An online course to develop your fiction structural editing skills

Next course: Friday 6 April to Friday 1 June 2018  

Would you like to move into editing fiction?

In this eight-week online course, experienced editor Nicola O’Shea will guide you through the fiction structural editing process, working on a real manuscript. Enjoy the convenience of learning in your own home, and work within a small group of fellow editors.

Starting with how to approach your first read, the course covers topics such as narrative voice and point of view, character arcs, plot and story structure. You will be able to discuss the manuscript at any time with your fellow editors in a group forum, take part in a weekly group discussion with Nicola, and write your own structural report on the manuscript.

What you will gain from this course:
*  Practical experience of structural editing through reading and analysing a real manuscript.

*   The opportunity to write a structural report on the manuscript, and get feedback from Nicola on your report’s content, structure and tone.
*   Access to five weekly presentations and notes.
*   Participation in five group calls with Nicola to discuss the weekly topics in relation to the manuscript (calls to take place Thursdays from 12-1 pm AEST/AEDT).
*   Participation any time in discussions with your fellow editors about the manuscript and the weekly topics using a private online forum.
*   One-hour individual phone or online meeting with Nicola to discuss your approach to your structural report, or other matters related to fiction editing.

This course is suitable for:
*   Freelance or in-house editors who already have some experience of structural editing and would like to expand their skills to work on fiction.

Length of course:
*   Eight weeks in total: Friday 6 April to Friday 1 June 2018.

*   Five weeks of notes and discussions.
*   Includes reading time at start; and an extra week at end to write structural report.

Cost: $495 (AUD)

Limited places (by application)

“Nicola’s course was brilliant and I learnt so much. The course taught me how to help an author create a solid structure in their manuscript, to look at the finer details of why the manuscript is not working and offer advice on what to improve. It also taught me to offer advice in a kind and sensitive manner; to remember that if an author can write a book, that in itself is a monumental achievement and deserves immediate respect. This course was the best and best-value short course I have ever done, and I recommend it to any editor who wishes to improve their structural editing skills. Thanks Nicola for some great PD.” – Louise Zedda-Sampson, Novel Solutions

“I found Nicola’s course invaluable; it gave me great insights into the structural editing of fiction. As a nonfiction editor, I learnt so much that I will apply to my work and as I explore the world of creative nonfiction.” ‒ Desolie Page, Perfect Pages

For a course outline and/or application form, please contact nicola[at]

Or sign up to my mailing list for advance notice of when the course will run again

Nicola O’Shea is an Australian editor with more than 20 years of book publishing experience. She began her career in legal and educational publishing, then worked in-house at HarperCollins Publishers for six years on both fiction and non-fiction titles. Since 2004 she has freelanced for a range of publishers, including HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, Hachette, Random House, Fremantle Press and Momentum. She also works directly with authors to help them prepare their manuscripts for submission to agents or publishers, or to self-publish. She taught editing at University of Technology Sydney from 2005‒2013, and at Sydney University from 2008‒2011; and has delivered multiple editing workshops for Editors NSW and the Australian Publishers’ Association.