Self-Editing Course: Polish Your Manuscript – Jericho Writers
Jericho Writers
167-169 Great Portland street, 5th Floor, London, W1W 5PF
UK: +44 (0)330 043 0150
US: +1 (646) 974 9060
Perfect for authors with a finished draft


An online, tutored course to help you develop a publishable manuscript that readers will love. This six-week self-editing course will give you all the tools necessary to analyse and deconstruct your draft and all your future manuscripts.
January 2025 / March 2025
6 weeks

The Best Self-Editing Course For Your Book

This is our most popular course where alumni from the first five years have averaged an impressive one-in-four publication rate! You’ll learn how to self-edit a book, so you can make sure your manuscript is in the best possible shape when you’re ready to submit to literary agents or self-publish. You’ll master the tricks to brilliant narrative drive, voice, plot and story development. This course is suitable for writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction, who are looking to rework and edit their draft.

Places on the course are strictly limited.

2024 dates are now sold out – secure your 2025 place now.

Book Your Place Now

Most Popular!


6 week online course
High success rate
Flexible to fit around your schedule
Get feedback from renowned author Debi Alper
Premium Members save 10%

Why choose this course?

Our most popular course, the Self-Edit Your Novel course provides students with the chance to work on their draft alongside two exceptional tutors and build life-long connections with authors from around the world.

Weekly tutorials

All course content including tutorials, videos, exercises, tasks, and reading lists, is uploaded to the course platform on the same day each week as you learn how to self-edit a book.

Direct feedback on your work

Each week, you’ll be set a task to be completed by the following week. Your tutors and peers will then give you feedback on your writing. Feedback and exercises are based on your own novel, so you can apply the advice directly to your work-in-progress.

A community of writers

Each course has 12 students that engage in discussion and peer-feedback every week. Students tend to form strong and lasting bonds, which means the exchange of ideas, friendship and support lasts beyond the course itself.

Indefinite access

Once you’re enrolled, you’ll have full access to all that content indefinitely. So there’s plenty of time to make the most out of all the course materials.

Meet Your Tutors

Throughout the course you’ll work closely with tutor Debi Alper, who will assign you weekly exercises and provide critical feedback on your manuscript. You’ll also benefit from Emma Darwin’s weekly overview and curated online readings.

Debi Alper

Debi Alper

Lead Tutor

  • Bio

Debi is the author of five published novels, the first two published by Orion and then republished under her own imprint, along with the next three in the series. Since 2006, Debi has worked as a freelance editor and creative writing tutor, including running the phenomenally successful Jericho Writers’ Self-Edit Your Novel course, together with Emma Darwin. She won the inaugural RNA Indie Editor of the Year Award in 2021. Debi also acts as a competition judge and was a reader for the Costa Short Story Awards.

Emma Darwin

Emma Darwin


  • Bio

Emma Darwin’s bestselling novels have been nominated for several awards including the Commonwealth Writers and RNA Novel of the Year. She is the author of Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction, the memoir This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin and her renowned blog ‘This Itch of Writing’. She currently teaches at Goldsmiths and Oxford University, and as a tutor, editor and mentor has long experience of helping writers to achieve publication.


Can we help?

If you have a question about any of our courses, feel free to book a call with a member of the team. We’d love to hear from you!

Self-Editing Course Syllabus

Week 1 – Plot & Structure

Have you started your book in the right place? Are you including information vital to you, the author, but not needed by the reader? Is it clear in every chapter what your protagonist needs, what they do to get it and what gets in their way?

This session is designed to ensure that each of your chapters has the essential content to make up the ‘narrative triangle’, and that your pacing is spot on, with no faltering in the narrative drive.

Week 2 – Character

Creating convincing and engaging characters is vital to the success of your novel. The reader must see them changing and really care what happens to them. In this session, we’ll teach you the techniques to ensure you know your characters inside out, and can bring them alive as characters-in-action.

