Publishers are crucial
doorkeepers for your publishing efforts. They are often the first readers of a
manuscript you want to publish. Accordingly, it makes sense to know publishers’
criteria for accepting or rejecting manuscripts. The aim of the course is to learn
to write in a way that fits what a publisher attends to when evaluating
manuscripts for publication. It particularly addresses Ph.D. students in the
humanities and social sciences. Publishing houses and journals from different areas
and with different audiences obviously assess manuscripts differently,
depending on disciplinary traditions, types of readers, and current discourses.
Nonetheless, there are fundamental principles about how to organize a readable
story that are shared across journal editors and publishers. The core of the
course is that stories is something you create. They only exist because you
create them. Creating stories is very much a question of selection and
deselection. The same facts may be communicated in different ways. Publishers
pay close attention to how authors selections and sort their details, how
arguments are built and texts are organized. Writing academically with a focus
on how publishers read your narrative non-fiction will make your text a better
The course is
primarily based on exercises and does not contain a lot of theories on writing.
The exercises will focus on the participants’ own material, and we will read a
variety of text samples to see what others do to make their text a good read –
i.e. learning from reading.
After the course the
participants will have:
An understanding of how a publisher reads and assesses a manuscript.
An insight into how to handle and organize material so that it becomes
essential and relevant for others to read.
A perspective on how to select and deselect the material in order to
communicate the important issues in a clear way.
Practical experience with different techniques of writing.
Haslund-Christensen has worked in publishing for 20 years. She has edited more
than 100 non-fiction books and she has been the editor-in-chief of the
non-fiction departments at two of largest publishing houses in Denmark
(Gyldendal and Politikens Forlag). Since 2017 she has had her own publishing
house, Haslund Publishing. She edits and publishes a variety of books and she teaches
non-fiction writing, among others master classes and Ph.D. courses at the
University of Copenhagen.
Here is some of the
feedback from the Ph.D. course:
“The teacher was an excellent communicator who was able to make the course exciting and relevant for all the participants.”
“It was very relevant to learn how to optimize the process of writing.”
“It was definitely one of the best courses I have attended. The teacher was super clever, and the course was relevant and interesting.”