Finish Your Manuscript Series

$285.00 Members
$325.00 Non-members

This item enrolls you in all five Finish Your Manuscript seminars.

This series of workshops, taught by the Book Project faculty, is designed for advanced writers who have a complete manuscript and have reached the point where their pages need a final polish before submitting to agents and publishers. Across five months and five meetings, you’ll work through all aspects of your book, test point of view and plot and complexity, and end with agent Shana Kelly, who will provide a refresher on all things “business” and send you off with a submission plan.

We recommend taking these courses as a series to get the continuity you need to complete your book and send it into the world (not to mention the entire series comes at a discounted price). However, these courses are available al la carte as well.

The workshop is broken into the following Saturday classes:

Buckle Down and Wrap Up Your Book 
w/ Eleanor Brown
Saturday, January 26, 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Can’t quite make it to the finish line with that almost-done book-length manuscript? You’re not alone! We’ll find that missing time in your schedule, talk about how to edit a long work without getting caught in the weeds, and why success in editing is different than success in drafting so you can make a plan to (finally!) finish your book.

Plot Diagnostic
w/ Erika Krouse
Saturday, February 23, 1:00 to 3:30 PM


You’ve stared at your manuscript until you can’t see it anymore, read it aloud to your dog, chanted over candles and considered deals with the devil, but something in your plot still isn’t working and you don’t know what it is. In this diagnostic class, we’ll examine our stories’ stakes, agency, ramifications, conflicts, and dramatic questions through the lens of the narrative arc (exposition, inciting incident, rising action, crisis, climax, falling action, resolution). There is a cure! Class is appropriate for any prose writer with a full draft of a (short or long) plot-challenged story.

The Darkness and The Light
w/ Benjamin Whitmer
Saturday, March 23, 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM

We get too comfortable with our own manuscripts after a time. We've polished and honed what we have until its almost seamless, and, at least in my experience, that's the most dangerous time for a manuscript. That's when we've focused so strongly on the craft that we've lost sight of the project. This class will focus on pushing your manuscript to make the lights lighter and the darks darker. To bring out the conflict that should be manifest in every scene and drive through to the end of your book. To look for new opportunities in revision to make your book both a brighter and blacker version so your characters and themes can be that much more distinct." 

Expanding Into Beauty
w/ William Haywood Henderson
Saturday, April 20, 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Now that you’ve laid out (and written!) your whole manuscript, now that you’ve gotten your characters from Point A to Point Z, now that you’ve read through your pages for consistency and cause-and-effect, it might be time to look for the final level of complexity and beauty that will really make your book sing. In this class, we’ll look at where and how to open your manuscript into those beautiful moments that rise above and beyond story. These moments can be either plot-based or idea based, and they’re often the moments that embed themselves in your reader’s memory. Think of the scene in Housekeeping where the girls follow that train through town, watching that woman in the train window until the bridge takes her away across the lake. Strange, indelible, and deeply evocative of the girls’ emotional lives.

Realities of the Market Place
w/ Shana Kelly
Saturday, May 4, 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM

You are almost ready to submit your book to agents and publishers, but you have forgotten everything you ever knew about this process. Come to this session and refresh your memory! We will talk about submission guidelines and materials, the marketplace and comp titles, what drives an agent crazy, and how to come up with a reasonable submission plan. We will also discuss handling agent feedback or a lack of it, signing with agents, and book contracts.

Instructor: Multiple Instructors Learn More

Schedule