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EGL 28 — From Writer to Author: Navigating the Twisty Path to Publication

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jan 13—Feb 17
Time: 12:00—1:15 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Jan 15
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $255
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Live Online(About Formats)
12:00—1:15 pm (PT)
Jan 13—Feb 17
6 weeks
Drop By
Jan 15
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Malena Watrous
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
The path to publishing a book is mystifying for most aspiring authors. What stages does a manuscript need to go through before it’s ready to print, and who is involved in the process? Is an agent necessary? What’s the difference between a developmental editor whom writers pay to work on their manuscript versus an editor who works for a publishing house that buys the book? Is social media important as a tool of self-promotion? And once you do have a book come out—whether via a traditional publisher, or on your own—how do you get it into the hands of the right readers? Each week in this six-week course we will feature a recently published book (fiction or narrative nonfiction) through a seventy-five-minute online visit with that book’s author and a crucial member of their publishing team. You will get a beneath-the-hood look at the choices and collaborations that resulted in these books. Our sessions will include visits from at least one major literary agent, an editor at a Big Five publishing house, an editor from a smaller press, a book publicist, and a successful self-published author who can talk about the ins and outs of doing this independently. You will be able to ask these authors and their “teammates” questions about the book, which you will have read, as well as the working relationship that helped to form it, and you will become better able to navigate the path to publication on your own.

For students who have previously taken this course, the structure is the same but the books and guests are new. Students will have access to supplemental discussion threads to discuss the books and the course. There will be no writing assignments. Please visit continuingstudies.stanford.edu for a full list of books and authors featured in this course.

Malena Watrous, Former Stegner Fellow; Online Writing Certificate Program Lead and Creative Writing Coordinator, Stanford Continuing Studies

Malena Watrous is the author of the novel If You Follow Me and co-author of the novel Sparked. She has contributed to The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Ron Nyren, The Book of Lost Light (ISBN 1625578296)
(Required) Mateo Askaripour, Black Buck (ISBN 035838088X)
(Required) Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings: An Asian-American Reckoning (ISBN 1984820362)
(Required) William Deresiewicz, The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech (ISBN 1250125510)
(Required) Amy Maroney, The Girl From Oto (ISBN 0997521309)
(Required) Samantha Rajaran, The Company Daughters (ISBN 978-1-80019-176-1)