Brandywine Valley Writers Group Meetup

The Brandywine Valley Writers Group Presents:
An Evening with an Editor
(or, How your book can be even better!)

 

As writers, we all want to be taken in by an editor like the late great Max Perkins, someone who'll recognize our genius for what it is, who'll nurture our talents, feed our stunted little egos, and help us give birth to that brilliant story that's reluctant to emerge on its own.

Wait. Do editors do that? Don't they just cross stuff out? And why should I even be thinking about that if I don't have a publisher yet?

Development editor Kathryn Craft will answer all these questions and more -- including:

  • What's a development editor, and how does a development editor differ from a copy editor or a line editor?
  • Who actually provides these services today -- the agent? the publisher?
  • If I'm self-publishing, should I seek an editor of my own?  How do I find one?
  • What is it really like to work with an editor (read: my ego is already cringing and my sense of self-worth is hiding in its shadow)?

Kathryn has worked as a developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com, specializing in storytelling structure and writing craft. Over the past decades she has served on the boards of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group and the Philadelphia Writers Conference, and is now involved with the fledgling Women's Fiction Writers Association; she hosts writing retreats for women, and speaks often about writing. She is a contributing editor at The Blood-Red Pencil blog and a monthly guest at Writers in the Storm with her series "Turning Whine into Gold." She is a proud member of the Liars Club, a Philadelphia-based group of novelists supporting independent bookstores, literacy, and other forms of paying it forward.

Finally, Kathryn's own debut novel The Art of Falling will be appearing in January, 2014, from Sourcebooks. We'll want to pick her brain about what it's like when an editor/writer has to sit in the other chair and listen to what another editor says about her work.



 

Although meetings officially start at 7:00 pm, many of us show up early to have a meal and catch up with each other. You can also order food and drink (on your own tab) throughout the meeting. The program generally lasts approximately 75 minutes. However, people stay as long as they like after the official program and we sometimes close the place.

Officers of the group are currently:

  • Mark Mitchell - President
  • James Breslin - Vice President
  • Wayne A. "Tony" Conaway - Program Coordinator
  • Jurgen Flood - Treasurer
  • (Open) - Secretary
  • Gary Zenker - Meetup Administrator
  • Dick Lolla - Web Site Administrator

Please check the event schedule for information on the programs and for additional meeting content and locations. You can find additional information on our Facebook page and on our web site: www.bvwg.org.

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  • David W. L.

    Good points, Sam. Yes, a round of introductions at the start would be helpful and interesting, especially for newcomers.

    September 18, 2013

  • Sam L.

    A quick round of introductions at the start of every meeting would be nice. Kathryn Craft was well prepared, engaging, and informative. But I'm wondering if the presentation may have been a bit daunting for some of the newer writers who may not be ready or able to hire a professional editor or script doctor to review their work. As Ms. Craft pointed out, if a writer's work is not at a reasonable level, it becomes an ordeal for an editor and is not as effective a use of time, or investment of money, as it could be. New writers can accelerate their learning curves by using resources built into Word programs like spell-check, grammar-check, style guides, or formatting; and invaluable books like writers' guides or a Thesaurus. Those on limited budgets might consider working with a retired English or Creative Writing teacher from a local high school or college; and using BVWG reading/critique sessions to help improve their writing before considering hiring a seasoned professional editor.

    1 · September 18, 2013

    • Jane B.

      These are great points Sam. I used many of them until I felt I couldn't help myself much more. Only then did I go to the professional editor. There is a lot a writer can do, and without a lot of effort or expense, to improve their work, before going for the big step of hiring help.

      1 · September 18, 2013

    • Sam L.

      Thanks, Jane! It's always great to see you at the BVWG meetings. As someone who reads numerous student papers in graduate school, many of them often overlook the resources that are immediately available to them. Perhaps in part, because we as adults already "know" how to write. And since we may be successful in other areas of our lives, we may assume that our writing is equally skillful. Sometimes when they get their papers back after being graded or critiqued, they're a bit crestfallen. But as you say, sometimes there's a limit to what we can do alone. So, I loved Kathryn's comment about not taking it personally, when someone critiques our work. However, from the writers' perspective, our work is an extension of us. But I think writing is a skill that can continuously be improved over the course of one's lifetime in pursuit of that elusive perfection.

      September 18, 2013

  • Jane B.

    I love getting together with everyone because there is always someone new to meet and always familiar faces of other people interested in writing. Kathryn Craft was so informative as she detailed the developmental edit process. Loved seeing everyone there. Thanks to all who came.

    1 · September 18, 2013

  • Joan H.

    It was such a nice evening. It was a delight to hear Kathryn Craft speak and I learned quite a bit.

    September 18, 2013

  • Wayne Anthony C.

    This is my first attempt at a technique I learned from Jonathan Maberry: the Virtual Panel Discussion. It's a group email interview with some of my fellow authors of the Chester County Day newspaper. http://wayneaconaway.blogspot.com/2013/09/four-questions-for-authors-of-this.html

    September 17, 2013

  • David W. L.

    Looking forward to being there, my first time with you. Thanks, best regards.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Jane B.

    For anyone interested in talking about it, I am working with our speaker for this month, Kathryn Craft, right now. She read my manuscript, provided a detailed report as well as edits on the entire document and I'll have a one-hour conversation with her soon to finish up our work together. So far, she has been great to work with and has provided very helpful and insightful feedback about my project. It has been worth the expense so far and I'd recommend her to anyone needing a fresh set of eyes to look over their work.

    3 · September 16, 2013

    • Dana D.

      Kathryn Craft is one of my favorite people. She edited my first attempt at a novel, and honestly, her feedback has been essential to my improvement as a writer. AND, I attended one of her writing retreats and aside from discovering that me+kayak=wetness, I learned so much from fellow writers, too. Look forward to meeting you all. Hi Kathryn!

      1 · September 17, 2013

  • John D.

    Unfortunately, I'm going to miss this month's meeting. On a brighter note, I'll be in NY, meeting with PR.

    3 · September 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Loved casual approach to meeting members, but sound was impossible to deal with. Alas had to leave early, 'Also recovering from surgery so was extremely hard for me to focus. But love the members and talent in the room.

    August 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I got a flyer about the subject of the topic for this meeting. At the point this meeting comes around, I will probably have completed my first novel. I hope this lecture will clarify to me what is needed for my novel's successful publish.

    August 22, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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