Interpretative Essay on Writing and Publishing Industry

Item 3: Essay Relates to learning outcomes: 1,2,&3 Weight: 40% DUE: 11:59PM FRI 6 NOVEMBER, 2015 via turnitin

You will write an interpretive essay of 1500 words (plus/minus 10%). In the essay you will respond to a scenario that will be reflective of unit material.

The grading rubric is attached here. The Turnitin link for submission will be open in week 10.

Essay Scenario

Through her unique voice and significant community response to her first book publications, an early-career author attracts the attention of a commissioning editor of a major multinational publisher. So surprised is the author when she gets the unsolicited commissioning phone call she thinks someone is playing a joke on her. The editor convinces the author it is a genuine call and a genuine offer, and a standard publishing contract gets negotiated and signed. This author’s trademark writing is ribald satire, her subject matter drawing on the lives of many, including her own, is complex and layered. This contract is for her memoir.

The author achieves submission of her completed manuscript by the only date that is stipulated in the contract. Sometimes writing 2000 words a day, the author dedicates a large part of a solid six months to writing. At the point of submission she is thrilled at her manuscript achievement and is looking forward to working with the editor with whom she now shares good relationship and common publishing goal.

Author and editor work their way through a first edit, this involves structural editing input from a contract editor; all three are in different locations, the publisher in metropolitan Australia, the author in regional Australia, and the contract editor in New York. All editorial negotiations are facilitated onscreen, sometimes difficult but all resolvable.

One day the commissioning editor calls the author to tell her she will no longer be officially editing her manuscript as she has just lost her job. The publisher had not long merged with another major house and organisational restructures were continuing to change personnel and priorities. Officially no further contact is made between the author and these two editors, and a new editor is assigned to this author. The new editor disagrees with earlier edits, wants to edit out a significant number of scenes from the work, and challenges the humour in some of the memoirist recounts.

This third editorial relationship never achieves lift-off although the author considers all edit suggestions and rejects the majority of them using the Track Changes reject function in Microsoft Word. The publisher assigns a new editor, by which time the author has lost confidence in the process. The author considers the fourth editor’s suggestions, responds, and then prepares to get busier with other new professional developments in her life. The manuscript has now been edited by four different editors, the author has retreated from the frontline of the editorial relationship, and the manuscript about her life continues to sit with the merged corporate entity promoted as the ‘world’s first truly global trade publisher’.

Identify three key variables that first supported this publishing opportunity and three key variables that altered the publishing momentum. Taking into account the merger, design alternatives for how this could have been better managed and anticipate what options are now available to author and publisher.


The interpretation / rationale is sophisticated, clear, and well-justified through use of research.

The essay material is organised in an insightful manner. The material is presented in a mature and thoughtful way and demonstrates a deep understanding of contemporary publishing phenomena and significant number of key concepts around writing and editing.
The essay is written with clarity, flair, and sophistication.
The piece is well written and requires no proofing for spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation.