Find Seven Drafts here:
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by Allison K Williams

Seven Drafts

Self-edit like a pro from blank page to book.

"One of the most gifted writing teachers I know…delivering the honest truth you need, in a way that makes you enthusiastic to keep on going, even when the work gets very hard."

 - Jane Friedman, publishing expert
"…here to elevate our grammar, style, and storytelling with precision and joy."  - Diane Zinna, author of The All-Night Sun

By the numbers









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By: Allison K Williams

Seven Drafts

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Seven Drafts

Finish Your Book

H ow many drafts does your novel or memoir really need?
What common mistakes do literary agents hate to see?
Why should your book start with SUCK?

This frank, funny guide encourages writers to tackle writing and revisions with a sense of humor and everybody’s favorite Unkind Editor on your side. From big-picture to line editing, finding the mystery in your memoir or placing an em dash, learn how to write—and finish!—your submission-ready manuscript in Seven Drafts.

Adventures in writing

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Seven Drafts

What's Inside

Chapter 1
The Vomit Draft

Getting what’s in your head on the page — without getting stuck.

Chapter 2
The Story Draft

Plot, Story, and Structure: making a complete, satisfying story.

Chapter 3
the Character Draft

Creating fully realized people your readers will care about.

Chapter 4
The Technical Draft

Cleaning your prose at the sentence and paragraph level, and making words work for you.

Chapter 5
The Personal Copyedit

Quick tips and easy tricks to polish your manuscript before sharing for feedback.

Chapter 6
The Friend Read

How to get great feedback from non-professionals and use critique to fuel and improve your work.

Chapter 7
The Editor Read

Getting professional-level feedback on your manuscript — even if you’re broke.

Chapter 8

Navigating your book to the shelf through querying, agenting and publication.

Chapter 9
The Writing Life

Owning your newfound skills and defining your writing process; being an author in the world.

Allison K Williams @Emirates Litfest 2020.

Get to know the author! At the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Allison speaks about Seven Drafts, and gives her three biggest insights for aspiring writers headed for publication.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Will This Book Get Me Published?

Yes! No! Maybe! No-one can promise publication, no matter how good your manuscript is. Fortunately, no-one can say you won’t get published, either. Following the Seven Drafts will help you develop your writing process and skills and create the best book you can.

Where is allison teaching or speaking?

Live and virtual conferences, webinars and events are always listed here. You’ll also find casual Zoom cowriting times, and can sign up for The Writers Bridge platform chat.

Allison also delivers keynotes and workshops through other organizations. You can request her speaker information through the contact form.

Can she talk to my writing group or book club?

Allison loves meeting writing groups and book clubs both live and virtually when her schedule allows. Please get in touch via the contact form, including how often your club or group meets and how many people participate.

How Can I Work With Allison Directly?

Allison books six months in advance for full-manuscript editing. She offers ongoing author coaching, short editorial feedback, and consultations, which can be booked at this link. Allison also offers virtual and travel writing retreats and intensives. Learn more about Rebirth Your Book events.

How Can I Support This Book?

Thank you for asking! Authors depend on pre-orders, recommendations and reviews. Please tell your writer friends about Seven Drafts; pre-order at your local independent bookstore or online behemoth; and write your honest review on Goodreads, Amazon, and/or your blog or social media (tag me @guerillamemoir).

Hey, I Saw a Typo!

Good catch! If you spot a new typo and write a review (of the book, not the typo!) send us the typo, page number, and a link to your review, and we’ll send a copy to your best writer friend. To see the style sheet, and typos that were already caught (sorry!) click here.

Resources & Media

Publications and websites with further
information on writing, editing & publishing

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Sample Pages

Imagine you’re at the bookstore, flipping to random pages in the book.

Advance Praise

What noted publishing experts, writers and readers are saying about Seven Drafts.

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The Unkind Editor

Allison K Williams

Allison has edited and coached writers to deals with Penguin Random House, Knopf, Mantle, Spencer Hill, St. Martin’s and independent presses. She’s guided essayists to publication in the New Yorker, Time, the Guardian, the New York Times , McSweeney’s and TED Talks. As Social Media Editor for Brevity, she inspires thousands of writers with blogs on craft and the writing life. She’s also the author of Get Published in Literary Magazines.

A former circus performer, Allison has written for NPR, CBC-Canada, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Creative Nonfiction, McSweeney’s, Kenyon Review Online and Travelers’ Tales.


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