Course: Editing Fiction

Improving Expression, Clarifying Ideas and Tightening Structure

The techniques and the territory of fiction editing differ from those of non-fiction but fiction writers need editors for the same reasons as any writers.

Fiction editing means developing the judgement and confidence to identify the strengths and weaknesses in a manuscript and to suggest options when characterisation lacks depth, descriptions are clichéd or you discover a plot hole.

Putting Creative Writing Through a Litmus Test of Critical Reading

Editing fiction covers more than consistency, spelling and grammar. It involves the judgement and confidence to identify the strengths and weaknesses in a manuscript.

We will look at matters of style and structure, including:

  • tone, voice and register.
  • point of view and sentence variation.
  • characterisation, plot, pace and dialogue.

Pinpoint Problems with Style and Narrative Development

The exercises in the workshop use realistic sample texts that take you through some of the most commonly encountered difficulties in fiction drafts. You’ll consider:

  • when a rule is made to be broken.
  • the most common flaws found in fiction manuscripts.
  • the pleasures and benefits of a positive relationship between editor and fiction writer.
Editors looking to progress in their careers need to know more than the rules of punctuation and grammar. This stimulating workshop looks at the issues and problems that confront editors who work or want to work at a more advanced level.This workshop is designed for experienced editors who wish to expand their fiction editing skills.


Pamela Hewitt is a qualified trainer who has developed and presented programmes on editing and writing for universities, vocational educational colleges, writers’ centres and societies of editors around Australia and internationally. She has also developed online editing courses on professional editing and editing for writers.

Pamela became an Accredited Editor in 2008, one of Australia’s inaugural accredited editors. She has been an active member of societies of editors and writers’ centres, presenting papers and speeches at all national editing conferences as well as at writers’ festivals, including the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the ACT Word Festival, Style Council and the National Literary Awards. Pamela was a member of the Institute of Professional Editors’ National Working Group on Accreditation and co-convenor of the National Working Group on Education, Training and Mentoring.

In more than twenty years as an editor, Pamela has worked in-house and freelance across the industry in a career spanning academic, educational and trade publishing. Although she concentrates on fiction and non-fiction book editing, Pamela has also edited scholarly journals, websites, poetry and oral history projects. She publishes widely on professional editing and writing.

Other professional initiatives include publishing The Fine Print, an independent online editing journal, and conducting five national surveys of editors. She is currently investigating ways that editors can survive and thrive in the era of the eBook and the app.

Date: 15 August 2011, Monday
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Venue: Room 3.2, L3, Civil Service College, 31 North Bouna Vista Road

For more information or to register, visit us at Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully before registering.
Tel: (65) 6848 8290

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