Nonfiction Revision Intensive with Signe Hammer

website_MasterClass_SigneHammerFALLintensiveWhen: TBA
Location: The Writers Room, 740 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10003
Closest Subways: 6 to Astor or N/R to 8th Street/NYU

You have a nonfiction first draft; what do you do next? You revise. How do you do that? First, you edit yourself. It’s the writer’s job to fix any of the many moving parts of a piece that don’t work.

Revising is at the heart of writing. Self-editing is a skill that requires the writer to turn into a reader with an objective eye: Is the premise irresistible? Is it as sharp and clear as it can be? Does this opening grab me? Is the writing clear and direct?

This course will give you the tools you need to turn your rough draft into a finished piece. Writers come to the workshop with a partial or complete rough draft of an essay, travel piece, article, section of a memoir or other narrative nonfiction.

They should be prepared to work cooperatively and supportively with each other to analyze what works and what doesn’t, and to figure out how to fix what doesn’t.

In weekly sessions, we’ll critique and help edit and revise each others’ work, starting with the premise and the opening, and working through point of view and voice, organization and narrative arc.

Participants will revise their work throughout the workshop, aiming for a finished piece. This course will cover:

  • Nailing an irresistible premise and opening
  • Developing a compelling narrative voice
  • Outlining and reorganizing for the most powerful piece.
  • Tools for self-editing
  • Detailed written feedback from the instructor

It will also address such questions as:

  • Does the piece follow through on what the opening promises?
  • Does it tell me what I need to know, or does it tell me too much, or not enough?

At the end of this course participants will have a fully revised piece.   Buy Now Button

Signe Hammer is the critical ear. She has the taste and the passion needed to bring out the best in her students. ~Donna Brodie Executive Director, The Writers Room


Signe Hammer’s class was inspirational. Her straightforward manner helped me understand things I had failed to pick up from other teachers. She edited my work with a trained eye and suggested changes that were always clear and concise and never detoured from my own voice. I had such a wonderful experience that I signed up for a second class. ~Kris Rudolph Cookbook Author, Writer, Chef, Cooking Teacher, Culinary Tour Leader


When I was merely dreaming of a journalism career, I took a magazine-writing class with Signe that changed everything. Part of what I learned was skills — conceiving stories, reporting, and writing them. But mostly what I learned was, it’s possible. Signe launched me into a 27-year freelance career that took me to the staff of the New Yorker and produced four nonfiction books. I owe her a lot. ~Dan Baum Author, Freelance Writer, former New Yorker Staff Writer


Signe Hammer’s memoir workshop is great, very helpful and stimulating. She has gotten me and others unstuck and back writing. I highly recommend theworkshop. ~Helen Banta, PhD Psychoanalyst, Palm Beach County, Florida and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


I loved the writing course with Signe – she’s intelligent and calm and insightful. The classes were peppered with interesting tips and anecdotes. Really enjoyable and highly recommended. ~Caz Stuart Documentary Film Producer/Director

 Signe HammerInstructor: Signe Hammer has been an editor at both a major book publisher, Harper & Row, and a national magazine, the Hearst publication Science Digest. She taught writing to adults for 12 years as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Creative Writing at New York University, where she received an Award for Teaching Excellence, and as a Lecturer in the Science and Environmental Reporting Program, NYU Graduate School of Journalism.

She currently teaches winter writing workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Her memoir, By Her Own Hand: Memoirs of a Suicide’s Daughter, was described as “fascinating and disturbing,” with “an ironic distance worthy of Jane Austen,” in the New York Times Book Review, which named it a Notable Book. Hammer is also the author of Daughters and Mothers: Mothers and Daughters, an Alternate Selection of both the Literary Guild and the Book-of-the-Month Club and a best-seller and feminist classic in Germany; and Passionate Attachments: Fathers and Daughters in America Today. She is the editor of Women: Body and Culture: Essays on the Sexuality of Women in a Changing Society. Her short stories have appeared in Playgirl and the anthologies Pleasures: Women Write Erotica and Erotic Interludes: Tales Told by Women. Her articles have appeared in Travel/Holiday, Harper’s Bazaar, McCall’s, Parade Science Digest, Health, Mademoiselle, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Working Woman, Ms., The San Francisco Examiner and The Village Voice. Her poems have been published in Fiction, New England Review, and On Barcelona. She has received fellowships to The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Blue Mountain Center. She is a long-time member of The Writers Room. She has read her work at Nuyorican Poets Café, The Knitting Factory, Dixon Place, Cornelia St. Café, WOW Cafe, The Writers Room, NYU Programs in Creative Writing; Women’s Ink; Women’s Salon, St. Adrian’s and Dr. Generosity’s. As a dance-theater performer, she was a founding member of Meredith Monk/The House.

Dates & Time: 4 Tuesdays, September 9th, 2014 through September 30th, 2014, 6-8:30pm
Cost: Early Bird Special: $400 until September 1st; $450 after September 1st
Location: A spacious air-conditioned class/conference room in The Writers Room, the nation’s oldest and largest urban writers’ colony, in the heart of the Village at 740 Broadway, 12th Floor, off Astor Place
Closest Subways: 6 to Astor or N/R to 8th Street/NYU


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