I have worked as a commissioning editor for one of India’s oldest book publishers and distributors, Rupa Publications and also as a features journalist and subeditor for traditional and offbeat magazines. My experience in media and publishing helps me understand the needs of a traditional publisher, an in-house editor or even an agent. I have signed more than a dozen authors, from debut to established and am passionate about helping writers grow.
Why work with me?
It goes without saying that I am passionate about reading and more so about the processes involved in the making of a book. I have more than six years of experience working in media and publishing. I have written, edited and commissioned for diverse magazines, including First City, a monthly indie on arts and culture, Down to Earth, a fortnightly magazine on the politics of environment and development, Men’s Health and India Today.
As an in-house editor, I have commissioned and acquired a variety of articles and books, ranging from a column of personal essays questioning normative masculinity to a collection of insightful and quirky personal essays by a globe-trotting solo Indian woman. I have commissioned serious non-fiction titles on Bollywood, nationalism and the psychology of patriotism. They cover a diversity of subjects, including, communication and relationships, parenting, nutrition and more.
As a commissioning editor, I also assessed several manuscripts, query letters and book proposals (fiction and non-fiction). I was involved in important editorial decisions, be it writing the blurb, suggesting titles or shaping the cover. Working behind the scenes helped me gain a unique understanding of the needs of a traditional publisher, a topic I discuss in my blog.
Education and training
- B A English (Hons), Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi
- Diploma, Journalism, Express Institute of Media Studies
I have been taught by the best journalists at The Indian Express, one of India’s leading English dailies. Working with traditional and offbeat magazines sparked my interest in publishing and I began my pursuit in formal training in book editing (fiction and non-fiction). Over the last few years, I have gained immensely from international editors who happen to be some of the best teachers as well. See my training below:
This course is taught by Barbara Sjoholom, an author and editor at Author Editor Companion. Don’t judge Barbara by her not-so-fancy website. Her course and book, An Editor’s Guide to Working with Authors defined the way I approach editing. Apart from being an author of several books (fiction and non-fiction), she has also been the co-founder of Seal Press for 25 years.
- Advanced Editorial Workshop in Substantive Editing by UC Berkeley Extension
While Barbara’s course encouraged editors to assess several books of their choice, this course, taught by Elizabeth King Humphrey, had participants edit a serious non-fiction book about a woman without whose contribution the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park would not have been the pioneer institution it is today.
- Advanced Fiction Editing by Editorial Freelancers Association
Taught by Jennifer Lawler, a book editor for 20 years, this course is useful for editing commercial fiction, among other genres. By the way, for those who may not know, the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is the most recognized body for freelance editors across the world.
4. Editing Memoir by EFA
Another course offered by the EFA, Editing Memoir is the most niche book editing course I have done so far. I love the genre creative non-fiction, especially memoirs and the course teacher and editor, Christina Frey shows you how to identify the unique challenges involved in editing not just a story, but someone’s life!
5. Copyediting Fiction 101 by The Penn Institute
This is one of the largest independent organizations for Christian authors and Kristen Stieffel, the teacher of the course, is also the director of the institute. I did not know there was a specialized market for Christian authors. Nevertheless, the training itself was useful and non-biased.
6. Weekend Writing Workshop by Aditi Rao in Delhi
This is one of the best writing workshops for all kinds of writers in Delhi. Aditi is a poet and has a knack for bringing writers from all genres and ages to the workshop and critique participants’ work. I love using the finger technique from her workshop in a creative writing class I volunteer for every Sunday at Ropio, a not-for-profit organization in Ramesh Nagar, Delhi.
7. Personal Essays by Writer’s Digest University
This is a genre I am absolutely amazed by and continue to study in. The teacher of this course is a great line editor, one I seriously envy. If you are looking for writing courses online that are affordable and credible, the Writer’s Digest University is a great place to begin.
8. Writing Fearlessly by William Kenower
This is a course I recommend to all writers. William gains your trust and makes you feel understood as an artist. If you want a teaser, I recommend reading his books, especially Fearless Writing, and also his blogs. I wish he was a certified therapist exclusively for writers.
9. Line editing (intermediate) by EFA
This is the third course I did from EFA and highly recommended, even if you are a writer. What I appreciate the most was how the instructor and editor, Frey showed us how to listen to the words on the page. Line editing can be hard but the detailed feedback and community support helps you gain confidence as an author’s aide.
10. Public Relations by PR Moment India
The 1-0-1 course by PR Moment, an online magazine for the PR sector in India is an insightful and short programme. The editor, Paarul Chand and moderator, Moushumi Dutt are PR veterans and also star teachers who share from their experiences making the Face2face training extremely hands on and grounding.
11. I have also done a course in film editing. Read details here.
Hire me if you wish to
- submit to a traditional or hybrid publishing house
- submit to a literary agent
I also work with publishing houses, whether traditional or independent.
Note: I edit all genres except science fiction, fantasy fiction and poetry.
If you have any queries, please email me with the subject line: QUERY_TypeofQuery. For instance: QUERY_ManuscriptAssessment or QUERY_DevelopmentalEditing or QUERY_BookProposal etc.
LinkedIn: Priya Talwar