The Publishing Laboratory


(photo by Jeff Janowski, ©UNCW 2016)

MFA Opportunities in Publishing

MFA students study concurrently with undergraduates in many of the Publishing Laboratory classes, where they have the added opportunity to enhance their experience by leading class sessions and undertaking additional research and creative projects. While most graduate students in UNCW's program are writing with the aim of commercial publication, and the knowledge they gain in the Pub Lab will no doubt help them in that regard, we hope that participation in any of the following experiences will broaden and inform their understanding of books and communication in general.

For graduate students hoping to pursue careers in publishing or teaching, including management of literary publications and promotion of writers' events, the Pub Lab provides an excellent training ground. Students completing any of the following special topics courses are eligible for assistantship opportunities in the Department of Creative Writing and elsewhere; practicum staff members (chosen each semester by application) gain valuable editorial, design, and business management skills as well.




CRW 523 3cr Bookbuilding
This course offers intensive hands-on training in book design and production using desktop publishing technologies. Students develop skills through a progressively more complex series of projects, culminating in a finished chapbook of their own work, in a small edition (which they take with them, along with completed digital files of their work for later reprinting). Students should gain from this course basic software skills, a heightened design aesthetic, and an understanding of how books are built and produced, manuscript to bookshelf.
CRW 524 3cr Literary Magazine
This course comprises the team that selects, edits, designs, markets, and manages the department's biannual literary journal Ecotone.
CRW 525 3cr Special Topics in Publishing
This course allows for an occasional special emphasis in a narrower topic such as the history of books and publishing, book arts, or for a course taught by a guest instructor.
CRW 560 3cr Publishing Practicum

Designed for students interested in a career in book publishing-as well as for writers who want to be better informed about working with editors and publishers -this course offers intensive hands-on training in editing, design, marketing, and publicity in support of the literary imprint, Lookout Books. A maximum of six selected students form the nucleus of the staff, with responsibility for editing, typesetting, and producing accompanying marketing materials. Participants are selected by permission of the instructor, based on previous participation in bookbuilding (523), magazine practicum (524), or relevant experience in publishing. The internship surveys editorial and publishing practice and explores the intellectual and practical issues involved in decision-making. The imprint staff meets weekly and works independently in and outside of the Pub Lab for approximately 8 hours weekly.

Practicum application