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Twin Cities Campus

Editing and Publishing Certificate

English Language & Literature
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate credit certificate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2022
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 8 to 15
  • Degree:
The Editing and Publishing Certificate provides students with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to enter the field of publishing. The certificate focuses particularly, but not exclusively, on literary publishing. Students take two required upper-division courses and complete an experiential learning requirement. The courses are designed to introduce students to the process, protocol, and philosophy of editing (including the conventions of grammar, story, and style), as well as the fundamentals of many other aspects of the publishing industry (including acquisitions and project management, design and printing, publicity and marketing, sales and distribution, fundraising and grant writing, copyright and permissions, and bookselling and book reviewing). The experiential learning requirement offers students an intensive, immersive experience in one or more aspects of editing and publishing, intended to prepare them for employment in the publishing industry as well as a wide range of related fields (including media outlets, NGOs, think tanks, advocacy groups, PR firms, foundations, government agencies, and institutions involved in cultural, artistic, educational, and community programming). The certificate is open to all University of Minnesota undergraduate students.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
At least 7 credits in the certificate must be taken at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The Editing and Publishing Certificate may be combined with any departmental degree program (English B.A., English Minor, and/or Creative Writing Minor).
Core Courses
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling exactly 7 credit(s) from the following:
· ENGL 3704 - Introduction to Editing and Publishing (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3714 - The Business of Publishing (3.0 cr)
Experiential Learning
Participate in an intensive university level experiential learning opportunity. There are two options for completing this requirement.
The Tower
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling exactly 8 credit(s) from the following:
· ENGL 3711 - Literary Magazine Production Lab I (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3712 - Literary Magazine Production Lab II (4.0 cr)
or Internship
Participate in an internship or other professional experience in editing and/or publishing. English Department advising staff will help students select appropriate experiences to pursue this option, all of which must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Additional options for fulfilling this requirement could include a non-English Department internship, a Study Abroad internship, an internship through a HECUA program, or an internship through an ENGL service-learning course.
Take exactly 1 course(s) totaling 1 - 4 credit(s) from the following:
· ENGL 3896 - Internship for Academic Credit (1.0-4.0 cr)
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ENGL 3704 - Introduction to Editing and Publishing
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
What are the myriad activities that constitute a day in the life of a professional editor? According to Susan L. Greenberg?s A Poetics of Editing, ?In the popular imagination, the editor is a passive creature, busy telling people ?No.?? Are editors glorified gatekeepers, benevolent literary midwives, or cultural evangelists? This class focuses on the art and craft of editing and revision. We?ll begin the semester by analyzing the relationship between author and editor, writer and reader. Students will learn the creative, professional, and relational aspects of editing in addition to learning how to sharpen their inner critic. We?ll experiment in the classroom with giving and receiving critical feedback in an attempt to make better, more discerning and curious readers of us all. We?ll also explore the surrounding professional landscape that is the Twin Cities? local literary and publishing cultures, and on occasion, meet seasoned professionals working with print and digital media across literature and the arts. Students will adventure behind-the-scenes in order to discover how a book comes into print as it is shepherded through the various stages of production from editorial through publication. We?ll also spend time researching and discussing editorial fellowships, freelance, and entry level job opportunities as we explore post-graduate career options in publishing. Recommended for students studying Creative Writing, English, Journalism, and Communications. Credit will not be granted if credit has been received for ENGW 5401, ENGL 5711, ENGL 5401, or ENGL 4711
ENGL 3714 - The Business of Publishing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
