the name of your replacement.

Problems Registering?

If you are having issues registering online for any reason, you can sign up for the retreat via mail. Please send us your contact information, a check for the registration fee, and indicate which class you are interested in taking.

Mail check to:
The Writers' League of Texas
611 S. Congress, Ste. 505
Austin, TX 78704