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394085: The Editorial Toolbox

  • Fall 2023
  • Section 1
  • 3 Credits
  • 10/04/2023 to 12/12/2023
  • Modified 11/22/2023


To be successful, editors draw from a broad base of skills while taking the entire publishing process into account. They are avid, active readers in their own right who understand the way the publishing market works. Beyond that, they also understand the specialized technological tools in use today, are strong proofreaders, understand how to identify and check facts and communicate clearly and concisely with other departments in order to set a manuscript up for success through production, marketing and media outreach. By the end of the course, students understand how these tools help editors meet the demands of their profession and thrive in the workplace.


  • Learn the detailed process by which a manuscript is accepted and then becomes a published book on a store’s shelf.
  • Become proficient with proofreader’s marks, Chicago Manual of Style, and the important differences between copyediting and developmental editing.
  • Understand and remember the needs of production, marketing, and media outreach departments throughout the acquisitions and editing process in order to choose appropriate work and then guide a book toward marketable success.


  • Be capable of explaining the entire process of a book’s publication, from manuscript acceptance to printed book on the shelf of a bookstore
  • Be proficient in copy editing a manuscript, creating a marketing plan, and creating a media outreach plan for a book
  • Be capable of recognizing a writer's progress along the road of becoming published and determine how best to guide that writer on the best practices on how to become a published author


The Publishing Business: A Guide to Starting Out and Getting On

  • Author: Kelvin Smith and Melanie Ramdarshan Bold
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury
  • Edition: Print (1st or 2nd) or Digital
  • ISBN: 9781474249515
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore
  • Price: $37.95

The Chicago Manual of Style (any edition)

  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Edition: Print
  • ISBN: 978-0226287058
  • Optional
  • Availability: Campus Bookstore
  • Price: $70



Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Discussions 15% Weekly discussions, replies, and admin surveys
Projects 75% Assignments and Projects
Participation 10% Peer Commenting and Participation

Two responses when applicable for other students' discussion and assignment posts


Resulting grade and related performance levels
Grade Range Notes
A+ 97-100
A 93-96
A- 90-92
B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
F 72 and below

Course Policies

Underage Students

As UCLA's principal provider of continuing education, the majority of UCLA Extension courses are designed for the post-baccalaureate professional-level student. Enrollment is therefore reserved for adult students 18 years of age and older. All minors who enroll in a Writers’ Program course are subject to withdrawal and refund of enrollment fees.

The Writers’ Workshop

Instruction in the Writers’ Program follows the guidelines established by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) guidelines for the teaching of creative writing, which include a “challenging writers’ workshop” as a hallmark. They define this as

…a seminar in which students critique one another’s work under the mentorship of an accomplished writer-teacher. The workshop is writing intensive, offering each student multiple opportunities for submission and revision of creative work. (AWP)

This method of instruction is considered the gold standard for developing writers at all levels of expertise, and workshopping is a key learning tool in nearly every course offered by the Writers’ Program. Workshopping teaches you to read and respond to written work from a variety of perspectives, and hearing critique of your own writing will help you understand how successfully your work achieves your goals. Every student is expected to participate fully in workshopping activities as defined by and guided by Writers’ Program instructors.

Scope of Work for Instructors

Each Writers’ Program instructor has signed an agreement to teach the curriculum in their course, following a syllabus of their own design with approval by the Writers’ Program director. Instructors are never obligated to read, review, critique, respond to, or otherwise address student work that has not been developed for their course or in response to specific assignments in their course. Individualized instruction like this falls into the category of a consultation, which is a separate service your instructor can provide through special arrangement with the Writers’ Program.

Inclusive Teaching Statement

As a 10+ year member of the publishing industry, I can share lived experiences and advice on how to get published as well as how to publish. During discussions, I encourage participants to work with and learn from each other as a team, serving as a moderator only as necessary to direct conversation from anecdotal to focused or to step in more firmly if someone’s lived experiences or individual perspectives are being dismissed or disrespected. My lesson plans are meant to be a framework for a conversation so that the content adapts to the needs and goals of each individual. I encourage students to lean into their strengths while helping them to address any skills they would like to develop and encourage career development through a professional evaluation during any of the office hours held weekly and on request.

As a queer instructor, public speaker, editor, and book industry professional, I strive to improve industry standards through transparency and equity of accessibility, acknowledging the invisible labors in publishing and addressing the inequities of compensation and representation throughout the literary arts. Throughout my courses, I focus on the necessity of kindness and respect in the publishing industry, the need for diversity and authentic representation of experiences and perspectives, equitable and mutually beneficial business practices, and on effective methods for constructive feedback such as the “sandwich method” (positive-critical-positive).

