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 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.

We have developed our own way of editing our own poetry which we call the ‘WUFO-RAM’ method. (WUFO = Who, Understanding, Feeling, Outcome. RAM = Read Aloud 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.

This workshop coverS:
  1. Presentation (30-45 min):  You will learn the WUFO-RAM method Sally-Anne has developed for editing your own poetry, so that the way you want the poems to be read and understood is carried through to the printed page. Sally-Anne will show you how to do this using her own samples of poetry and/or a willing participant’s poem. 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 (5-15 min).
  4. Workshopping your poem/s (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: structural editing – poetry (30 min). Sally-Anne will give a brief overview of: (a) How to review/edit the structure of your poetry book (including what to include or leave out, parts/sections, and the order of poems); and (b) The steps of self-publishing a poetry book. Q&A session.

Bookings are limited to 6 per workshop.

Details of this workshop:
  • Length of workshop: 2,5 hours
  • When:  To be advised, for each workshop.
  • Where:  On site if appropriate, otherwise held via Zoom.
  • Presenter: Sally-Anne Watson Kane
  • Organiser:  On Time Typing, Editing and Proofreading
  • Charge: To be advised, for each workshop.
  • Bookings:  contact us via phone, email or web query.
  • Website:
helpful links

‘Like’ our poetry editing page: Poetry Editing and Self-Publishing Australia (PESPA).

The best poets are those who read a lot of poetry. Australian poets are encouraged to subscribe to: Australian Poetry.

Presenter Sally-Anne Watson Kane has 25 years’ experience in editing,  a lifetime’s experience in writing poetry, and has been coaching poets in editing their own poetry for the last 12 years. Sally-Anne has devised a special method for self-editing your own poetry called the WUFO-RAM method. She has written several blog articles about editing poetry: Collaborative poetry editing; and Editing prose compared to editing poetry. 

Photo: Darren Kane

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