Courses and Workshops

Book me for your writer’s group!

Interested in having me come out to your writer’s group or RWA chapter to present an all-day version of Before You Hit Send?
Email me for details at b4youhitsend AT gmail.com.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the all-day workshop:

All-Day Master Class: Before You Hit Send: A Hands-on Self-Editing Course

**Note, this class can be offered in a super-condensed 2 to 3-hour version

This is the condensed version of Angela’s 5-week online self-editing workshop. The workshop runs from approximately 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (times can be revised) with a very short morning and afternoon break, and a one-hour break for lunch. Topics cover everything from the basics of self-editing (punctuation, grammar, adverb/adjective use) to the more advanced topics of pacing, passive voice, overwriting and much, much more!

Learn to self-edit and polish your manuscript in this all-day workshop presented by Angela James, editor and strategist.

What you will learn:

Develop a checklist of techniques and processes for enhancing self-editing skills and polishing future manuscripts. Learn how to make the new knowledge a habit when writing future books. Learn the basics and the advanced techniques of:

  • Understanding that writing “rules” aren’t rules at all
  • Dialogue and dialogue tags
  • Whether all forms of “to be” are really evil (the answer is no)
  • What is overwriting? How can you avoid it?
  • Basic and advanced punctuation
  • Passive voice vs active voice
  • Point of view, voice and headhopping
  • Pacing, including tips and tricks for “fixing” problem areas
  • What we mean by show not tell. And how to do that!
  • Thinking practically about self-editing

This workshop offers attendees concrete tips for editing, new ways to think about their writing. Attendees will leave with actionable takeaways by the end of the day, tailored to their writing and editing style. 

"Before You Hit Send is an informative workshop designed to help authors edit their work. The workshop is not only useful to authors who are planning on submitting work to publishing houses, but also to self-published authors who just want to tap into some of the techniques used by professional editors to ensure that their work is ready for publication. […]the workshop is useful to writers of all genres and experience levels."

—Rafe Jadison, Author

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-02T12:46:36-05:00

—Rafe Jadison, Author

"Before You Hit Send is an informative workshop designed to help authors edit their work. The workshop is not only useful to authors who are planning on submitting work to publishing houses, but also to self-published authors who just want to tap into some of the techniques used by professional editors to ensure that their work is ready for publication. […]the workshop is useful to writers of all genres and experience levels."
"Before You Hit Send has benefits for writers at any point in their careers. Despite already having several contracts and years of publishing experience, I still found valuable takeaways in Angela’s energetic presentation. She can even teach an old English teacher new tricks."

—K.A. Mitchell, author of over 25 romances

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-02T12:40:00-05:00

—K.A. Mitchell, author of over 25 romances

"Before You Hit Send has benefits for writers at any point in their careers. Despite already having several contracts and years of publishing experience, I still found valuable takeaways in Angela’s energetic presentation. She can even teach an old English teacher new tricks."
"Before You Hit Send is like an exercise program for your manuscript. With carefully designed lessons and practical homework, this course had my work in the best possible shape before I sent it off to agents’ inboxes. I took it several years ago, and still use the information I learned to this day."


—Megan Erickson, USA Today Bestselling Author

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-02T12:36:30-05:00

—Megan Erickson, USA Today Bestselling Author

"Before You Hit Send is like an exercise program for your manuscript. With carefully designed lessons and practical homework, this course had my work in the best possible shape before I sent it off to agents’ inboxes. I took it several years ago, and still use the information I learned to this day."
"I took the BYHS workshop, and I loved it. Really useful tools to have in your self-editing and writing toolbox! I reference my notes all the time. Highly rec!"

~Mika Maylyn, author

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-11T13:50:37-05:00

~Mika Maylyn, author

"I took the BYHS workshop, and I loved it. Really useful tools to have in your self-editing and writing toolbox! I reference my notes all the time. Highly rec!"
"My writing life is divided into segments: #BeforeB4YouHitSend and #AfterB4YouHitSend. I’ve taken Angela James’ self-editing course twice and one of the greatest benefits was that it prepared me to interact more efficiently with the editor who now works with me on all my manuscripts. Before You Hit Send is an extraordinarily well-priced investment offering something that’s hard to put a price on: the expertise of a seasoned, professional editor on a daily basis for the duration of the course."

—Coralie Moss, Author

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-02T12:43:46-05:00

—Coralie Moss, Author

"My writing life is divided into segments: #BeforeB4YouHitSend and #AfterB4YouHitSend. I’ve taken Angela James’ self-editing course twice and one of the greatest benefits was that it prepared me to interact more efficiently with the editor who now works with me on all my manuscripts. Before You Hit Send is an extraordinarily well-priced investment offering something that’s hard to put a price on: the expertise of a seasoned, professional editor on a daily basis for the duration of the course."
"Thank you for making the focus broad enough to cover all fiction writing. I never felt 'this is the wrong class for me'."

