Our Readers and Their Methods

As developmental editors, we all have different specialties. Read on below for our methods and backgrounds. Or click here for an overview of our one-on-one adventures.

Diane GlazmanDiane Glazman is an experienced developmental coach and editor who combines a unique set of skills to help writers at all stages of the writing and revision process. As a submissions reader for a literary agent, she has read and critiqued more than 1,000 query letters and partial or full manuscripts. She holds an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University, a BA in creative writing and literature from Binghamton University (SUNY), and is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Writers’ Workshop, Lit Camp, and numerous workshops and classes. She has also taught creative writing for more than ten years, which gives her the ability to clearly convey her depth of knowledge about craft and understanding of the publishing industry.

 

Nancy Au.head shotNancy Au

My goal as an editor is to bring encouragement and exploration into the review process. After carefully reading new material, the four questions that I like to begin with are:

  1. What stays in my memory? What can be marveled and wondered?
  2. What is there? What images am I seeing?
  3. What are the threads and connections between all of the pieces of the story/stories/poems (place, character, history, movements, theme)?
  4. Are there questions or moments to explore that might bring about a new understanding to the story?

Playwriting and poetry deeply inform the narrative structure and style of my own short stories and flash fiction. I enjoy the challenge of mixing genres, writing into questions, distilling material down to its thematic essence, searching for connections/motifs/themes. I enjoy studying story structure, offering suggestions for restructuring or reworking the flow of the material. I try to understand the heart of where each writer is coming from, and to ask the types of questions that help them generate more work and deeper understanding about their characters and intentions. I look forward to working with you! My full bio can be found here.

 

Carson Beker – Story Dramaturg, Developmental Editor.

Carson Beker.photoI specialize in providing developmental editing/ story-dramaturgy for short stories, novels, plays, and hybrid works in early to mid stages.

My Method is derived from three sources: 1) the theatrical concept of dramaturgy, which I apply to fiction, 2) Lerman Critical Response, and 3) my experience as fiction editor/ slush reader for literary magazines including Fourteen Hills, as a creative writing teacher and as a student of the craft of writing.

I consider myself a story dramaturge, rather than an editor. In theater, a dramaturge is an advocate for the work. It is the dramaturge’s job to understand as much as possible about the world of the piece, to read as deeply as possible into the work first, and to trust in the mechanisms, impulses, and workings of the story. A dramaturg asks questions, offers readings, and suggests experiments to help the writer develop the spirit that is already present.

Liz Lerman’s Critical Reponse is an expansive feedback method aimed at helping an artist create their work, taking into account the artist’s intent, the emotional response of the reader, and the work as it stands. I learned this method at San Francisco State University through Michelle Carter and Nona Caspers, and have developed it through my creative writing classes.

I have an MFA in Fiction and an MA in Playwrighting. I have taught creative writing at San Francisco State University, Wayward Writers, 826 Valencia, and The Escapery. As Fiction Editor of Fourteen Hills and other magazines, I have read thousands of short stories in slush piles. I know what makes one story stand out amid hundreds of others. I also like to draw on the craft elements of writing (point of view, distance, image, narration, subtext, emotion) and of other art forms.

You can read more about my approach here, here, and here.

How it works: Every work is different, but we usually begin by talking about the work, what the writer’s intentions are, what they want to bring into the world, where they feel they have succeeded, where they feel stuck. Next, I give the story several deep reads, with notes. Sometimes, I research the era or inspiration of the work. My response will include what I read, elements of the piece that moved me and how, moments where the piece met the artist’s intentions. I also offer writing experiments, craft notes, and further readings that might help the work develop. Finally, we meet over coffee (or skype) to discuss line notes, “hot spots” in the text, moments where the work comes alive and something is revealed. We end by setting goals for the piece or the writer. I spend a lot of time immersing myself in the voice of a writer and only take on a few projects per season.