Western’s Publishing MFA and M.A. include a thorough study of the publishing industry—editing, design, production, marketing, distribution and bookselling, including new technologies that have changed the industry for writers, publishers, booksellers and readers. Students will work hands-on to create books that will be released by a commercial publisher by the end of the program—an original anthology they have jointly edited and produced, as well as a public-domain “classic” reissued from scratch in print and ebook formats.
The Publishing program begins with a two-week in-residence summer intensive wherein the students learn the basics of the publishing industry. They will perform brief intern work for a small commercial publisher. As their main project for the coming year, they will jointly develop a concept for an original anthology and solicit submissions.
The fall and spring semester will each consist of two courses, one focused on the traditional publishing industry and one on new-model and independent publishing. Because of the rapidly changing nature of the industry, most of the learning materials will consist of podcasts, blogs and up-to-date industry journals.
To acquire hands-on, practical knowledge, students will read the slushpile submissions for their anthology project, debate and select the stories to be included, while adhering to a financial and word count budget. Students will analyze typical book and short story contracts, then issue contracts for the accepted anthology stories, and in the spring semester, the group of students will design, proofread, and produce the printing masters for the anthology. As a solo project, each student will select a public-domain “classic” that they will reissue from scratch, performing all the steps to create the print and ebook formats. Students will market their finished books by the end of the semester and participate in a book signing event upon graduation.
Reach out to Lisa Swarts for more information.