—September 2016 attendee

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-02T12:38:51-05:00

—September 2016 attendee

"Thank you for making the focus broad enough to cover all fiction writing. I never felt 'this is the wrong class for me'."
"BYHS is the best writing craft course I’ve ever taken. Easy to follow, practical and entertaining, BYHS provides a strong self-editing foundation that will help your manuscript shine and take the sting out of subsequent rounds of revisions."


—Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey series

Praise for the Before You Hit Send Workshop by Angela James
2019-10-02T12:40:59-05:00

—Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey series

"BYHS is the best writing craft course I’ve ever taken. Easy to follow, practical and entertaining, BYHS provides a strong self-editing foundation that will help your manuscript shine and take the sting out of subsequent rounds of revisions."

I am also available to writer’s groups and RWA chapters to present the following workshops:

New workshop in development! Making a Publishing Pivot

(60 minutes, no PowerPoint needed)

Publishing changes fast and writers often find themselves asking “what’s next?”. Join Angela James for a one-hour conversation on what a pivot might look like, why you may want to consider a pivot, and how to develop a plan!

Your Copy Editor Is Not Your Proofreader: Understanding Editor Roles & How to Hire the Right One

(90 minutes, PowerPoint needed)

The editing process is one that can feel mysterious and complicated to those who don’t have a lot of experience with it (and even to those who do). In this workshop, Angela James will explain why your copy editor is not your proofreader and take you through the different stages of editing, the different types of editors, and why each can play an important role in the development of your book. In addition, she’ll give tips and tricks on finding the best editor, questions to ask before hiring your own, and some suggestions for what to expect when working with an editor, whether one you’ve hired or the one who acquired your book at a publisher.

Your Editor Isn’t (Shouldn’t Be) Your Enemy

(60 minutes, PowerPoint optional)

This workshop will delve into the editor/author relationship. What can/should an author expect from the editorial relationship? What should an editor expect from an author? What’s a good way to approach edits? How do you do you create a healthy editorial relationship? This workshop is developed after nearly 20 years of editorial experience working with authors both directly and indirectly, through the management of dozens of freelance editors and 2 imprints.

Learn to Be a Good Critique Partner

(60 minutes, PowerPoint optional)

This workshop is well-paired with the small group critiques. Learn what a good critique partner does (and doesn’t do), how you can be a good critique partner, where to look for a critique partner, and why not every critique partner is the right fit for you.

Small Group Critique Workshop

(3 hours, limited to a maximum of 8 participants per session. No PowerPoint needed. Attendees must submit a 2-3 paragraph story overview and three chapters of their WIP 1 month-2 weeks before the workshop, for both the group and Angela to review in advance.

This workshop is an opportunity for authors to solicit professional and peer feedback on their manuscript, in real time, in a helpful, constructive and kind environment. We’ll discuss overall story arcs, the all-important “hook,” pacing, characterization and tension (among many others). Attendees are given marked-up manuscript pages to take with them when they go.

Candid Cold Reads

(1-2 hours, 2 copies of manuscript pages needed, as well as a “reader” to read them)

Bring the first two pages of your manuscript, your nerves of steel and your sense of humor, then listen as Angela provides insight into live reviewing this mock “slush” pile. You’ll hear why agents and editors stop reading, what they’re looking for in a submission, and some of the common mistakes they see as they go through their slush pile. Come to listen or come to get critiqued, but join Angela to discuss and review the slush pile you provide.

Finding Your Way to the Pacing Sweet Spot

(90 minutes, PowerPoint needed)

Better understand what editors and agents mean when they reference a book’s pacing. Learn what to look for in your own manuscript when it comes to figuring out pacing, structure and how to make it all work together.

This workshop defines frequently used terms (starting with pacing), offers insight into what pacing should look like for an author’s unique book, and gives concrete, actionable takeaways and next steps for working on pacing.

Q&A

(30-60 minutes, no PowerPoint needed)

Give your attendees a chance to ask questions of a long-time industry professional. An informal Q&A about the industry, publishing, working with a publisher, working with an editor and whatever your attendees are interested in!

Building Your Brand

(90 minutes, PowerPoint needed, *note, this and the following workshop go together and work well as a set for 3 hours, but either can be done individually, though that’s not optimal)

How many times has someone told you to build your brand, but not told you what that means? You think it might mean something about a tagline, or your website header, but in reality, building your brand is an important, and sometimes complex, endeavor. One that can start right before you ever publish a book and continue throughout your career. In this workshop, learn what constitutes author brand, how it can support your career plan, why it’s important, how you can get one, and some things you should avoid.

Building Your Brand, Part II: Using Your Website to Support Your Brand

(90 minutes, PowerPoint needed)

As an author, you’re told you should have both a website and a brand. In this workshop, discuss how the two should work together, and how you can use your website to support your brand. Learn via actual visual examples things to avoid and things to consider when setting up and maintaining your website.

Have a topic you want an editor or publishing professional to speak to your group about? As an experienced speaker, Angela can develop a workshop at your request!