How Are Your Editing Chops?

It’s a really busy time for us at The Writers’ Block. We’re shuffling things around, trying different formats, experimenting with innovative strategies all gearing up for the launch of Steemhouse Publishing. That’s still a few months away, so in the meanwhile we’re working on the development of our new front-end site and training a whole new crew of editors to take part in the project.

This gives us an excellent opportunity to introduce a new workshop we’ve talked about for months. We’ve encountered many writers who would love to get involved with peer review and editing but lack the confidence to evaluate the work of others. It can certainly be daunting. Editing assumes a degree of mastery with language that doesn’t come automatically with the ability to write. There’s definitely a methodology behind it. Professional-level editing isn’t simply about grammar or even opinion. It’s about an eye for what is readable and catchy, what will appeal to the intended audience. It requires a certain level of talent, and talent isn’t something that can be taught. However, skills certainly are. Enhancing talent with skill is something we hope to do in this workshop, and we’re ready to get started!

These workshops will be held live, via voice chat in Discord at the Writers’ Block. Each participant must have basic grammar and spelling proficiency and must be fluent in both spoken and written English. We simply don’t have the resources for remedial instruction at this time, although we’d like to offer that in the future. Our focus will be fiction, and while we don’t consider this an advanced course in editing, our starting point will be well past basic sentence construction and organization of ideas.

In addition to red-ink training, we also have a beta-reading workshop in which we review larger bodies of work (like novels) for developmental and content issues. We’re just starting a new manuscript this week, so there’s time to catch up if you want to participate. It’s a police procedural, so if you’re into that kind of story, here’s one you can influence before its publication.

We should also mention that for the time being, there are no public editing queues. Established members still have access to a peer review system through our network within the Block, but overall, there’s a great need for mastery of mechanics and study of the craft itself and we feel we need to focus on that. Therefore, we’re constructing a system of workshops, some live in real time and some with regular prompts, where we can direct those coming to the Block to learn and improve.

Our new front-end site will have a queue system that will function in very similar ways to the old queue system, but will be accessible only to members who’ve shown proficiency in the workshops. This exclusivity will drastically reduce the volume of submissions to the queue and possibly to our membership roster, but the driving force behind the change is production of professional-quality content for the blockchain and for integration into mainstream publishing. We will still have active chat channels, however, where people can hang out and talk shop or shoot the breeze with other writer-types. Even non-writers can feel at home in our community. Participation in the workshops is not necessary to join.

Find us on Discord by clicking on the animated TWB logo below. Tell the hosts who greet you in Welcome Center that you saw this post and want to be part of our TWB future!

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