Make the Red Pen Your Best Friend: How to Edit Your Short Story | 4-week Writing Seminar

Denise Leora Madre Saturdays, Sept. 23-Oct. 14
10am-12pm ET
7am-9am PT
9am-11am CT
4 class sessions

By signing up for a class, you agree to our refund policy and code of conduct here.

For most writers, the editing process is something between a mystery and a frustrating obligation. We spend so much time and energy crafting stories that we hardly have the bandwidth to don our editing caps, grab our red pens, and tear our precious work to shreds.

Thankfully proper editing doesn’t—and shouldn’t—involve that kind of savagery. In fact, editing can be a writer’s strongest ally. Dare we say, their best friend.

Make the Red Pen Your Best Friend: How Edit Your Short Story will demystify the four stages of editing—developmental, line, and copy editing and proofreading—in a simple, immediately useful way. You'll learn how to approach your writing with an editor’s eye and use that neutral perspective as an asset.

By the end of this four-week course, you will not only feel empowered to edit your drafts with confidence, but you will also emerge as a better writer.

This course is suitable for short story writers of all experience levels. So bring a story to work on, and we’ll see you there!

All class meetings will be held via Zoom. The link to join your Zoom classroom will be provided on the morning of your class. Please check spam folders if you do not receive an email confirmation upon registration. For more information on how to download or use Zoom, please click here.

 Meet Your Instructor:
Denise Leora Madre

Denise Leora Madre is a writer, editor, and bibliophile, a trifecta at least partly responsible for her English degree. A freelance editor with more than a decade of experience, she is passionate about helping writers unleash the best versions of their stories, and her editing business, Prose without Thorns, helps her do just that. She self-published a well-reviewed novel entitled Another 4.0, a coming-of-age story set at THE Howard University. Her essays are included in the anthologies The Motherhood Diaries 2: Humorous and Heartwarming Musings on Motherhood by National Bestselling Author Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Color Him Father: Stories of Love and Rediscovery of Black Men. Ella D. Curry also included one of her short essays in #TheMotivatorsSeries on her website, The Morning Tea. When she isn’t bemoaning apostrophe abuse or fighting a chocolate addiction, Denise can be found editing one of several works in progress and reading The Chicago Manual of Style for fun. (Don’t judge her.)

Course Takeaways

  • An understanding of the four stages of editing
  • An understanding of why each stage is important and distinct
  • How to evaluate your work with informed neutrality
  • How editing improves your writing ability

Course Expectations

  • Participants are required to bring a prewritten story to work on during and outside of each session
  • Participants are expected to share their weekly editing progress
  • Participants are expected to respect the sanctity of each class and treat everyone’s work as confidential
  • Participants are encouraged to support and learn from each other
  • Red pens are optional

Course Skeleton

  • Week One: Foundations and an intro to developmental editing
  • Week Two: A deeper look at developmental editing
  • Week Three: Line editing—a matter of style
  • Week Four: The importance of copy editing and proofreading


We offer full refunds for cancellation with written notice up until 7 days before your class start date. From 6 days to more than 24 hours before class begins, we offer a 25% refund. If you drop a class less than 24 hours before the class begins or after it has started, you are ineligible for a refund.