What I'm up to for the rest of 2021 and 2022

Hello Manuscript Workers,

I hope you’ve survived the most exhausting September in memory. After a book launch, a new program launch, and a couple of new workshop launches, I’m starting to feel the burnout too, so I’m especially thankful that I’d already planned to use my Jeopardy winnings to give myself a one-month sabbatical, in which I will spend October knitting and reading new-to-me books on the history of architecture and interior design (just for fun).

I’ve planned some newsletters for while I’m gone (so you’ll still be hearing from me next month), but before I go, I thought it might be a good time to step back from the regular newsletter content and just do a little status update to let you know what my plans are for the next year or so.


In November I’ll be hosting an online panel discussion on What BIPOC Authors Need to Know About Academic Book Publishing with three great editors. Dominique J. Moore (Acquisitions editor at University of Illinois Press), Jenny Tan (Acquisitions Editor at University of Pennsylvania Press), and Karma R. Chávez (Series Editor at Ohio State University Press) will join me to share their expertise on racism in scholarly publishing, the specific issues authors of color often face, and practical strategies for navigating the publishing process. It’s free to attend, and you can register and submit questions here.


Behind the scenes in November and December, I’ll be working to set up a robust archive of free information for prospective authors. I’ve enlisted Amanda Recupero (who helps academics build author websites) to help me organize my most useful newsletter content from the past 2.5 years in a more accessible interface on my own website. I’m hoping this will make it easier for readers (especially new readers) to find the stuff that’s useful without having to haphazardly search through the Substack archives. I will definitely share this with you when Amanda and I get it fully set up.


I’ll be running my Book Proposal Accelerator again in January–February of 2022 and in June–July. I’ve fully updated the content to make it quicker and easier to work through and I’ll be adding some features to the program as well. I’ll tell you all about that as we get closer to the launch date. If you want to mark your calendar now, enrollment will open for the January session at 9am PST on January 3, 2022, with the program starting on January 7.

I will be launching my Book Proposal Shortcut program again in January as well. The material for that program is identical to the updated Accelerator material, but it’s entirely self-paced and non-interactive, so it’s a better fit for some people’s needs and schedules than the Accelerator.


I’ll be spending March, April, and May 2022 doing public and institutional workshops. I currently have a few remaining openings for institutional workshops in March and May (especially May), so if your institution would like to bring me in, please do reach out. If you need info to pass along to the person who plans such things at your institution, you can find it here. I will share the public workshop info as the dates approach.


In late April I’m also planning to offer my Developmental Editing for Academics webinar and online course again. The webinar and course are aimed at academics who are thinking of starting a freelance developmental editing practice as well as working editors who want to add academic developmental editing to their toolkits. The course is entirely self-paced—so you’ll be able to save it for the summer if you want to—but I thought I would offer it in the spring since that’s when some people may be preparing for career shifts and fall plans. I’ll share updates here as I get ready to launch the webinar and course in April.


I’m not completely locked in on what’s happening with me after the June–July 2022 session of the Book Proposal Accelerator, but I’ve been strongly considering starting a podcast on writing and publishing scholarly books. The content would be similar to what this newsletter has been, but I think a new medium and format could be fun and give me more of a chance to bring in other voices, of both authors and people who work in scholarly publishing. Stay tuned.


I’m excited about these plans, but they will sadly leave me without the time to do the one-on-one developmental editing and consulting that I’ve done since starting Manuscript Works in 2015. I will still be available to consult with Accelerator and Shortcut participants as they navigate the book publishing process, but I’ve made the tough decision to pause my other editing and consulting services (once I finish the handful of projects I’m currently working on). This may change in the future, but for 2022 I’m looking forward to experimenting with a new direction.

Thank you for reading this newsletter and sticking with me. I’ve appreciated your support so much, and I hope to see all of you in one of my programs or workshops at some point in the next year.

—Laura