“Writing and Preparing a Manuscript for Publication”

For those of you who may not have seen my last post, or don’t remember, I’m doing an independent study this semester! I’m excited for it–the title is a bit long-winded, but academia, you know. It’s pretty much writing a novel for college credit.

And, of course, I had to prepare my own syllabus for this “class,” because to my knowledge no one’s ever done this before at my college. (Funny thing, I had to run around campus to find out where the form I needed had gone, and made it to the Academic Success office, where it turned out that the lady I needed to talk to was unconvinced of my ability to write a novel in one month. Long story short, I convinced her, found the paper I needed, and almost died trying to get to class on time. Heh.) So, here’s the syllabus! (And, coincidentally, my writing schedule for this semester.)

“Writing and Preparing a Manuscript for Publication”

Class Texts:

  • Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market
  • Go Teen Writers by Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill
  • Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
  • How to Write a Proposal (have yet to choose)

Objective: To write a complete manuscript, revise, and submit for publication.


  1. To write a complete, original novel.
  2. To revise said novel to publication standards.
  3. To write a proposal for the novel.
  4. To send the proposal to a minimum of ten agents within my genre.

Weekly homework:

  1. Reflection of each week’s progress.
  2. Conference to check-in with Dr. Angle

Weekly Schedule:

Week 1: Planning the novel, reading Characters and Viewpoint

Week 2: Planning the novel; schedule writing for the next four weeks.

Week 3: Writing

Week 4: Writing

Week 5: Writing

Week 6: Writing–finish the novel and send out for critiques (Nick, Ashlynne, OYAN, figment, Mom)

Week 7: -Break from writing- Read Go Teen Writers and form a plan of revision.

Week 8: -Break from writing- Read How to Write a Proposal and identify the elements I will need to write it.

Week 9: Revision, fix large-scale plot problems.

Week 10: Revision cont’d.

Week 11: Turn in to Dr. Angle and discuss potential revisions and changes; start implementing changes.

Week 12: Continue to discuss revisions with Dr. Angle; more small-scale revisions.

Week 13: Small-scale revisions and proofreading (Mom) combined with writing the proposal.

Week 14: Present proposal to Dr. Angle, revise, and identify potential agents and publishers.

Week 15: Send out proposal to as many agents as possible–at least 10.

Week 16: Write a 5-10 page reflection of the entire semester.

I foresee a few changes here and there–the writing weeks may flow over one way or another, and revising may take less time. But that’s approximately how long it’s taken me to plan/write/revise past novels, so I’m fairly confident in my ability to get this thing done.

~Mercia Dragonslayer


About merciatremblac

I'm a junior in college, creative writing major, currently living in the mountains of North Carolina with my best friend for a roommate.
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6 Responses to “Writing and Preparing a Manuscript for Publication”

  1. Heather LaShell says:

    Looks fairly ambitious, you will have to be consistent to complete your “assignments” every week.

    We are so proud of you and your writing abilities. I foresee and ‘A’ in this class.

    Love and Rooting from PA Grandma

    May God give you more and more grace and peace. 1 Peter 1:2

  2. Serina Young says:

    Wow, good for you! I’m happy you’re doing well and would love to hear more updates!

    BTW, I’m totally jealous and would love to get college credit for writing a novel. XD

    Good luck!


    • Whoa, it’s been forever since we’ve talked! I’m glad we’ve caught up with each other. 😀

      Yesss. I was mostly annoyed by the lack of creative writing classes for my /creative writing major/ (besides one poetry class). Hence the independent study, heh.

      Good luck to you as well!

      • Serina Young says:

        Yeah, we should hang out sometime over the summer. 🙂

        Wow, that is annoying. Aren’t you at a liberal arts school? Mine’s a business college and even we have creative writing classes. 😛

      • Yes, that would be fun!

        Well, it is a liberal arts school, but it’s TINY. Like 400 undergrad students. So I’m honestly not that surprised. And I mean, we DO have creative writing classes, but only like, one per semester. D:

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