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Revision Strategies for Novels and Memoirs

  • The Wallace House 756 16th Street Des Moines, IA, 50314 United States (map)

When: Friday, November 10th, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Saturday, November 11th, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Sunday, November 12th, 9:30am-3:30pm (Lunch break at noon)

Where: The Wallace House, 756 16th St, Des Moines, IA 50314

Cost: $265 ( $235 early bird pricing through September 1st)


You’ve written the first draft of a novel or memoir and you’re ready to start shaping and polishing it through the revision and editing processes. Through discussion, examples, and writing exercises, we’ll focus on revision versus editing, revision stages, and techniques to revise plot and structure, scene, characterization/narrative voice, setting, opening chapters, opening lines, and titles. 

This workshop is designed for writers at any skill level. While a working first draft is a plus for this workshop, it’s not a requirement and the workshop will be beneficial whatever stage your project is in. All genres are welcome. 


Kali VanBaale is the author of the novels The Good Divide and The Space Between. She is the recipient of an Eric Hoffer Book Award, an American Book Award, an Independent Publisher’s silver medal for fiction, and a State of Iowa major artist grant. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Numéro Cinq, Nowhere Magazine, the Milo Review, Northwind Literary, Poets & Writers, The Writer, and several anthologies. Kali holds an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a faculty member of the Lindenwood University MFA Creative Writing Program. She lives outside Des Moines with her family. 


“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” —Michelangelo 

I love this quote. I live by this quote. I love it so much, in fact, that I painted it on the wall above my desk where I can see it at all times while I’m writing. It resonates so deeply with me because it speaks to one word: vision. 

Vision is why we start any artistic project or pursuit. We saw something that did not yet exist and felt compelled to create it. And therein lies the core of how I teach: our initial vision serves as our guiding light through the messy and sometimes murky creative process, and no matter how many drafts or versions our stories may take before we finally set our angel free, we keep on carving with the faith of what we saw in the marble to begin with.


Everyone has a story to tell. If you are financially unable to attend this workshop, scholarships are available through our generous partners and donors. Apply here. 


Helping another person attend a workshop is helping them achieve their dreams. Thank you for making our world a better place.


Earlier Event: November 8
The Power of Wonder
Later Event: November 15
The Power of Reframing