In this three week publishing bootcamp, former Big Five editor Hannah Wood will tell you what every editor wants writers to know--and some things they wish writers didn’t.
Intended not only for writers with finished manuscripts, but also anyone interested in learning more about the publishing business—which you should be, if you want to someday see your work in print!—this intensive course will prepare you for what comes next, and give you the inside scoop on what it takes to make it that far.
Getting an agent is important, but it’s only the first phase of your journey towards publication. For your book to find a place in the world via traditional publishing, you’ll have to land an editor. Book editors wield huge influence in literary culture, yet compared to the relative accessibility of literary agents, theirs can seem an impenetrable world. What do they do all day, tucked away in those Manhattan skyscrapers? How do they decide which projects to publish and which to reject, and when to take a million-dollar chance on a debut novel? What is it like to be edited, and what should you expect from an editor and from your publisher? How can you increase your chances of standing out in their submission pile?
We’ll begin by exploring an editor’s role and responsibilities at a publishing house, then we’ll discover what editors are looking for in submissions; dissect the path to acquisition; discuss how writers can get the most out of the editorial process; and scrutinize the metamorphosis from proposal or manuscript draft to finished book. Finally, we’ll look at common problems editors encounter and some strategies to avoid these pitfalls in your work. Led by a seasoned literary editor who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, this course is designed to demystify the publishing process from the writer’s perspective with honest, helpful insights, advice, and discussion; it will culminate in a live Q & A session in which students can ask (almost) anything.
- A greater understanding of what editors do, the criteria they apply when evaluating submissions (some of which may surprise you!), and how you can use this insider knowledge to your advantage.
- Empowering insights into the business, such as the acquisition process; who determines advances, and how; what to expect from your editor; and the milestones marking the journey from manuscript to finished book. (We’ll also confront important, controversial topics like industry diversity, or lack thereof; how many books actually get blockbuster advances, and how that does—or doesn’t—correlate to long-term success; and more.)
- How to apply an editorial eye to your own work, and identify and fix common mistakes in content, presentation, and craft.
- More confidence as a writer, on and off the page.
- Exclusive access to our alumni newsletter, a monthly roundup of submission opportunities (prizes, residencies, lit mags, grants, and more), plus a 10% discount on all future classes.
Hannah Wood draws on almost a decade of editorial experience at major New York City publishing houses—where she worked with national, international, and New York Times bestselling novelists and nonfiction writers, finalists for and winners of prestigious awards and fellowships, and professional experts—to offer editorial, consulting, and coaching services to fiction and nonfiction authors. A recipient of the Ashmead Award honoring Outstanding Editorial Achievement, she is a graduate of the Yale Publishing Course.
“Smart, soothing, and hypercompetent.”
“An extremely astute editor whose skills have blown me away. No matter the length or breadth of a project, her meticulousness never wanes. She is a warm, accessible individual who'll help to sculpt your project into a finished work that'll transcend what you might've not imagined that you could do on your own.”
“Precisely the editor all writers need: Astute, supremely creative, possessing an ability to fully comprehend any type of writing and expand its true value.”
“One of the most remarkable minds I've ever worked with. Hers is the advice I trust most in my literary landscape. She sees details in the work that I am incapable of seeing, and she knows exactly where to cut, and where to ask authors for more. She is patient and encouraging while also knowing how to pull the best sentences out of the people she works with—and she is always right. This is to say nothing of her extensive industry experience. She has eerie instincts about presses, journals, editors, and agents. She has her finger on the pulse of the publishing industry and has consistently guided my career (and the careers of many others) in the right direction. You're lucky if you have her in your corner.”
“The kind of editor writers dream about. From the beginning of our work together, all the way to the end, she was enthusiastic, kind, and unflagging not only in her support for my book but for me as a person. Hannah is generous yet hyper competent. She is skilled and efficient, but she never lets her desire to create the perfect product overrule her sense of humanity. Would that all writers could have such a wonderful resource!”