I encourage students to reach out to me directly on Canvas or by email to express any concerns they may have with anything regarding the course, including the course material, my feedback, or a fellow student’s comments. I especially encourage and welcome feedback concerning any material in the course that is unclear and could benefit from further explanation. Any answer that benefits one of us  benefits us all through affirmation or fresh understanding.

If for any reason you do not feel comfortable discussing the issue directly with me, please contact the UCLA EX Student Affairs Office, Carrie Troung.

Institutional Policies

Student Conduct

Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to academic dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University; or behavioral misconduct, such as theft or misuse of the intellectual property of others, harassment, or disruption of the learning environment.

All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition and includes the use of material generated wholly or in part through the use of artificial intelligence (except when the use of AI has received prior authorization for assessment as a reasonable accommodation for a student’s disability, or when the use of AI is a specified part of the coursework, e.g. data science or user experience). Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Student Rights & Responsibilities Policy and to report concerns.

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, UCLA Extension provides appropriate accommodations and support services to qualified applicants and students with disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids/services such as sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices for hearing-impaired individuals, extended time for and proctoring of exams, and registration assistance. Accommodations and types of support services vary and are specifically designed to meet the disability-related needs of each student based on current, verifiable medical documentation. Arrangements for auxiliary aids/services are available only through UCLA Extension’s Service for Students with Disabilities Office at (310) 825-7851 or by email at [email protected]. For complete information, please visit Accessibility and Disability Services.


The interim grade Incomplete (I) may be approved for a student who has completed the majority of the course requirements, with passing quality (grade C or higher), but is unable to complete a small portion of the coursework by the course end date for good cause. For courses in which an Incomplete may be allowed, approval by the instructor of record and the academic program director is required. The Incomplete grade is not an option for courses that do not bear credit, such as 700, 800, or 900-level courses.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to petition for an Incomplete by emailing the appropriate academic program department at least one week before the end of the course. The Program Department will initiate the petition process once the email is received.
  • The student, the instructor, the CE/Program Director, and the program staff must complete the petition prior to the final course meeting or before the quarter end date. This process can take up to one week to complete. 
  • The instructor will approve or deny the request. The instructor will provide details on what the student needs to accomplish in order to complete the course, as well as a due date for submitting completed work. The due date cannot exceed the end of the ensuing quarter when a final grade must be reported or the Incomplete lapses to the grade “F,” “NP,” or “U.” Visit UCLA Extension Grading Scale for more information.  

An Incomplete allows the student to complete only work that is outstanding and does not allow prior completed work to be retaken or resubmitted.

All Grades are Final

No change of grade may be made by anyone other than the instructor, and then, only to correct clerical errors. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by re-examination. The correction of a clerical error may be authorized only by the instructor of record communicating directly with personnel of Student and Alumni Services.

Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates our policy.

All Extension students and instructors who believe they have been sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the Department of Student and Alumni Services for complaint resolution: UCLA Extension, 1145 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024; Voice/TTY: (310) 825-7031. For more information, please view the University’s full Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence.

Additional Items

Protecting Privacy and Data During Live Instruction

Live meeting sessions for this class, when applicable, are being conducted over Zoom. As the host, the instructor may be recording live sessions. Only the host has the ability to record meetings, no recording by other means is permitted. Recorded sessions will be posted in the Videos area of this class unless otherwise notified. Due to privacy, recordings are not available for download and are only accessible via Canvas for the duration of the class. If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video and/or audio. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let the instructor know what name you will be using so that the instructor knows who you are during the session. To rename yourself during a Zoom meeting, click on Participants, click on your name, click on More, click on Rename. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to the instructor only (and not to ""everyone""). Additionally, chat may be used and moderated for live questions, and saving of chats is enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact the instructor via Canvas Inbox.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between Zoom and UCLA Extension, the data is used solely for this purpose and Zoom is prohibited from re-disclosing this information. UCLA Extension also does not use the data for any other purpose. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, recordings may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a video conference.

Course and Instructor Evaluation

UCLA Extension values your feedback on course and instructor evaluations. We ask all students to take a few minutes to complete an end-of-course evaluation survey. Updates to the course and instruction are influenced by your feedback. Understanding your student experience is essential to ensure continuing excellence in the online classroom and is appreciated by your instructor and the UCLA Extension academic leadership.

