The Literary Level Up

When writers ask how to improve a particular skill, the answer is often to read works that are good at that thing and then learn from what they do. Sometimes that works. Often, that’s easier said than done, especially if you haven’t done that kind of analysis before. Or, even when you have, translating those insights into skills in your toolkit for your own writing can be hard. The Literary Level Up is a series of craft-intensive seminars designed for writers who want to improve their game and more, to figure out how to improve their game. While each seminar should give you a boost in that particular area, it should also give you what you need to tackle your next subject of interest on your own.

What you get

Each Literary Level Up seminar will focus on a particular aspect of craft. Each seminar will have a topic breakdown with general discussion of the topic, and deep dives into examples of works specifically chosen to illustrate those topics. Vocabulary, jargon, technique, philosophy, and tools blatantly stolen from other areas are all fair game for demonstrating ways to crack open how and why the books and stories out in the world work.

Free content is going to focus on introductory material, covering basic terminology and the 101 level concepts relevant to the current topic. For the nitty gritty analysis, practice, and application needed to internalize the material and master applying these skills to your own work, you’ll want to subscribe and get it all.

Who should sign up?

If any of the following describe you…

  • You’re curious about how the sausage gets made in the books and stories you read

  • You’re a writer looking to hone your skills or learn something new

  • You like arguing about whether something is good

  • You want a toolkit to help you appreciate the mastery of art you interact with

  • You enjoy nerding out over neat things

…then you should probably sign up.

When are posts published?

The Plot and Structure Seminar begins on August 12. Posts for that seminar will be published on Mondays and Thursdays.

Who am I?

Hi, I’m Anaea Lay. I’m a freelance developmental editor, a writer with a variety of publication credits, a former reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly, and a gleefully shameless analytical pedant of many stripes. I’ve taught writing in a variety of formats, from convention workshops to one-on-one mentoring, and now I’m turning those skills and insights into the Literary Level Up. If you want more details about my editing, my bibliography, or to see some of the other things I’ve written about writing, swing by my website at

Subscribe to Literary Level Up

Craft intensive instruction for writers honing their craft


Anaea Lay lives in Chicago, Illinois where she is engaged in a torrid love affair with the city.