Revise Your Novel in 30 Days


You've finished a draft—congratulations! what?

Should you have someone read it before you revise?

Or perhaps you've shared it with people, and their feedback has confused or discouraged you. 

Do you need to pay someone to edit your manuscript...and who?

How can you make sure that you're making your manuscript better, not worse?

If you're facing any of these questions, hi! Read on...


Gain... approach to revision that prioritizes the "big" stuff first, ensuring that you don't waste valuable time tweaking what you then discard.

...a process that honors your vision without getting mired in others' feedback.

...a user-friendly, templatized process that enables you to visualize exactly how and where you need to revise.

Hi, I'm Mary Adkins, author of When You Read This and Privilege

It took me six years to write my first novel and two to write my second—the difference is that when it came to the first one, I didn't know how to revise.

I paid people a lot of money only to disregard 90% of their feedback because it didn’t suit my vision. I confused “revising” and “editing,” investing hours and hours in tweaking my manuscript at the sentence level only to discard the edited material once I turned to structural revision (which should have come first). I was sending my book out to agents and receiving rejections, so I assumed I needed to overhaul the manuscript; I would buy a book on writing and revise my book according to its advice—only to submit the new draft to my writing group and hear a universal, “We liked it better before…” I rewrote the book based on what one person (an agent who rejected me) said. (Don't do this!)

How did I get better at revising?  

By learning from my mistakes and gleaning from the courses I took and books I read what worked for me. This course is a distillation of my favorite revision tools—you’ll learn exactly what I do in revision and why I now look forward to revision.  

Revising doesn’t have to be stressful or even entirely analytical. It can be fun, and at times as creative and thrilling as writing.  

My goal with this course is two-fold: to save you time and a headache, and to help you revise well—in other words, to revise in a way that improves your work the most in the least amount of time.

Finish your draft and send it out—with my guidance for a full year.

novel writing course

** Next Session begins Feb. 10, 2020 **

Get your manuscript ready to send out.

$597 $497 for this session only

Over 4 weeks, you will get: 

  •  Five modules of video and supporting text materials on how to revise most effectively
  •  Support of your course community through a regular forum facilitated by me
  •  Weekly live office hours (“Happy Hour”) with me for questions and troubleshooting 
  •  Weekly feedback from me on your course assignments to ensure you’re on track to complete a revision you’re happy with
  •  A 90-minute live workshop in which we will make your submission plan and draft your query letter

+ + PLUS + +

  •  Lifetime access to written course materials and one-year access to video materials 
  •  Ongoing access to me for novel- and submission-related questions 
  •  Forever membership in a private online community of fellow novelists  

"All other classes have left me stumped. This is the one time everything made sense." -Ann, former student

You will end the course with:

  •  A revised draft of your manuscript ready to send out to agents (or, if you’re not done, a clear map to complete your revision)
  •  A specific, actionable plan for submitting to agents, including precisely whom you will submit to, what you will send, and a query letter we’ve worked up together 
  •  A system for revision of future projects that is clear, replicable, and adaptable across genres 
  •  An understanding of how to submit to agents going forward, and how to track submissions  

"I've talked about writing a book for years, and I was never brave enough to try it . . . until now. Even as I enrolled in the first class, I assumed that I would not actually be writing a novel. Surprise! From the first lesson, I felt liberated from my fear and inspired to give it a try. I wrote 15,000 words during the first session, and I'm still going." -Claire, former student

Let's get specific. 

MODULE 1 | The Future Book Review & Gut Read

You will...

  • Solidify your aims for your novel prior to reading your draft by writing what I call the Future Book Review—an exercise in summarizing what you hope is on the page 
  • Read (and if you handwrote, transcribe) your manuscript in what I call the Gut Read
  • Track real-time emotional reactions for vital use later using a simple notation system (and understand the importance of doing this)
  • Learn how to effectively and safely use "beta readers" by choosing them carefully and giving them clear instructions for feedback that will fit neatly into your revision plan

MODULE 2 | The Book Review Take Two & Reverse Outline

You will...

  • Revisit the Future Book Review from Module 1 and create a companion "what's actually here" Review
  • Reassess thematic goals and means in light of the Gut Read
  • Learn how to integrate feedback from others into your revision process
  • Create what I call the Reverse Outline, a map of what is on the page of your first draft

MODULE 3 | The Revision Rubric & Revising "Big"

You will...

  • Use the Reverse Outline, feedback, and Book Reviews to create a Revision Rubric 
  • Understand the difference between editing and revising, and the importance of moving from "big" to "small"
  • Begin revising using the Revision Rubric

MODULE 4 | Revising from Big to Small

You will...

  • Move deeper into your revision, filling gaps, culling, and making changes on a structural level 
  • Focus on implementing strong narrative devices into your novel's structure, particularly at the ends of chapters and sections
  • Learn tools for editing on the levels of the paragraph and sentence for when you are ready 


LIVE WORKSHOP | Getting an agent

  • Meet online with Mary for a guided 90-minute hands-on workshop
  • In real time, research agents, create a short list, compose a query letter, and create a plan for submission
  • Leave the workshop armed with a concrete plan including names to whom you will submit first and a polished query letter



Hear from some folks I've worked with...

the family gene

I have never written more or better than when I was working on my writing with Mary. 

— Joselin Linder, author of The Family Gene

all city

I cannot recommend her enough as a creative writing instructor. 

— Alex Difrancesco, author of All City and Psychopomps

And here's what they're saying about my writing...

when you read this, novel, mary adkins

"Tart, sweet, poignant, and rich with humor; completely irresistible.” Library Journal (starred review)  

"I mean like, crazy funny. The offbeat story about love, family and mortality really sticks with you. The ideal summer read." — A Cup of Jo  

I loved every word. — Meg Cabot  

"When You Read This feels miraculous and leaves a lasting impression long after its final moment.” — Val Emmich, author of The Reminders and Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel  

* Indie Next Pick *

* Parade Top Book of February 2019 *

 * Real Simple Best Book of 2019 (So Far) *

 * Thrillist Best Book of 2019 *

Guess what? You have nothing to lose...

** The Course Guarantee **

If you don't feel you've become equipped with the tools to successfully revise your novel by the end of the course, you are welcome to join the next cohort of students for free. Plus, you and I will meet for a one-on-one coaching session to troubleshoot your concerns.

Ready? Let's do this!

I'm ready to write revise.

Pre-enroll for session beginning Feb. 10, 2020

Payment Options

Revise Your Novel in 30 Days: $497

Optional payment plans: Two payments of $297 or four payments of $148

Includes all of the modules, resources, and materials described above. 

Get started now

(Or just want to know when the doors open? Sign up to be notified here.)

Frequently Asked Questions 

How does this work?

Once you purchase the course, you will receive an email with log-in instructions. As soon as the course begins on February 10th, you will have access to the first week's course materials. You'll also receive, via email, details about the live workshops and instructions on attending them.

Do I need an Internet connection?

Yes, you will need an Internet connection to watch the videos.

What if I don't finish revising my novel in four weeks?

No worries! You will continue to have access to the video content for a full year, and all of the content that is not video-based you can download for lifetime access. 

Can I take the course if I'm writing a memoir/nonfiction?

This course can absolutely work for nonfiction.

Can I watch the videos on my phone?

You sure can!

Do you offer refunds? 

Sure! You may request a refund within 7 days after the course opens on 2/10/20—just shoot us a quick email. After 7 days we don't offer refunds, but you are still entitled to the Course Guarantee. 

Copyright 2019 Mary Adkins