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The Author-Editor Relationship: Editorial Diplomacy

What’s involved when working with acquisitions editors, agents, copyeditors, and proofreaders? How do authors and editors help each other to create the best possible outcomes in publishing? The author/editor relationship should be mutually supportive and beneficial because they both have the same the goal: putting the best versions of their books out there to increase sales. Diplomacy is the key here. Occasionally, one might hear:

Author: “She cut that entire chapter? He said my dialogue was weak! Who do these editors think they are?”

Editor: “I wish this author would trust my expertise and know that my evaluation is fair and balanced. I don’t want to rewrite their books, I just want to help my authors!”

But this is an important collaborative relationship that should never be contentious. If you’re an author, you’ve probably gasped when a manuscript you’ve labored over for months or years came back from the editor with more Track Changes than you’d ever seen before. If you’re an editor, you know it’s hard to evaluate and edit someone else’s words and still maintain order with tact. Even though you’re careful, your edits and feedback might feel like a personal attack, because writing is so personal. Our panel is composed of the following authors and editors who can help both editors and authors to navigate their ultimately satisfying, yet sometimes tricky, relationship.

  • Hillary Claggett (acquisitions editor for ABC-CLIO
  • Katherine Don (freelance developmental editor and CWIP member (
  • Christine Todd (author of Pins and Tornado Days and owner of Red Anemone Books)
  • Caroline Lee (self-published author of Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins)
  • Carol Fisher Saller (editor of of the Chicago Manual of Style online Q&A, author of The Subversive Copyeditor: Advice from Chicago (or, How to Negotiate Good Relationships with Your Writers, Your Colleagues, and Yourself), and the young-adult novel Eddie's War)

Wednesday, February 18, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
6:00 to 6:30 p.m.– Registration and networking
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.– Announcements and program
8:00 to 8:30 p.m.– Post-event networking

Second floor conference room in the Four40 Building, 440 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60603
$9 parking in the Four40 building underground parking at Financial Pl. and Congress Blvd. for attendees with parking validation that is available at the event.

Sign up by Monday, February 16 for discounted registration fee.
Register online now:
By mail: Send a check payable to CWIP, P.O. Box 268107, Chicago, IL 60626 or phone at 773.508.0351

On or before February 16: CWIP Basic Members $10; nonmembers $25; students with ID $10
After February 11: CWIP Basic Members $15; nonmembers $30; students with ID $15
The event is free for CWIP Premium Members.
Cash or check only at the door. No refunds.

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Around Town: Chicago Publishing Events

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Upcoming 2013-2014 CWIP Events

The Author-Editor Relationship: Editorial Diplomacy, February 18

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