News, Perspectives, and Insights on Writing and Publishing

From the Staff of The Editorial Department

August 9, 2016

My Neighbor is My Editor
A seasoned pro takes aim at the notion that anyone with eyes can be an editor

This just in: your neighbor’s English skills are probably not up to the standards of book publishing. When I first began editing books, I had been a professional editor for more than twenty years, at a New York-area newspaper, a regional magazine, and several magazines with an international readership. Perfectionist that […]
August 3, 2016
Movie Theatre

Is Your Book a Movie? (Part 1)
A crash course in book-to-screen adaptation

Is your book a movie? Should it be? How do you get from here to there-and what’s in it for you? Fasten your seat-belt, and let’s rip through this… TED’s Director of Development, John Robert Marlow, presents a crash course in determining if your novel has cinematic potential. […]
July 26, 2016

What Editors (Really) Do
A guide for authors, by Editorial Department founder Renni Browne

In one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons by Sam Gross, a cat is maniacally clawing an upholstered chair, obviously not for the first time. In the caption its owner explains to her guests: “We believe that in a former life she was an editor.” Over the forty-five […]
July 20, 2016

Coming Out of the Fanfiction Closet
Part Two: But do the original authors approve?

This is part of a series on fanfiction. For the first entry, click here. So you’re a famous author. You’ve written a series that’s captured the imaginations of millions of readers. You have fan clubs, a movie deal, hordes of Twitter followers, and high six-figure royalty advances. Then […]
July 18, 2016

Coming Out of the Fanfiction Closet
Part One: The fanfiction writer

Remember all the furor about E.L. James’s bestselling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey and its unabashed origins in Twilight fanfiction? That series started a healthy debate among writers and fans alike about the concept of fanfiction. Some of us read it, others hate it, and then there’s a number of […]
July 12, 2016

To MFA or Not?
Editor Andrew Hilleman considers the pros and cons of an MFA in fiction writing

When it comes to the question whether or not you should pursue an MFA in creative writing, you’ll get ten different responses from ten different people. One guy will tell you only the big programs—Iowa Writer’s Workshop and its ilk—are worth the effort. The next gal will tell […]