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Think Like an Editor: How to Make a Good Manuscript Great

March 20, 2015

Robin Catalano

Robin Catalano

Lecture by Robin Catalano

Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield, 3 p.m.

Space is limited; please call Berkshire Museum 413.443.7171 ext. 10 to register.

Ever heard the adage that great writing is more about revision than about the act of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard)? Whether your goal is to submit a fiction or nonfiction manuscript for publication or simply to be the best writer you can be, this seminar will optimize your chances by teaching you to become your own first editor. We’ll cover what professional editors look for in a story or manuscript, the best and worst times to self-edit, how to highlight your strengths and identify and improve on your weaknesses, when to stop editing, and much more.

In this lecture, you’ll learn:

  • What editors are looking for when they evaluate the publishing potential of a manuscript
  • How to develop your own unique voice and carry it throughout your writing projects
  • The best and worst times to self-edit
  • How to identify and improve on weak aspects in your writing and highlight your strengths
  • How to correct patterns of repetition in sentence structure, word choice, and style
  • How to create your own style sheet, just as professional editors do, to ensure plot and stylistic consistency in your manuscript
  • When to stop editing, and how to avoid getting in the way of your writing process
  • How to identify when your manuscript is ready is ready for “prime time”
  • The pet peeves of professional editors—a.k.a., how to become your editor’s best friend


Robin Catalano is the managing editor and senior copywriter for the Annie Selke Companies, where she creates content for the popular Fresh American Style blog and the company’s multiple social media platforms. She has worked as a professional journalist, copywriter, and book and magazine editor for nearly twenty years, with articles appearing in Gourmet, Culinary Trends, Berkshire Magazine, Stage Directions, Let’s Live, and Berkshire Living, among others. She has edited more than three hundred fiction and nonfiction titles for such publishing companies as Penguin Putnam, Simon & Schuster, the Harvard Common Press, and Workman. Robin lives in upstate New York.


March 20, 2015
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Berkshire Museum
39 South Street
Pittsfield, MA
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