Advancing Your Nonfiction Manuscript: The Structural Report

w/ Kirsten Alexander

When preparing your manuscript for publication, the first step in the editing process is often receiving a ‘Structural Report’. In this intimate, exclusive course you will learn what a structural report demands, in real time via structural editing. You will strengthen your work-in-progress, while also learning about the ins and outs of editing and publication at the highest level.

Mondays 6.30pm – 8.30pm (AEDT), 20 November 2023 – 4 March 2024

$4800 / $4080 (alumni)

This is a past course.

When your book is accepted for publication, your publisher will send you a report – in the form of a set of notes – guiding you in a ‘Structural Edit’ of the manuscript. You will be asked to return to your manuscript and look at ‘big picture’ issues often relating to the logical organisation and sequencing of information, voice and tone, and clear use of language. This problem-solving process requires a high level of knowledge and skill in order to find the necessary solutions.

Many writers can be intimidated by zooming out this far—and just as many feel lost and bewildered in the process. This course is designed to teach you how to make the most of a set of ‘Structural Edit’ notes, while also allowing you to work on your manuscript in real time, based on a detailed manuscript report provided to you at the start of the course.

This course is designed for students who have at least the first 50,000 words of their manuscript finished. This is a highly practical, specialised program that will work best for students who are at an advanced stage in their writing process. Priority will be given to graduates of the Faber Writing Academy’s nonfiction courses.

You will submit 50,000 words to our Structural Editor, who will read your manuscript-in-progress and provide you with a detailed report. You will then meet as a part of a very small group—maximum four participants—where you will learn the best ways to approach a structural edit, before having a one-on-one problem solving session with our editor, after which you will continue to report in with the group.



Writers you'll be working with:

Kirsten Alexander

Kirsten Alexander is a writer, editor and copywriter. She lives in Melbourne with her two sons. Her editing and writing experience spans print, online and radio. She has worked in-house as an editor for companies including Text, D.W. Thorpe, Reed and Random House, and freelanced for others. She was in-house copywriter for Aesop for four…

Course outline

The program consists of two two-hour group sessions, three one-on-one consultations plus a detailed structural edit report.

Session 1: November 20: Group session. What is a Structural Edit? How to make the most of making feedback and suggested changes. Submit your 50,000 words to the Editor.

Monday January 15 2024: Receive your structural edit report and read through the report, taking notes and thinking about what has been delivered.

Session 2: Monday 22 January: One-on-one problem solving session with Editor to talk through your structural report – how best to start revising based on the feedback in the report.

Session 3: Monday 5 February: One-on-one about progress, what are the problem areas for focus (characters, plot, setting, chronology etc)?

Session 4: Monday 19 February: Final one-on-one progress check in.

Session 5: Monday 4 March: Group session. Where to from here? Getting materials ready to send to publishers.


Praise for this course

“Kirsten gave very clear, specific feedback in a positive manner which was very helpful. Even though there is plenty of work to do, I feel more confident that I can improve the aspects of my work that we discussed.”

“The quality of the feedback is much greater than from other feedback courses that I have participated in.”

“Thank you for providing a very positive and useful course!”


How to Apply

This is a past course.