Shape, Grow, and Improve Your Manuscript

with Jamie Figueroa

Course Description

Each writing project demands many things from us. At the heart, the greatest of these demands is commitment. After all, it is a relationship and relationships (good ones anyway) take attention, presence, patience, perseverance, and our consistent commitment.

How does this translate to your pages? In this month-long online workshop, we explore the stages of manuscript building, shaping, and improving what we think we have and what we know we have — all of the strengths and weaknesses that exist on the page and what to do about it. Because we can only see and engage so much at a time, we need clear direction, exercises, checklists, specific feedback, and action plans that support us every step of the way.

The creative process is a deep, often indescribable dance with the unseen, and yet, a manuscript that is ready to share with others is much less mysterious and feral. We honor both in this four-part workshop and you leave feeling closer to that beloved draft that has been lingering just out of your reach.

Come with the draft you have, recently read so that it’s fresh in your mind, as we look at it globally during our first session. This is when we take inventory of the structure and large overarching movements, chapters and characters, places, scenes, and general conflicts. From here, during each session we close in on our focus as we track how well we’re executing our story and the craft of fiction in our pages. We end with our last session hyper-focused, practicing how to interrogate each sentence and each word. You leave this workshop not only with a stronger manuscript but with the much-needed tools that you will continue to utilize draft after draft.

Additional Information


This workshop is for those who have a manuscript started and are looking for guidance on the next steps.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

Writers Lab
© Zoe Zimmerman
Jamie Figueroa

Jamie Figueroa is Boricua (Afro-Taíno) by way of Ohio and long-time resident of northern New Mexico. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, American Short Fiction, Agni, and Emergence Magazine among other journals. Jamie received her MFA in Creative Writing from The Institute of American Indian Arts where she is now an assistant professor. Recipient of the Truman Capote award, and the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts award, she was also chosen as a Bread Loaf, Rona Jaffe Scholar, and is a VONA alum. Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer (Catapult) is her debut novel.

Instagram: @jamiemfigueroa

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