Your participation in a survey is voluntary, and your responses are confidential. After instructors submit grades, they will be given an evaluation report, but this report will not contain your name.

About Your Online Course Materials

Please note the following about online course components at UCLA Extension:

  • Students must have basic computer skills, including the use of word processing software, email, and the ability to use internet browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
  • Students are responsible for meeting the technical requirements of Canvas and familiarizing themselves with the Canvas Learning Management System.
  • Students are responsible for keeping a copy of all assignments and work submitted, and to be aware of all assignments, due dates, and course guidelines.
  • Students have access to courses via Canvas for an additional 30 calendar days after the course end date listed in the syllabus (the first 14 days are full access; the rest are read-only).
  • Students are encouraged to download/print content throughout the duration of the course and before the additional 30-day access ends. No further access is possible after the course becomes unavailable.

    To download all your assignment submissions in Canvas, please refer to the online support guide. for more information or contact Canvas Support via the help menu within Canvas.

UCLA Extension Canvas and Learning Support

For immediate 24/7 Canvas technical support, including holidays, click on Help (located on the menu to the left) where you can call or chat live with a Canvas Support representative.

UCLA Extension Academic Technology and Learning Innovation
The UCLA Extension Learning Support staff assists both students and instructors with Canvas-related technical support, as well as general and administrative questions.

Learning Support staff is available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 9 PM (Pacific Time), except holidays:

Campus Safety Escorts

For students taking classes held on the UCLA campus and in and around Westwood Village, the UCLA Police Department provides a free walking escort service every day of the year from dusk until 1 a.m. Community Service Officers (CSOs) are available to walk students, faculty, staff members and visitors to and from anywhere on campus, in Westwood Village, and in the village apartments. CSOs are uniformed students who have received special training and are employed by the UCLA Police Department. To obtain an escort, please call (310) 794-9255 and allow 15 to 20 minutes for your escort to arrive. For complete information, see UCLA Evening Escorts.


Course calendar and related activities
When Module Title Notes
Week 1
Overview / Fundamentals of Publishing
  1. Course Overview/Introductions
  2. Introductory post
  3. Lesson: Overview of publishing
  4. Reading: The Publishing Business, Introduction, Ch. 1 & 2
    1. Discussion of Lesson and Reading
Week 2
Acquisitions and Contracts (agents, rights, contracts)
  1. Lesson: Agent, Rights, and Advances/Royalties
  2. Reading: The Publishing Business, Chapters 3 and 7
    1. Discussion of Lesson and Reading: One post this week, two responses for last week
  3. Assignment: Publishing Company Report
Week 3
  1. Lesson: From Manuscript to Book
  2. Reading: The Publishing Business, Chapter 4
    1. Discussion of Lesson and Reading: One post, two responses for last week
  3. Respond to two reports from last week
Week 4
Developmental Editing vs Copyediting
  1. Lesson: Developmental Editing vs Copy Editing
  2. Assignment: Developmental Editing
  3. Assignment: Copy Editing
  4. Respond to discussions from last week
Week 5
Production and Design
  1. Lesson: Production and Design, Tips and Considerations
  2. Reading: The Publishing Business, Chapter 5
    1. Discussion of Lesson and Reading: One post this week, two responses for last week
  3. Mid-Course Survey
Week 6
Marketing Plan
  1. Lesson: What is a marketing plan?
  2. Reading: The Publishing Business, Chapter 6 and Chapter 8
    1. Discussion of Lesson and Reading: One post this week, two responses for last week
  3. Assignment: Marketing Plan for chosen book
Week 7
Media Outreach
  1. Lesson: Events, pitches, blogs, social media, and more!
  2. Reading: Article from
  3. Comment on two Discussion posts and two Marketing Plans from last week
  4. Assignment: Media Plan
Week 8
Book Pitches
  1. Lesson: How do you write a good book pitch?
  2. Watch: Sample book pitches
    1. Discussion of lesson and sample book pitches
    2. Comment on two Media Plans from last week
  3. Assignment: Write three pitches for your chosen book
Week 9
Literary Event
  1. Assignments:
    1. Attend a Literary Event!
    2. Literary Event Report
    3. Respond to two Discussion posts and two Book Pitch assignments from last week
  2. Final Book Plan due next week!
Week 10
Book Plan, Book Pitch, and Final Class Wrap Up
  1. Record your 1-minute book pitch
  2. Final Project: Book Plan
    1. Consolidate and improve chosen book assignments into one cohesive book plan
      1. Take comments, critiques, and responses into consideration while editing
  3. Final discussions: Post final questions, respond to any you can answer