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$300.00 USD

Overview: Driftwood Press is excited to announce open calls for our Editors & Writers Seminar, the second in a series of online classes that we will be offering! This five-week seminar will be most useful to three types of writers: (1) writers who are submitting to magazines and want  tips and tricks to fight through the slush pile to round two; (2) writers who want to be editors of short fiction or run a literary magazine; (3) writers who want to become better editors of their own and others’ work.

Each week, students will receive a video lesson from the course instructor (Driftwood Press’ Managing Fiction Editor James McNulty), one writing or revision assignment, a reading assignment, and detailed feedback on their previous writing assignment. In addition, students will also have access to a class-only Facebook group where work can be shared and where course materials will be available to class members. Those who take the class will also receive a copy of the brilliant craft essay collection On Writing Fiction (David Jauss), shipped directly to them near the beginning of the course. 


Application: Driftwood Press will choose up to twenty students for this inaugural seminar on a first come, first served basis. To apply, please provide the following:

  • Statement of Interest: A 200-word statement of interest detailing how this online course would benefit you or why you are interested.
  • Brief Biography: A short, 100-word biographical statement outlining any work history, editorial experience, publications, or upcoming projects you are involved in. 


Cost: Cost for the entire five-week course is $300.00 USD. The course-cost includes:

  • Five video lectures available exclusively to students.
  • Five assignments, two of which will be revision assignments.
  • Detailed instructor feedback on >500 words of prose assignments each week for all five weeks.
  • Digital reading assignments & access to a Facebook group where students can discuss and share work.
  • A copy of On Writing Fiction by renowned craft writer David Jauss delivered directly to you near the beginning of the course.


Lectures: The lecture topics are as follows:

(1) Common Missteps: Here, we’ll be looking through a hodgepodge of different mistakes that flag submitters as amateurish. This first lecture will be a head-spinning crash course on the most frequently botched craft issues at play in submissions. We’ll cover everything from the four modes of fiction (description, action, dialogue, and interiority) to stories that lack specificity to repetitive sentence structures.

(2) On Beginnings: Next up, we’ll work through roughly a dozen opening paragraphs and pages, looking for why an unforgiving editor could kick a story from consideration early on. We’ll also talk through some submissions that caught our eye on the first page and what made those stories stand out.

(3) From the Editor: An exploration of what it looks like on the editor’s side. This includes an explanation of how Driftwood is run as well as a walkthrough of the submissions manager from the editor’s perspective. We’ll talk about what exactly it takes for a submission to be rejected or accepted, and we’ll cap the lecture with a brief discussion of the financials of a literary magazine.

(4) Editorial Philosophies: What are the philosophies of an editor? Here’s a quick rundown on our philosophical editorial policies at Driftwood, including a talk on prescriptivism/descriptivism, the four types of drafts, mandatory changes, overstepping, and other related topics that will be useful to writers, too. We’ll wrap up the lecture by showing—in detail—a writer’s path to acceptance with us.

(5) Personalized Lecture: Based on questions and counterpoints brought to my attention by the class, this short lecture will be a hodgepodge of miscellaneous but relevant mini-lectures and questions answered.


Timeline: The class timeline is as follows:

  • March 1st – April 30th: Submissions open for application; first come, first served. Payment due upon application.
  • June 1st: Start of Editors & Writers Seminar! 
  • July 3rd: Final day of online course. 


About the Instructor: James McNulty holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He’s been the Managing Fiction Editor of Driftwood Press for nearly a decade.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.