Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Micro and Macro: The Economics of Revision with author Julie Berry

Date(s) - 01/16/2021
9:00 am - 12:00 pm


No Categories

Webinar Workshop Intensive: Micro and Macro: The Economics of Revision

Only for authors of novels with a COMPLETED manuscript!

Date: 01/16/2021, Saturday

Time: 9:00 am- 12:00 pm CST

Did you finish your first draft, celebrate, then realize you now need to go back and revise? Has your manuscript been sitting in a drawer (a.k.a file on your computer) for months, years, decades? Have you returned to your manuscript multiple times only to get stuck and shove it back in the drawer?

If so, you are not alone! Julie Berry is an accomplished author with a flair for teaching revision. Devote three hours of your morning to diving back into that dusty first/second/third draft and make a new start!

Julie Berry is the author of the NYT Bestselling, Amelia Walden and Golden Kite winner, Lovely War, the 2017 Printz Honor novel, The Passion of Dolssa, as well as the Carnegie Medal and Edgard Award shortlisted novel, All the Truth That’s In Me. She’s also the author of acclaimed middle grade fiction including Wishes & Wellingtons, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, and The Emperor’s Ostrich. Her picture books include Long Ago, on a Silent Night; Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book; and Happy Right Now, with more to follow.


The KSMO SCBWI regional team asked Julie Berry to make this presentation after attending an intensive with her at the Marvelous Midwest Conference near Chicago in 2019. We were so impressed by what we learned that we wanted to learn more. We made a point of attending every session she presented at that conference because we found her sessions so valuable.



Julie Berry’s description of the workshop:

How do you transform a manuscript into a tightly constructed novel? Your book is for you to love, but for someone else to read. Your job is simple: make people want to read your book. This doesn’t mean pandering or selling out. Tell your story in the way you want to tell it, but make it readable.

To do this right, you must scrutinize your story through both a microscope and a telescope. You must recognize what’s working and what’s not. This is hard work, because objectivity is nearly impossible. But until we understand what’s wrong, we can’t fix it.

This three hour workshop will guide participants past subjectivity to see their manuscripts from macro and micro vantagepoints, and will present a detailed toolkit for finding what’s working and fixing what isn’t — cutting out redundancy, indulgence, fluff; eliminating any confusion; strengthening the prose and the arc; amplifying character, problem, desire, and place; and strategically wielding each story component – book, section, chapter, scene, paragraph, sentence, and line to – work for your story.

Participants are invited to submit the first page of their manuscript (no names please, by January 8, 2021), double-spaced. Julie will select excerpts from these pages in her presentation to use as illustrative examples, and will provide critiques of the chosen excerpts in the presentation, and teach critique principles that will help participants evaluate their own and others’ work more helpfully. (Don’t be scared. Nobody gets hurt.)


This workshop is designed for writers who have a completed novel manuscript, who are serious about revising, and committed to completing it. Most of this workshop is hands-on guided revision exercises aimed at one’s own printed manuscript. The writer should expect to make a meaningful dent in an entire novel. You MUST have a completed manuscript, or please don’t sign up. No refunds will be given and time won’t be devoted to questions regarding manuscripts that are not completed. Time is limited and only questions by writers with a completed manuscript will be answered so that valuable time isn’t taken away from those in the revision stage of a manuscript. So, if you don’t have a completed manuscript, don’t sign up! 

Participants MUST come with:

  1. Your full novel printed out, on paper, single-sided (nothing printed on the back), double-spaced, in 12 point type. NO EXCEPTIONS! We will be doing a bunch of physical, tactile, hands-on things with the manuscript that can’t be replicated onscreen. A major prong of Julie’s thesis is that you have to step away from looking at the book onscreen; you must look at it in a different way in order to see what you haven’t seen before. Working on paper is transformative.
  2. A box of paperclips
  3. A pad of post-it notes
  4. Colored highlighters
  5. Pens or pencils.

These tools are essential!

This webinar will be recorded, but you MUST register BEFORE the webinar to view the recording. Registered attendees will be able to view the recording for 30 days following the webinar date.

The webinar costs $50 for SCBWI, $75 for non-members. SCBWI members, login to get the discounted price. If you aren’t a member, click here for more information on the many benefits of being part of our community.

You will receive an email with instructions for accessing the webinar a few days before the live event. You may want to download the free Zoom application in advance and familiarize yourself with the platform. If you have any questions about this webinar or registration, please contact Michele Helsel at