Seminars & Workshops


PEAVI offers one or two editing workshops per year to our members and the general public.

Due to the CoViD-19 situation, we have decided to postpone the professional development workshop scheduled for April 18.

Registration is now closed. Registrants will be contacted about fee reimbursement.

New Date: October 3, 2020. Watch for information regarding registration in August.

“Something’s Missing…”

presented by Betsy Warland

Location: Accent Inn, 3233 Maple Street, Victoria, BC, facing Douglas Street

Fee: $95 for this day-long workshop (fee does not include lunch)

Refreshments: Snacks and tea and coffee provided.

Lunch: One-and-a-half-hour lunch break. There are several places nearby to buy lunch, including Bin 4, the restaurant attached to the hotel. Or bring your own.

How often have you been hired to edit a piece of writing, short or long, fiction, non-fiction, or poetry and you discover it requires more than copyediting, or that it is not ready for copyediting? Or you know of a writer whose manuscript, which they thought was finished, was rejected by a publisher, with little explanation or guidance? Or you read a published book that doesn’t quite work? Something’s often missing. Fundamental problems with structure or writing have not been addressed.

With the dramatic decline of in-house editors, it is up to freelance editors to fill the gap. An early intervention is often required, a sort of intense, extended blue-pencil session that will help an author look with fresh eyes at the architecture of their manuscript. At this stage, the editor’s role is to help shape the manuscript by providing the author with tools and ideas to hone their writing craft, to tighten (or deepen) the writing.

This day-long, hands-on workshop will expand on the skills editors use in blue-pencil sessions or manuscript evaluations and introduce some new ones. It will also provide insights into how to present this service to authors.

Participants will work on a few pages that they are already familiar with (for the sake of convenience, we’ll refer to this sample as the “manuscript”). Participants will receive further instructions after registration.

Part 1
Beyond the Blue Pencil

  • Learning techniques: identifying different kinds of chronology and narrative positions, identifying each writer’s tics, optimizing the style and variety of sentences, matching word choice with evolving content, identifying accurate pacing, and using depth of field
  • Practicing on sample pages
  • Identifying the pace and level at which each author can work

Part 2
The Business Opportunity

  • Expanding your editing services: identifying what types of writing you are best suited to work on and how to “sell” this additional service
  • Determining how to make an accurate estimate based on types of, and extent of, editing needed
  • Assessing how to discuss with each writer what additional editing is needed
  • Defining specific editing plans and estimates
  • Conversation about future mentoring for workshop participants.*

*When the workshop is over, Betsy welcomes further one-on-one mentoring (at a special workshop reduction of her hourly fee) for those who want to further develop the skills learned in this workshop.

Betsy Warland is both an author and an editor. She has written thirteen books, and has more than thirty years’ experience as a writing teacher, manuscript consultant, and editor. She works with authors to help them identify the strengths and weakness of a manuscript, its most compelling focus and corresponding structure, and the revisions needed. Her bestselling 2010 book on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing, continues to be used by editors and writers alike. Betsy works with creative nonfiction manuscripts, nonfiction (essays, memoir, etc.), poetry, mixed genre, and experimental fiction manuscripts. Writers with whom she’s done manuscript development and editing have gone on to publish books, and to win, or be shortlisted for, such prizes as the Griffin Award, BC Book Award, Pat Lowther Award, Writers’ Trust Award, Great BC Novel Contest, CBC Literary Competition, City of Victoria Butler Award, Poets’ Corner Award of the Maritimes, Trillium Book Award of Toronto, Governor General’s Award, and Surrey Writers’ Guild International Competition. betsywarland.com.

Find out more about our past seminars and workshops…