MFA, fiction writing; MA English literature; Senior Acquisitions Editor at Turner Publishing Company; formerly worked in editorial departments at Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and W. W. Norton; LARB contributor; fiction writer; former freelance book editor. Mr. Smernoff has helped publish books by many major authors, including Toni Morrison, Russell Brand, and Anne Rice.
Language—that fundamental tool of our craft—is fallible. It can be messy and uncooperative, and our attempts to wield it can be affected by any number of factors, be it a jolt of inspiration or accidentally brewing a pot of decaf. But language is also magnificent, fluid, and capable of transmitting knowledge and the thrill of discovery. Whether we’re talking about writing, editing, or publishing, together we will explore what makes a text come to life and move in its own unique way. This process will involve developing practical skills through collaborative exercises, learning about the various editorial and publishing landscapes, and continuing to sharpen our writing skills. In my classroom, we will be colleagues, not competitors. We will learn how to engage with work that is not like our own, and to embrace mistakes and imperfections as challenges for which solutions can be found.