Certificate Program

Literary Publishing

Program Description

Literary publishing brochure cover

The Certificate Program in Literary Publishing is held as a one-week (five-day) intensive session in June.

Classroom (or lab) instruction occurs daily for six hours a day, 9:00 am–4:00 pm (three-hour morning session, with a lunch break, three-hour afternoon session, and an opportunity for participants and faculty to talk informally at the end of the day's instruction). Guest speakers will supplement each day's instruction.

Outside of classroom instruction, participants will work on a rough business plan on their press or magazine. Participants who complete the one-week intensive session and submit a rough business plan for their literary magazine or press will earn the Certificate in Literary Publishing.

  • Literary Publishing Program Dates: June 15, 2015
  • Program Cost: $995.00

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Who Should Enroll

The Literary Publishing Program is open to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and individuals who would like to learn publishing skills needed to start and run their own literary magazines or book publishing ventures. This intensive will help participants navigate through all of the print and digital options for their planned publications, as well as giving them hands-on basics on how to select, edit, design and market these editions.

The Certificate in Literary Publishing will be awarded only to those individuals who attend and successfully complete the program and all of its coursework.

Intensive Program

An Overview of Literary Publishing
Participants will discuss the particular concerns of small press publishers and how best to find and mine a niche market. The key is to determine the mission and vision of the press or literary magazine. Individuals will also examine the history of small press/literary publishing and understand its current context within the publishing industry, as well as the issues facing literary publishers today.

Literary Acquisitions and Editing
Participants gain basic information on contracts (and negotiations), acquiring manuscripts, and reading manuscripts. They will learn to deal with authors in revising work and determining what needs revision. Copyediting and proofing procedures will be outlined. Participants will learn how to make use of basic book information (ISBNs, Library of Congress, and more).

Marketing, Promotion, and Distribution for Literary Works
How can small presses best develop and reach their audiences? What are the best ways for literary publishers to promote their wares? How can publishers get their magazines and books into the marketplace and into the hands of buyers?

Design and Production for Literary Publishing
Participants will receive information on the fundamentals of graphic design, typography, and production methods. What designs work and which don't? How are books and magazines manufactured? What print and digital production and manufacturing options are available for the small publisher (including online and print-on-demand)?

Finance, Management, and Legal Issues for Literary Publishing
Participants receive an introduction to laws on copyright and libel. Individuals will also be presented with different models to found, organize, and fund their presses. Participants will gain familiarity with financial management issues and tools, as well as how to manage personnel and keep their presses financially solvent.

Certificate Program Completion Requirements

Participants in the Literary Publishing Program must attend and successfully complete the week-long intensive to earn the Certificate in Literary Publishing. The following guidelines apply to the Literary Publishing Certificate Program at Emerson College:

  • Individuals must satisfy the certificate program requirements published for the intersession in which they register for the program; and all required coursework must be completed.

  • All individuals must complete the program in the same year in which they first register.
  • Only learning activities offered by Emerson College's Department of Professional Studies and Special Programs may be applied to fulfill the requirements of the Literary Publishing Program.
  • Enrollment is non-credit and open to all individuals who have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.

How to Enroll

Registration for the Literary Publishing Program is closed for 2015. Please visit this page in the future for information about upcoming programs.

Participating in the Literary Publishing Certificate Program

Tuition is due upon registration for the Literary Publishing Certificate Program. Tuition covers lectures and classroom and lab time. Participants are responsible for their own housing, food, and such miscellaneous costs as textbooks and course materials.

Program Tuition: $995.00

At the present time, Emerson College is not authorized to issue I-20s for study in its Professional Studies and Special Programs (“PSSP”) courses. Depending on an international student’s immigration status and personal circumstances, enrollment in a PSSP course may be permissible or may result in an immigration status violation. Maintaining valid immigration status while in the United States is the responsibility of the individual, not Emerson College. PSSP staff cannot advise individuals about their immigration status. If you have any questions about the requirements for maintenance of your specific immigration status, please contact the U.S. Consulate in your home country prior to enrolling in a PSSP program.


Lead instructor for the Literary Publishing Certificate is Gian Lombardo, Senior Publisher-in-Residence (2001) and coordinator of the Certificate in Publishing program. He has a BA in comparative literature from Trinity College and an MA in creative writing from Boston University.

Mr. Lombardo directs Quale Press, which publishes literary works. He has had more than 30 years of experience in a wide range of publishing environments—trade, association, literary, and consumer magazines as well as professional, literary, and textbook publishing. His clients have included Reed Business Information, Ploughshares, Agni, Bedford/St. Martin's, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, and Transitions Abroad. He is also the author of Between Islands, a collection of poems and verse translations (Dolphin-Moon Press, 1984); and five collections of prose poetry: Standing Room, Sky Open Again (Dolphin-Moon Press,1989 and 1997), Of All the Corners to Forget (Meeting Eyes Bindery, 2004), Aid & A_Bet (BlazeVOX Books, 2008), and Who Lets Go First (Swamp Press, 2010). His translations include the first half of Aloysius Bertrand's Gaspard de la nuit, Eugene Savitzkaya's Rules of Solitude, Michel Delville's Third Body, and Archestratos's Gastrology or Life of Pleasure or Study of the Belly or Inquiry Into Dinner. He also serves as contributing editor for Sentence, a literary journal.

Email Gian Lombardo or call 617-824-8379.