1-on-1 Creative Writing Instruction + Manuscript Editing

For Beginners and Intermediates

This hybrid course is ideal for writers who:

  • prefer to work privately with an instructor as opposed to learning in a group class;
  • wish to create a flexible schedule during any time of year;
  • enjoy intensive learning as this course is a combination of fiction writing and manuscript editing lessons;
  • can work at a minimum pace of about 20 pages of new writing (or editing) per class.

The course is essentially the One-on-One Creative Writing Instruction (Fiction) course previously offered to beginners and intermediates but with the following changes:

In the past, I taught during autumn/winter. Now the course is available year-round. A student may begin at any time and set a schedule tailored to his or her needs.

Previously, the course cost $1800 and covered six, monthly sessions that included:

  • 3 hours/month in-person class with the instructor (to learn new concepts, to review the manuscript, and to complete writing exercises);
  • 3 hours/month utilized by the instructor to edit the student’s work and to prep class;
  • 1.5 hours/month in-person instruction on sentence-level issues that crop up for fiction writers (overuse of adverbs, active voice versus passive voice, “wordiness,” etc.).

The cost was based on a student turning in no more than 20 or so pages of work for review per class, so the instructor’s manuscript editing time remained close to the 3-hour allotment.

Now the student may turn in as many manuscript pages as he or she wishes (beyond 20) with the understanding that more pages turned in equals more of the instructor’s editing and prep time. (The average editing rate is 5 – 6 pages/hour for substantial *global and **local edits.)

Because of this, instead of asking for a class payment upfront, students will be invoiced monthly. The cost includes the instructor’s editing and prep time and the face-to-face meeting between instructor and student.

The rate for Beginners is $40/hour. The rate for Intermediates is $50/hour.

How do you know if you’re a Beginner or Intermediate?

1-on-1 Creative Writing Instruction + Manuscript Editing for Beginners is for those who’d like to learn about story writing but have no prior knowledge of the basic narrative elements, such as scenic development, characterization, plot, point of view, etc. Beginners receive six set lessons on the following: story versus plot, characterization, scene versus summary, point of view (I and II), and theme.  Beginners also receive supplemental material, writing exercises, and substantial *global and **local edits to his or her manuscript.

Note: Beginners are required to take a minimum of 6 classes to cover the set lectures. If the student chooses to work beyond 6 sessions, he or she may move into the Intermediate category and learn more advanced techniques that build off the initial lessons. Alternatively, the student may forego the Intermediate teaching component but utilize one of two manuscript editing options.

1-on-1 Creative Writing Instruction + Manuscript Editing for Intermediates is for writers who possess knowledge of the basic elements of fiction writing and wish to learn and apply more advanced techniques to their stories. Like the Beginners, Intermediate students also receive supplemental material, writing exercises, and *global and **local edits to their manuscripts. However, Intermediate students do not have a required minimum amount of classes. Lessons/lectures are tailored to the student’s needs, desires, and current skill-level.

To reiterate, the variable with the greatest impact on time and cost is the amount of manuscript pages turned in for review. So, for example, bearing in mind the 5-6 page/hour editing rate for substantial global and local edits, if a student submitted 20 manuscript pages for review, the instructor would spend about 4 hours editing and prepping lecture notes. Class meeting times are 3 hours on average, so the student would be invoiced between $240 – $280 for the session.

Because these are individualized classes, a Skype option is now available for students outside the Helena area. For more information about the course, including payment options, local class location, and internet-based learning options, please email me at swaneyjasmine@gmail.com or call (406) 437-3576.

*Global Edit: Addresses issues related to narrative development like scene versus summary, characterization, point of view, scope, pacing, theme, etc.   

**Local Edit: Addresses line-by-line issues like sentence construction and variety, active versus passive vice, “wordiness,” and other grammar/mechanical issues.