The Business of Publishing course, by focusing primarily on book publishing, will give a wide variety of students--from budding writers to business majors--exposure to a major industry (valued at $125 billion worldwide) that curates, promotes and monetizes the written word. There are approximately 12,000 publishers in the U.S., and of those an estimated 3,000 are literary presses. An estimated 600,000 books are published in the U.S. annually; Nielsen Book Scan reports 674 million unit sales in 2016. Book, magazine, and newspaper publishing are still the most stable types of publishing in our society and form the nexus between commerce and culture. Broadly understood, "publishing" means "to make words and images public." It encompasses many activities and forms--for instance, business newsletters and websites; social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat); and organizational and personal blogs. More specifically, it is a profession with specialized components--marketing, design, sales, subsidiary rights, bookselling--each with its own standards and best practices. It is also a field rife with innovation, producing multiple "start-ups" constantly. To "publish well" means not only to deliver content to a page or screen but also to deliver it to an audience. Publishing crosses disciplines, and innovates new channels and modes of production. As such, publishing well has implications for all of us in our daily personal and professional lives. At the University of Minnesota, we have the advantage of living in a metro area that is regularly ranked near or at the top of lists for most literate cities in the U.S. We have one of the largest concentrations of literary presses in the country outside of the East Coast. This course will take advantage of guest lecturers from Minnesota's nationally recognized publishing community. It encourages students to discuss the work of publishing with these professionals, and provides them with networking opportunities. As well as exploring in-depth the specific components of the publishing process, this class also broadens our sense of what "publishing" is. It is a process as much as it is a product. Why publishing? Why is a whole profession devoted to it? Why might we want to dedicate our own lives to it, or value the portion it already plays in them? Through this course we will understand first-hand how a book makes its way out into the world, and why that process is so important to culture and community.
ENGL 3711 - Literary Magazine Production Lab I
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
First of two courses. Students produce undergraduate art/literary magazine The Tower. Students decide upon identity, tone, and direction of the issue. They take on magazine staff responsibilities, call for submissions, make selections, edit/design, set budget, and begin fund-raising. prereq: [instructor consent required, instr consent]
ENGL 3712 - Literary Magazine Production Lab II
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
ENGL 3712 is the second of a two-semester course. In this hands-on, experiential lab, we solicit, acquire, edit, copyedit, design, typeset, proofread, print, publicize and distribute the upcoming edition of The Tower, the magazine of undergraduate art and creative writing by University of Minnesota students. This is the semester in which we bring out the finished, printed magazine, and in which we host a launch party on campus. We'll continue to apply and expand the lessons from our exploration in ENGL 3711 of the theory and history of literary magazine production in any number of ways: we'll revise our mission and theme as we draft and revise ancillary copy for the issue itself and as we refresh the marketing copy for our social media, blog, and website; we'll hone our design and typesetting skills as we lay out the issue; we'll refine our aesthetic sensibilities as we collaborate on final selections, strengthening our willingness to revise our opinions as compromise for the greater good; we'll add to our firsthand valuable on-the-job skills of budgeting, scheduling, and vendor relations; and we will deepen our understanding of the publishing profession as it exists today, locally, and nationally. prereq: [3711, instr consent]
ENGL 3896 - Internship for Academic Credit
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 16.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Internships at local arts organizations, businesses, or publishing firms provide experiences in communications, arts administration, marketing, and editing-as well as an understanding of what students need to do to prepare for the job market. The Department of English offers course credit in connection with internships dedicated to UMN English majors as well as internships at other sites that meet our criteria. This course will enrich student learning by providing concrete experiences to apply knowledge of oral and written communication outside the academic context. Putting English skills to work in your internship tasks will allow you to see how communication changes with contexts and audiences. You will be able to practice new voices and styles. Depending on the internship activities, you may practice communication germane to marketing, development, editing, social media, and the professional office. You will receive feedback from your site supervisors and instructors as to your understanding of these new ways of communicating. In this course, you will keep a weekly journal detailing the work you do in the internship; analyzing the significance of the work within the greater activity of the internship site; and making connections between the work and the academic learning you have done in English. You will also write a final paper on a topic agreed upon with the instructor, which should build upon the writing you've done in the journals. We'll start by having you work with your internship supervisor to create a learning agreement that outlines what you plan to learn and accomplish during your internship and how you plan to contribute and add value to the organization. You will complete various additional assignments including discussion, readings, and writing. prereq: must be a formally declared English major registered in the College of Liberal Arts and have consent of instructor.