Week 3 – Voice

When you submit your MS to an agent, they can tell at a glance if it’s worth their time reading on. More than any other single issue, they’ll base their assessment on voice. Whether you’re writing in the first or third person, creating an engaging voice and getting it right is essential. This session gives you the tools to check whether you’re there yet or not. (And if you don’t know what voice is, this week is essential!)

Week 4 – Point of View and Psychic Distance

Novels are the only narrative form that can go deep inside fictional characters’ heads and see the world through their eyes. Sometimes you may want the reader to share your protagonists’ perceptions and empathise with them. Other times, you might choose to be more remote and objective. But how do you know which technique to use, and when? This session shows you how to make those decisions and also move between POVs if you need to.

Week 5 – Prose microscope

You might have a compelling story to tell with sizzling characters, but if you don’t get the words right how will you engage the interest of your reader? Does your prose have a pleasing rhythm, appropriate for the content? Are you tagging every verb with an adverb? Are you ‘telling’ when you should be ‘showing’? In this session, we place a piece of your prose under the microscope, examining it in detail. We look at where your strengths lie, and which areas need improvement.

Week 6 – Over to you

What area of your book concerns you most? Are you uneasy about a certain aspect of character development? Maybe there’s a plot device that you suspect feels contrived. Or perhaps you’re not confident that you’ve really nailed a particular voice. In this session, we ask you to focus on an aspect of your own book that you’d like feedback on.

Are you an under-represented writer?

We have bursary places available throughout 2024 for the Self-Edit Your Novel course. For more information on eligibility, check out our Bursaries page.

Self-Edit Hall of Fame

We’re so proud to see our students’ novels get snapped up by publishers or self-published and landing in the hands of readers across the globe. In fact, one-in-four of our alumni in the first five years of the course have gone on to get published! Could you be next?

Claire Wade

Self-Edit alum

Susan Allott

Self-Edit alum

Cathy Bramley

Self-Edit alum

Fiona Erskine

Self-Edit alum

Kirsten Hesketh

Self-Edit alum

Jane Jesmond

Self-Edit alum

Chris Lofts

Self-Edit alum

Jenni Ogden

Self-Edit alum

Nell Pattison

Self-Edit alum

Elliot Sweeney

Self-Edit alum

Matthew Willis

Self-Edit alum

We’ve helped hundreds of writers achieve their goals

But don’t take our word for it! Hear what our students have to say about this career-changing course below.


I gained so many new skills and insights; straight away, I could see the difference the course made to my writing. I won the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and my novel was published in 2019 by Orion.

Claire Wade

Claire Wade

Self-Edit student

It’s really hard to describe how monumental this course can be for your own personal writing.

J Buxton

J Buxton

Self-Edit student

This course not only taught me how to refine and polish my novel, but also to meet fellow writers who continue to be my early beta readers. I’ve no doubt at all that the Self Edit course helped me on my path to publication. Highly recommended!

Neema Shah

Neema Shah

Self-Edit student

From my perspective, Debi’s class should be mandatory for writing students.

Billy W

Billy W

Self-Edit student


Can we help?

If you have a question about any of our courses, feel free to book a call with a member of the team. We’d love to hear from you!

Frequently asked


Which genres are accepted?

The course is suitable for writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction.


What manuscript lengths do you accept?



Is this service for UK writers only?

No, we work with writers from all around the world.


Who are the tutors on the Self-Edit Your Novel Course?

This course is led by professional editors, and acclaimed authors, Debi Alper and Emma Darwin.


How much is the Self-Edit Your Novel Course?

The Self-Edit Your Novel Course costs £895. Premium Members save 10%.


How long is the course?

Six weeks.


How many hours per week should I be putting in?

You’ll need to devote a minimum of three hours a week to the course, but obviously the more time you are able to put in, the more you’ll get out.


How many will be on the course?

There are twelve students on each course in total. Many go on to become lifelong friends.


Will it be possible to ask questions during the course?

Yes. You’ll be working on your own novel through the course, and getting plenty of feedback.


Will I still have access to the course materials after the six weeks?

Yes, the threads and discussions all remain on the site for the foreseeable future and you will also receive a comprehensive alum pack after the course ends.

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