ENGL 4711: Introduction to Editing and Publishing

So, you want to learn how to chisel cuneiform? Have we got a class for you! If the media doomsayers are right, editing is a dying craft. Right now, polytechnic institutes are training the next generation of copyeditors in far-off lands. Newspapers are shedding weight like dueling celebs in an US photo spread. And the Twits are inventing the 140-character news story. But someone, somewhere, has to generate that alumni magazine, the St. Paul Saints season guide, and the co-op newsletter. In other words, a demand persists in the American marketplace for someone who knows how to turn pulp into paper. In this class, we will study editing as a process, a protocol, and a philosophy. To elaborate, we will study the conventions of editing (grammar, story, and style) and we will meet professionals who do it well. (Recent guests have included a super freelancer and founding editor at Thirty Two magazine, a political reporter for Politics in Minnesota, and a first-time novelist and page proofer with a book on Coffee House Press.) We will analyze why creative collaboration can feel like a playground brawl. Mostly, using real, raw manuscripts from newspapers, magazines, and books, we will practice how to screw up the written word--with the ultimate goal of screwing up a little less. prereq: jr or senior or grad student Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for ENGW 5401, ENGL 5711, or ENGL 5401

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