I’m Rachel Thompson, founder of Lit Mag Love, a literary magazine editor, and a published author, and host of the Lit Mag Love Podcast, where I have interviewed numerous editors about submissions to their journals. I help writers make their most luminous words shine with courses on revision, getting published, and promotion for writers.
Before Kate took Revision Love, she says she felt very alone in her writing process.
“I moved to Toronto two years ago, but I still feel like I’m struggling to find my people. Finding a network of writers to help me with my revision process has probably been the hardest thing for me, because I have social anxiety.”
A lot of Kate’s concerns about her writing came from self doubt.
“There’s always the feeling with revision that I’m just kinda moving things around and changing things, but I don’t know if I’m actually making it any better or just making it different, or maybe making it worse!”
She wondered, “Am I just being a perfectionist, or am I just changing things recklessly and not making anything better?”
She said that being completely isolated in her revision made that feeling worse, because she didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of. She was reading books and blog posts about revision, and how to make a story better, but she said it was so much nicer in the course when she had other people to talk to and say “here’s what I’m actually going through and how can I fix this one issue that’s actually in my story, and not just advice for a generic story.”
Before signing up for Revision Love, Kate was nervous about it.
“But then, getting into the course I found that everybody was supportive. I wasn’t the little baby bird writer where everybody else was better than me and wouldn’t listen to the work that I was writing. That aspect of the community made me feel validated and that the work I am doing is valuable. I can hold onto that when I’m working by myself and know that there are other people struggling through the same kinds of revision issues that I’m having.”
Now she says, “I feel more confident because I feel like I have tools that can help me if I’m getting stuck on my writing.”
After completing the course, Kate finished the first draft of her novel (325 pages!), revised a second draft, joined a writers' group dedicated to her genre, and submitted segments of the novel for publication in lit mags (18 times!). She placed as runner up in The Puritan's contest and is currently on the shortlist for the Cambridge Short Story Prize for the piece she worked on during the course.
“Having a step-by-step plan for revision helps me overcome that gut-sinking feeling of oh gosh, now I have to revise this thing. Having this toolkit makes revision a less daunting process, which means I'm more eager to sit down and do it, and less likely to allow fear and discouragement to keep me away from my desk.”
“I feel very good about the future of my writing and a lot of that came from the course—helping me feel prepared and ready and like I’m actually a real writer.” (Kate even made business cards to hand out at writing events to connect with other writers!)
"This revision course was a great help to me. I was able to put on my revision hat on as I worked through a piece that I'm surprised and delighted to say won first place in the Prairie Fire CNF contest."
"Through Rachel's course I met a critique partner with whom I still correspond and the poem I wrote during the program was published in a literary magazine. I also published two short stories after that so my writing really improved after taking this course."
“I feel more prepared to take my stories apart and put them back together. Before taking this course, I worried that too drastic a change would make it fall apart”
"I recently found out that one of the stories I had worked on in the course has been published!"
“During the course, I was able to polish and organize a chapbook manuscript to the point where I could enter it in contests—and it was just shortlisted for Quattro’s Best New Canadian Poets contest!”
“The fact that Rachel is an editor as well as writer, felt like she was qualified from a unique and valuable perspective. The revision techniques I learned in the course has helped me challenge myself more, and I’m more confident as I write my stories.”
Lessons & Assignments
Created by & © Rachel Thompson, 2018