Breaking Through with Your Final Draft

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There are a lot of online classes for writing fiction. Many of the best–or most popular, at least–are aimed at new writers. Final Draft, my online writing class for LitReactor, starting May 22, has a different target audience: writers who’ve honed their craft, worked hard, and perhaps even put in their ten thousand hours, but have yet to break through with their first book deal.

MFA-havers, MFA refugees, or MFA avoiders. Those who’ve dedicated so much time to what is beginning to feel like a fruitless pursuit that they’ve begun to question their life choices. Those whose friends and family have been questioning those life choices for years.

Those who really are this close to landing their first major publication.

I created this class because I’ve been that writer, and I know how hard it can be, to feel stuck in this limbo between apprenticeship and authorship.

I’ve also been the person on the other side of the slush pile, as a reader for journals like Tin House and Alligator Juniper, the director of the Doug Fir Fiction Award, and, most recently, a member of the editorial committee for Forest Avenue Press.

I make my living (aside from my writing) as a freelance editor and book coach. So I know that most of the writers who think they’re ready to publish really are not.

But some really are. And all those writers really need are some solid strategies, industry knowledge, and detailed editorial feedback on their first ten pages, through multiple drafts, to make it happen.

So that’s exactly what I’m offering with Final Draft, which one former student called, “a finishing school for writers distilled into just four weeks.”

Here are some other things students have said about the class:

“She covered not just how to take a so-so manuscript and sharpen it up into a more professional product, but also how to approach the publishing scene once you have that finished manuscript in hand, be it short story or novel-length work. Lessons consisted of more than just common sense tips, they contained truly actionable ideas to apply to any piece of fiction writing. I came into the class with what I thought was a pretty decent piece of writing, and it was completely transformed.”

—Andrea (TheScrivener)

“I really enjoyed Final Draft. Susan had insight into taking my novel’s opening to the next level. Although I had received feedback on my opening in the past, Susan was able to identify what I needed to connect with readers.”
—Heidi Timmons

Call me a fiction evangelist, a champion of the underdog. Call me the coach who knows you can win.

Call me crazy, but if you’ve put the time in with this craft and you’ve got something to say, I believe there’s a place for you in publishing.

>More information on Final Draft, a four-week online class, beginning May 22, at LitReactor.

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