Just Tell Me What To Do: A Case Study of a Writer-Editor Collaboration

Breakout Session


What can an editor really do for you? In this session, author Margaret Whitford and editor Janna Marlies Maron offer a peek behind the curtain of their collaboration on Margaret's manuscript, Homecoming, a memoir in essays. They will look at the manuscript Margaret started with, areas Janna identified for improvement, Margaret's revisions, and where the manuscript ended up after they worked together for nine months. Margaret and Janna will each share her process with the manuscript, taking the draft through a major revision, to a version that Margaret is currently sending out.

Key takeaways from this session:

  • Learn what to expect from a developmental editor (and why most writers need one)
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of a manuscript

View Slides [Google Slides]



  • Janna Marlies Maron

    Janna Marlies Maron is a professional editor with nearly 20 years of experience helping writers tell their stories. Her experience includes time as a magazine editor, college professor, agency editorial director, and content director for a popular internet brand. She is the founding editor and publisher of Under the Gum...

  • Margaret Whitford

    After earning an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Margaret Whitford spent twenty years in the not-for-profit field in senior management roles. She then returned to graduate school at Chatham University to pursue an MFA. Her essays have appeared in the anthology, Good Dogs Doing Good, from LaChance...