Faculty & Staff
CRWR 600 - SUMMER ORIENTATION (1 cred.)
Focus on learning mastery of online tools, attending faculty and student readings, and meeting with non-residency mentors during first summer; focus on attending presentations and participating in workshop sessions during second summer; and focus on presenting student thesis as well as attending and participating in other readings during third summer. Must be repeated three times for credit.
CRWR 613 - INTRODUCTION TO THE PUBLISHING WORLD (2 cred.)
This course provides a basic overview of both traditional and alternative models of publishing, including organizational systems, editing, production and distribution processes, as well as how new technologies have disrupted the industry. Students research traditional publishers as well as platforms for independent publishing. Students develop a concept for an original anthology, write a description, and a solicitation for professional authors to submit stories. This anthology is developed, edited, produced, and released over the following year as the main project for the degree.
CRWR 614 - TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING I (6 cred.)
This course provides students with a basic understanding of different types of traditional publishing, with a focus on commercial book publishing, but also other forms, such as magazines, newspapers, textbooks, and audio books. Students learn about agents, acquisitions and developmental editors, and other roles in the industry. Analysis of book and short story contracts. Students read the slushpile submissions for their anthology project and select the stories, while adhering to production and budget requirements. Students issue contracts for the accepted stories, and work with authors on revisions in preparation of producing the anthology during the spring semester.
CRWR 615 - PUBLISHING AND MARKETING A BOOK (2 cred.)
Students oversee the release of their joint anthology project as well as their individual reprint book, in both print and electronic formats. Using their marketing plan, students generate publicity for their work, identify and submit to appropriate awards, and participate in an actual book signing for their book. While learning about distribution models, students track sales of their books on different platforms and compare the efficacies of various strategies. Students learn about royalty statements, how and why a book goes out of print, and how to determine the success of a project.
CRWR 623 - INDEPENDENT AND NEW MODEL PUBLISHING I (6 cred.)
In this course, students review and learn how technological advances have and continue to change the publishing industry. Study the history of “self publishing” from vanity presses to highly successful champions of independent publishing. Familiarization with various e-reader platforms, distribution and aggregator platforms, and print-on-demand. Students study current methods and opportunities in independent publishing and marketing, including a review of copyright, fair use, and public domain materials. Each student will select a public domain title for reprint publication, verify its copyright status, acquire/scan the text, and proofread it for full production in the spring semester.
CRWR 624 - TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING II (6 cred.)
In this course, students develop hands-on skills with book production and design while preparing their anthology project for publication. Students learn copy-editing and proofing skills, which are applied to producing the anthology. Students also serve on a proofing team for a mid-sized independent publisher. Working with authors to complete page proofs, assemble the anthology, and prepare it for release in print and ebook formats. Students learn about pricing models for print and ebooks, and develop a marketing plan for the anthology, identify review outlets and submission processes, and study printing options.
CRWR 625 - INDEPENDENT AND NEW MODEL PUBLISHING II (6 cred.)
This course will guide students through the process of designing, producing, publishing, and uploading a book in print and ebook formats. Students learn in-depth typography, book and cover design, as well as layout platforms for creating print and ebook titles. Research sources for artwork, select fonts, obtain images, and design the cover, lay out the printing masters and format ebook files for their public-domain title. Learn innovative book marketing and distribution methods, and write a marketing plan. Because the field changes so rapidly, students remain up-to-date through current, sometimes controversial, blogs and podcasts. At the end of the semester, students prepare their reprint book project for release during the summer intensive.
Western’s Publishing M.A. includes 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 for more information about the program.