Did you know that the words glamour and grammar originated from the same roots? The original Greek effectively translates as the art of letters. In the Middle Ages grammatica or gramaire usually referred to learning in general and included the study, not only of Greek and Latin, but also of astrology, magic and the occult. In Scotland, such learning was pronounced glamour and was also synonymous with enchantment and magical beauty. And isn’t this what we all aim to do with our writing – enchant our readers? Though sadly, the words glamour and grammar have long since parted company, this course is all about bringing them together again!
‘I sutured split infinitives and hoisted dangling modifiers and wore out the seat of my best flannel skirt.’
Rules of Civility (2011) by Amor Towles
I love this description of the editing process. I’ve spent most of my working life ‘suturing split infinitives’ and ‘hoisting dangling modifiers’; I’ve even been a reluctant wearer of flannel skirts. As Captain Anna Campbell (I kid you not) in the military in the 1990s, I taught English literacy (among other subjects) to soldiers, and unfortunately, grey flannel skirts were a requisite part of the uniform. Since those days, I’ve been a teacher of English and the humanities in primary, secondary and tertiary education, and I now run my own business: Fixing English. Though for academic purposes I still tutor and edit ‘prescriptive grammar’ (i.e. according to the rules) to tertiary student teachers, I’ve specifically tailored this short RWA course, Fixing English: Grammar Boost, for my favourite peeps — romance writers — and it’s more about the ‘art of words’ on the page, the ‘glamour of grammar’, rather than only teaching arid grammar rules.
Of course, we shall delve into the rules — It helps to know the rules, if you want to break them effectively! — , but we’ll also investigate the grammar used by successful authors. By the end of the month, you’ll have a greater awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of writing in first, second or third-person perspectives, you should be more confidant choosing the verb tense best suited for your own creative endeavours, and we’ll have discussed many of the common problems and pitfalls of grammar for fiction writing, not to mention learnt ways to avoid them. In effect, whilst tackling our grammar, we’ll also tickle our way towards more effective and, dare I say it, more glamourous writing.
N.B. If you want to find out why punctuation is the dog’s bollocks, you’ll need to sign up to Fixing Writing: Punctuation Boost!
Course Dates: 1 March to 28 March
Cost: $55 members, $66 non-members
Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform
For bookings and more information: https://www.trybooking.com/BOAKJ
About the presenter:
Anna Greene (who some of you may know as Lou Greene or Anna Foxkirk) is a qualified teacher with nearly thirty years’ experience teaching and tutoring at primary, secondary and tertiary level. Prior to setting up her own business in 2018, she was an associate teacher and English literacy advisor with Monash University’s Department of Education. She has taught English literacy to adults in class workshops and online. She is also available for one-to-one tuition and mentoring. Anna has recently brought her tutoring, editing and mentoring skills under one umbrella: Fixing English. You can find out more about Anna from her website: