Hello, dear readers of Publish Not Perish! The fantastic Laura Portwood-Stacer over at the Manuscript Works Newsletter has generously offered a complimentary enrollment (value: $886) for one of my readers in her upcoming Developmental Editing for Academics course.
Here are the basics: “This course will teach you the practice of developmental editing for academic texts, explain how to work with academic authors as a supportive professional editor, and outline the nuts and bolts of setting up a successful academic editing business.”
But this course would also be useful for folks wanting to better edit their own work: “The course also welcomes academic writers who want more insight into their own texts and a framework for self-editing.”
The course will be offered online from February 1 through March 29. One spot will be given away for free in a random drawing (see instructions below).
I’m also joining the course because a) I want to be better at editing my own work, b) I want to be able to help my students and colleagues with their manuscripts, and c) I’m interested in learning about the business side of Laura’s work.
Laura edited my book proposal and manuscript. She is very good at what she does, so this is an amazing opportunity. You can read a little about my experience working with her here.
Subscribe to Manuscript Works
Both free and paid subscribers are eligible to enter. Paid subscribers to Publish Not Perish will be entered twice in the random drawing. You have until 12 p.m. CST on January 19th to enter.
Publish Not Perish is a reader-supported publication. Paid subscribers will be entered twice in the contest!
1. I like that the posts go out on Monday mornings. I'm usually coming out of my first writing session for the week and it is encouraging to get a positive nudge to keep at the daily writing for the rest of the week. It's fun when there is a piece of advice or resource shared that I can then try out for that week. I appreciate that the newsletters are short, include images, and include personal tidbits from you, Dr. McClearen!
2. I'd love more on mental health and writing, the physical body and writing (love the metaphors you use; how do we keep good posture, deal with actual headaches when it's time to write; does typing speed (wpm) matter at this point), citations and copyright tips and tricks, hardware suggestions (what's a good laptop to buy? a good desk chair?), notes on co-authorship and organizing edited collections/special issues, when is one writing too much?/ how to stop overwriting, protecting one's intellectual property, and how to organize for better argumentation... these are as many ideas as I could think up. I think it could also be cool if you could incorporate polls somehow so readers can weigh in on either/or type questions you pose each week.
Thank you for supporting this writing community and my writing practice each week!
I love the practical nature of this newsletter!
I'd love to see more on ways you can prompt yourself in the revision process! what are some questions we can ask ourselves while revising writing that get to the heart of what we're trying to do?
1) As a new PhD student, it's been so helpful to have these tips in mind, even as things like my dissertation are a little farther out. My most-used tip has been the writing journal/log - using this for even smaller projects has saved me SO much time waffling around to try to figure out where I last left off in my writing.
2) I would love to see more about balancing course work and other responsibilities with writing/research. There has already been a lot of really helpful related content, but that's been my biggest struggle so far, so I could always use more :)
I appreciate the humanness that comes through each newsletter. That combined with the valuable information remind me that everyone else has their own balancing act, which helps reduce feelings of isolation.
I would love to see content discussing the pros and cons or when it is more appropriate to pursue publishing research in peer reviewed journals versus writing a book.
I love how concise the posts are: I get a lot of useful tips in a quick read!
I'd like to see some content about publishing while working as an adjunct. Trying to find time/energy to write while working for multiple institutions is so difficult!
1) something you like about the Publish Not Perish newsletter
I like the newsletter's supportive tone; rather than sounding like another taskmaster urging me toward productivity, the tone is that of a helpful colleague whose office I can drop by whenever I have a minute.
2) any topic ideas or other resources you’d like to see
I don't know if this one has been covered recently, but writing with children under 10 living under one's roof: when to make time, advice on setting boundaries, etc.
Thanks for the valuable and stimulating insights on writing. I would like to hear more about writing in different languages/ writing in a language that is not your mother tongue.
I really appreciate the care and thoughtfulness put into all of your writing in the newsletter. There is a generosity of spirit which offers up a kinder approach to collaboration and reminds us that we are in a community and there are different ways to think about things. I would love to hear more about details of joint writing collaborations.
Hi Jenn! Thank you for a fabulous newsletter and the contest opportunity. I really enjoy the supportive, warm tone you've achieved in your writing; reading your posts feels like getting advice from a mentor who really "gets" me.
Things I'd be interested in reading about: dealing with a project that changes radically (e.g. when your results or conclusions aren't what you thought they would be), writing when you don't have institutional support (e.g. folks off the tenure track), collaboration, giving and receiving feedback graciously.
Funny and validating
Something I like: I really like the regular reminders that we’re not alone in many of the challenges we face as academic writers. The strategies are practical and motivating.
I’m really interested in positionality and how it impacts our writing. I’d love to see this discussed in future issues.
As a PhD candidate in my final year of dissertating (and having to do a lot of writing in a short period of time to finish), it's been a relief to read your newsletter and see that there are academics out there who reject the grind and take a gentler, more holistic approach to the profession. Thank you for advocating for down time, relaxing, hobbies, etc alongside the productivity tips.
I second Sherry's idea about including some grad student/dissertation-specific posts. You could even think of it in terms of a series about academic genres: dissertation, journal article, academic monograph, trade-press book, grant proposal, op-ed/public writing, and job-market docs like CV, cover letter, statement of teaching philosophy, etc.
Hi, Jenn! I appreciate that your newsletter emphasizes the importance of reflecting on how and why we write, as it is something that helps me persevere and find a way forward when overwhelmed. I would like to read more writing articles for journal publication based on graduate work on a thesis or dissertation. I am a subscriber of both the Manuscript Works and Publish Not Perish newsletter. Thank you both very much for this opportunity!
New(ish) subscriber here! I truly appreciate that Publish or Perish offers practical steps to help us address/confront those affective intangibles that become obstacles to our writing. As others have mentioned, the Syllabus piece was instructive in helping to reframe writing as a necessary time commitment--as important as any other. As for suggestions, I think an 'office hours' type feature might be fun where you (or guest columnists) field a question or questions you receive from academic writers who are stuck in their writing. A series of profiles of/interviews with writers who are either working through being stuck or have come up with creative or unintentional (maybe not even directly writing-related) strategies for becoming unstuck in their writing processes also might be interesting. Thanks for your dedication to helping writers flourish!
I love the honesty and vulnerability of this newsletter. It's so refreshing. I'd love to hear more about balancing and prioritizing various kinds of writing projects—book projects, one-off articles, popular pieces, etc.
I'm a subscriber both to your newsletter and Laura's and thank you both for giving us this opportunity. One of the things that I like most about this newsletter is your writing: succinct, humorous and to the point. I would love to read more on book proposal writing (and maybe book publishing) as I'm struggling to work on mine. cheers, Selen.
I love how this newsletter provides concrete advice for managing the (unrealistic and anxiety-inducing) expectations of being a working academic today. I am a new parent who is also doing a postdoc so I'd love to see more content about managing working academic life as a parent. Like, how do I do this work when it can no longer be the Single Most Important Thing in my life?
I would LOVE to take the Developmental Editing course but it's outside of my budget, so I'm glad you're running this contest!
I love newsletters from Publish Not Perish since it really reminds me that I am not the only one struggling and feeling lost or failed in academia. Sometimes (to be honest, most times), it is tough to find or have genuine conversations about struggling and possible, but practical solutions for it, and I think the Publish Not Perish newsletter offers essential insight and warm encouragement to people in academia. And, simply speaking, I like the title itself so much - I do not want to perish just because I do not have decent publications before graduation. I would love to know more about speaking or interacting professionally in conference settings and even department group email settings - like, I can write or speak, but I am not sure if I speak or write 'appropriately.' Anyway, excited to read more news letters!!!
I only found this newsletter a few months ago, but I really like it – the length, the tone, the sincerity. I like the debunking of stereotypes combined with tips. It would be nice to have a bit more discussion in the comments, or more posts inviting the readers to share their experiences.
I adore how this newsletter and platform reclaim what I view as the true purpose of being a scholar. For me, "Publish or Perish" invokes the same repulsion often associated with being an "academic," this perception that one is producing for the sake of rank, to excel at the ivy tower olympics and achieve prestige and tenure. Whereas being a scholar, I have always associated producing knowledge; with the excitement of making discoveries and sharing intellect. While I am in the advanced stages of writing my dissertation, I aim to earn a Ph.D.; I am more excited about my current work on my first solo peer-reviewed publication. I am writing about the first Black woman in the archive of the Americas who was the creator of the first hospital hut in the Spanish conquest located in Santo Domingo in 1499 (today's Dominican Republic). As a first-generation college student and daughter of Dominican immigrants, I never knew of stories like the one I am writing. Yet, this knowledge has always existed in the margins of the archive, in the shadowed spaces of what colonists and historians often omit. Highlighting this knowledge inspires me to be a scholar and hold "Publish not Perish" as the motto that guides me through the challenges of doing the work.
I would like to see more resources about the process of writing to publish: templates, routine building, retreat approaches, and the mental/spiritual aspects of what it means to become a creator of knowledge.
I like how the Publish Not Perish newsletter offers helpful tips to organize my own scholarly writing endeavors. It's nice to have someone in my corner! I would be interested in more information on how I can support my colleagues in their publication writing.
I really love the posts that help me think about how writing and teaching work together, like the recent one about planning writing like you plan a syllabus. I'd love to see more posts geared towards those of us who might be thinking of leaving academia (because there are so few stable jobs) but want to keep up their academic writing.
I also follow Manuscript Works and have been tempted by this course but can't afford it!
A topic I'd like to read more about is how to get rid of guilt about writing or guilt about not focusing enough on other responsibilities due to prioritizing writing.
I really like the emphasis on collaboration, connection and collegiality. The only way we get through this is by building strong relationships and giving/receiving to each other. That is a topic I'd like to see more on: joint writing projects--building (and surviving!!) them and getting them successfully published. On a small campus, I can easily collab with colleagues in other disciplines, which has both pros and cons...:)
I really enjoy having access to the resources and honest insights in the newsletter. In the future, I’m interested to hear more about ways to bhd community with others (especially early career folks of color).
I like that Jenn provides lots of options and is not prescriptive in ideas for developing a sustainable writing practice. I would like to see more about helping grad students in their writing (esp. dissertations).
I like the realistic take on academic writing in the Publish Not Perish newsletter. I'd like to see a bit more on writing as an early career academic and fitting it all in.
Love the easy, approachable style. Maybe more about writing articles or chapters.
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and entered the contest! Your insights are really helpful for me moving forward with the newsletter.
I did a random drawing for the winner and have contacted them via email.
Thanks so much, Matt! Yes, I think a post on writing with young kids would be great. I’m gonna get a guest writer for just such a post!