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August Editing Club

Sundays, August 4th - 25th

ONLINE, 11am - 1PM EST
Four x two hour meetings

What’s the idea?


August is the Sunday of summer. Sunday is the August of the week. It’s too hot. Time is dead. And you don’t feel like going to any more barbecues. 


Let’s figure out what’s going on with your book. 


This club is for people who:


  • Have been working on the same project for a while but don’t really know where they’re going with all this. 

  • Feel overwhelmed by their word count. 

  • Want to figure out a structure that can transform their google doc into a manuscript.

  • Feel underwhelmed by their word count... but have a lot of ideas.

  • Want to join a space where their whole identity is just ‘writer’ for two hours a week.

What kind of ~book can I bring?


Non-fiction, literary fiction, poetry, experimental/genreless work. Novels, short stories, essays, poems... etc.


Before we meet:  


I will send you a reading zine (pdf) featuring interview clips from writers and editors talking about how they put their books together to give you some ideas and inspiration.


You will prepare a brief description of what you’re trying to do, and three excerpts to share with the group throughout August. (The length of the excerpts depends on you and your book.)

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Timezone compatible for

Europe, Africa and the Americas:

5pm-7pm CET

4pm -6pm UK

11am - 1pm EST

10am - 12pm CT

8am - 10am PST

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Week 1: You’ll introduce yourself, your work and what you like to read. We’ll discuss: What even is a book?  Working between genres within the group will give us new ideas and ways of considering your work. We’ll talk about current and evolving trends in publishing/literature, look back at historical precedents in form, and set out individual goals for your manuscripts in progress. We’ll aim to create a closeness in the club as quickly as possible, with short writing exercises and fun activities. After the first meeting, each writer will upload an excerpt from their work to a shared Drive. 


Throughout the week you’ll read & comment on the other club members’ excerpts and produce a map of the shape of your book to come.


Week 2: Each writer will present the map of their manuscript to the group, the idea being that talking it through with a small, supportive audience should help you to understand it better for yourself. We’ll also talk about discipline and self-imposed deadlines to figure out how best to fit finishing this book into your busy life.


After the meeting, everybody will upload another excerpt from their book, as well as their map/outline. 


Throughout the week, you’ll read & comment on the other club members’ excerpts, and respond with questions to their manuscript map. 


You’ll also be encouraged to use all this newfound inspiration to actually write some more!


Week 3: We’ll check in about how you’re feeling now with regard to your book, and discuss our goals in terms of publishing. Do you want to publish with a big press? Small press? Self-publish? Not publish? Publish online? On a blog? What will make you happy? 


We’ll discuss collaborating long term with the other members of the club. How can we help each other? What do people need? Community? Readers? Just to write? How can we, as a small group of like-minded people, manifest these things?


After the meeting, you’ll upload a third excerpt from your work for the group to read and respond to in the comments before the final meeting.


You’ll also answer the questions people wrote on your manuscript map (as though you’re being interviewed by The Paris Review). 


Week 4: We’ll discuss each person’s excerpts and progression, and make a plan for your next steps.

You will make realistic deadlines for a first/new draft, breaking it down into smaller sections if necessary.

You will go into September with a clear idea of what you’re going to do next and a plan needed to fulfil the shape of your book


We will collaborate on a list of personalised reading recommendations for each writer. 

And you will be encouraged to continue working with the other members of the club going forward.


Notes: The idea is not that you will be able to finish your book within the one month we spend together, but that you’ll be read and listened to and given new perspectives on the work to take with you into the autumn. 


As this is a short club dependent on conversation and collaboration, attendance is strongly recommended! But if you have to miss a session, you can always watch the recording later.

Maximum group size: 8 writers.

Sign up deadline: July 1st! 

$250 - $350 sliding scale

(Payment plan available)

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August Editing Club will be led by me, Lucy K Shaw. Hi. I wrote several books including Woman With Hat, Troisième Vague and The Motion. I started Shabby Doll House in 2012. I have edited and published work by hundreds of writers from all over world, first online, and more recently in books too. I ran the ~Profound Experience of Poetry Book Club for three years during the pandemic, and I also lead the Zine Writing Club. You can read a little more about me & Shabby Doll House here, or listen to me talk about it here.  <3

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