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Summer Writing Retreat 2023: “Revision Demystified: Moving Your Work to Completion” with Stacey Swann

July 12, 2023 - August 2, 2023

$269.00 – $389.00


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Level 1 (Class Only): $269 for Members, $329 for Non-Members

Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation): $329 for Members, $389 for Non-Members*

*WLT Members have an exclusive window to register for the 20 seats available in the Level 2 registration. After May 22, non-members will be able to register for Level 2 if seats remain. To access the member price, please be sure to log in to your account.  

This July, join us for our virtual 2023 Summer Writing Retreat featuring three classes on memoir, fiction, and revision plus lots of special events throughout the month, including Saturday Craft Seminars (July 8 and July 29), meet-ups, and dedicated writing time. Want to know more? Watch our 2023 Summer Writing Retreat Informational Session on YouTube here.

Each class will meet weekly for four weeks, starting the week of July 10, ending the week of July 31. Our revision class with Stacey Swann will meet every Wednesday (July 12, 19, 26, August 2) from 6:30 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT via Zoom. A recording of each class session will be shared with all class registrants the day after – so you won’t miss anything even if you need to skip a session. Class details are below. 

Registration for this class will close at 5:00 PM CDT on Wednesday, July 12. 

Writers at every stage can be daunted by the process of revision. It’s easy to see that something we’ve written isn’t working; it’s much harder to pinpoint why it isn’t working.

In this class, we will break the revision process into separate pieces in order to better understand it.

Each week’s class session will include deep dives into craft, discussions around both published works and our own projects, and writing exercises to help us return to our own work with new techniques. Whether you are working on novels, memoirs, short stories, or essays, this class will give you confidence to return to your projects with renewed energy and fresh perspectives.

About each session:

Week 1 (July 12): The People – Characterization, Point of View, and Voice: In this first session, we’ll examine the people at the heart of our work and how to best render them on the page through the power of exposition, interiority, and point of view choices. We’ll also explore the way the language of the voice itself can add to characterization.

Week 2 (July 19): The Structure – Examining the Floor Plans of What We’ve Built: Taking a step back from our manuscripts, in this second session we’ll get a long shot of our plot and structure choices that allows to see what rooms may still need to be added and what walls might need to come down. We’ll also discuss the power of narrative symmetry and the ins and outs of pacing.

Week 3 (July 26): The Craft – Author Intent, Theme, and Imagery: As the next draft of your piece begins to clarify for you, we’ll revisit the ideas and inspirations that first drew us to our project and track how its themes may have evolved. We’ll also do a deep dive into the concrete imagery in our works and investigate how it can open new paths of exploration.

Week 4 (August 2): The Language – Refining Dialogue and Line Editing: In this final session, we’ll hone in on the micro elements of revision: the language of our lines. We’ll focus on elevating and refining dialogue as well as achieving maximum clarity and power in our sentences.

Take this class if…:

…you find the first draft much easier than everything that comes after. Take this class if you’ve gotten stuck mid-revision. Take this class if you have a lot of “mostly-done” projects but rarely feel “done-done.” (seriously, take this class.)

Preparation for the first day of class: 

Students will fill out a questionnaire for the instructor before class begins. Students can also expect 20-50 pages of craft readings per week which will be sent out one week ahead of time by the instructor. There will also be short writing assignments for Weeks 2, 3, and 4.

Registration details:

Choose your registration level:

Level 1 (Class Only): $269 for Members, $329 for Non-Members


Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation): $329 for Members, $389 for Non-Members

The difference: Level 2 (Class + Private Consultation) registrations include one 20-minute meeting with Stacey Swann sometime during the month (via Zoom). If you’d like, you can also share 10 pages of your work for feedback ahead of the meeting.

You may register online, or download the mail-in registration form here.


Stacey Swann HeadshotStacey Swann’s debut novel Olympus, Texas (Doubleday) was a Good Morning America Book Club selection, an Indie Next Pick, and was longlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Swann holds an M.F.A. from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in LitHub, Electric Literature, Texas Highways, Epoch, and other journals. She splits her time between Austin and Lampasas, Texas.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well to ensure we add you to the class roster as soon as possible.

Expecting to see the member price, but it’s not appearing?

Confirm you are logged into your account first and foremost. The member price will only appear when you are logged into your account and have an active membership on file. If you are having trouble accessing your account, please email member@writersleague.org and explain the situation.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.


Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email the WLT staff at wlt@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform an hour before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.


July 12, 2023
August 2, 2023
$269.00 – $389.00
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Online via Zoom