Workshop: how to edit your own poetry

This 2 to 2.5 hour workshop is for poets who have written, or are writing, a collection of poems. The presenter is Sally-Anne Watson Kane. She will teach you the steps of reviewing, self-editing and collating your poems, for a self-published poetry book.


Self-editing your poetry is completely different from self-editing prose (e.g. a novel, or non-fiction book). With poetry, the usual rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation do not apply.

But there are rules that you can use to edit the words, punctuation and layout of your poems to make sure your poetry ‘speaks’ to your audience in exactly the right way. That is, to make sure your readers understand and, importantly, feel what you want them to feel, during and after reading your poems.

Sally-Anne Watson Kane’s method and approach to coaching poets in self-editing their poetry is detailed here: Collaborative poetry editing.

We have developed our own way of editing our own poetry which we call the ‘WUFO-RAM’ method.  In our workshop, we teach you this method.

Note: using the WUFO-RAM method will enable you to edit your own poems to make them as perfect as possible. If you intend to self-publish a poetry book, after you have self-edited your poems, you will need to hire an editor who specialises in editing poetry, to edit or proofread the manuscript.

our ‘how to edit your own poetry workshop’ comprises:
  1. Presentation (30-45 min):  You will learn the WUFO-RAM method Sally-Anne has developed for editing your own poetry (WUFO = Who, Understanding, Feeling, Outcome. RAM = Read Aloud Method). Using this method, you will edit your poem so that the reader will read and understand it in the way you want  them to. Any questions will be answered during the session.
  2. Self-editing your poem (15-30 min): Participants will try self-editing their own poems using the WUFO-RAM process.
  3. Break (15-30 min).
  4. Workshopping your poem/s (approx 60 min): Sally-Anne explains the value of workshopping when fine-tuning your poem. All present will review (and workshop) one or two participants’ self-edited poems, and the decisions the poets have made in regard to punctuation, wording, layout etc.
  5. Time allowing: Q & A session. 
Details of this workshop:
  • Length of workshop: 2 – 2.5 hours
  • When:  To be advised, for each workshop.
  • Where:  All workshops held via Zoom.
  • Presenter: Sally-Anne Watson Kane
  • Organiser:  On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading
  • Charge: To be advised, for each workshop.

Note: Australian poets are encouraged to subscribe to: Australian Poetry.

Photo: Darren Kane

Back To Blog