Writers Digest Editors Intensive

On March 21st and 22nd I attended the Writer’s Digest Editors Intensive in Cincinnati OH. The conference was a two day event. The first day was a full day seminar on writing and the second day was a one on one critique of your first 50 pages by a professional editor.

Obviously having a professional editor look at your work is a great hook and the reason I signed up for the conference. The surprising thing was how much I got out of the class on Saturday. I thought that the class would be a diversion for the main event, a one on one critique that had my heart pounding and palms sweating every time I thought about it. It wasn’t, it was really informative and changed the way I was thinking about getting published. The instructor for most of the day was Jane Friedman who did an excellent job of teaching a diverse group of people about how to use the internet to advance their writing careers. As I am a self professed geek and computer guy I am ashamed to admit that I hadn’t even begun to think about using the social networking sites out there to get my writing career going.

So now I am setting up my Facebook, writing this blog. Tweeting on twitter and developing a platform for myself to stand on and be seen above the crowd. Obviously this is all a big process but one that isn’t really that much work and hopefully will help me get published, which after all is the ultimate goal.

The review with the editor went extremely well. Overall he liked my work, had a few key suggestions for improving it and gave me a written critique. Considering how nervous I was before meeting the editor this was an awesome experience. I had expected him to shred my work, tear it apart, tell me everything was wrong. Before going in I had completely rewritten the first 50 pages again in my head, mercilessly chopping out more pages. Ironically the first comment my reviewer had was to add in something I had edited out before submitting it. That was invaluable to me. I fear that when I’m editing my own work I am overly critical and cut out too much. Scott proved that fear had some basis. Does that mean I shouldn’t cut anything out, no, absolutely not but I need to keep my fears in check while editing.

I have been working on my editing and finishing my book for a while now. I think the Editor’s Intensive showed the road I need to be travelling on to getting it done and getting it out there. For that I think that the experience was invaluable.




  1. […] Original post by lystrawrote […]

  2. Being the producer of such an event, I always find it fascinating to see the writer’s perspective. Thanks for writing about your experience, and hope you find that the geek in you embraces this new way of pursuing writing success. 🙂

  3. So good to see more writers continue to enjoy this event. Facebook and twitter are endless sources of information and networking for writers. And I will always be thankful to Jane Friedman and everyone in Cincinnati at the first Writers Digest Editor’s Intensive for assisting my birth into the 21st Century.

  4. Hmmm… sounds like it was very interesting. The use of the internet brings some questions to mind though.. mostly dealing with how someone can take what you post and use it as thier own. Was that addressed? Or am I just paranoid?

    • I would have to say that is the number 1 question.
      Basically the people at the conference and other people in the publishing world put it like this. It takes a ton of work to get anything published and while somebody could concievably steal your work and try to get it published, most people aren’t going to go through years of queries, submittals, rejection letters, and all the additional work require to get into print. NOBODY believes in your work as much as you do and in order to get published you have to believe in your work and be willing to work for your art. A theif just isn’t going to put in those kind of hours.
      Also if you post it online then it is copyrighted by default. They would have to prove that they posted or printed it before you did. They only thing you can’t copyright is an idea or a title. Those get stolen all the time, just ask Will Shakespeare.

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