About Me

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Priya Talwar

A Delhi-NCR based professional book editor, writing coach and literary agent. 

Why work with me?

Over the past 11+ years, I have moved up the editorial ladder, starting as a staff writer to setting up Editor’s Atelier, an editorial business, right before the first wave of the COVID. At Editor’s Atelier, I help writers and nonwriters develop their ideas into credible stories.

My experience working as a features editor fundamentally shaped my stye as an editor, reader, and of course writer. Over the decade, I have worked with hundreds of reporters, non-writers, thinkers, and book authors helping them get to the ‘juice’ of an idea and/or story. I believe that everyone deserves to get published at least once and that getting published is a milestone.

Before I commissioned books from authors, I had worked on developing stories and commissioning essays in magazines, including First City, India’s only indie arts and culture magazine; Down to Earth, India’s only fortnightly on the politics of environment and agriculture and Men’s Health, known for its research, design as well as stellar narratives. 

In my last full-time role as Assistant Commissioning Editor at Rupa Publications, one of India’s largest trade publisher and distributor, I was able to commission original nonfiction from debut as well as established authors. I was also responsible for managing manuscripts from cradle to grave, and took care of authors' needs, negotiated contracts apart from performing the most fundamental editing type, i.e., developmental editing.

Mostly, I learnt the importance of expectations in the business of publishing, something I love to talk about, given the huge gap between what publishers enable and what authors expect from publishers. In my two years working independently, I am able to identify the pain points as well as motivations of writers, which is also why I am able to meet you exactly where you are at.

 

Irrespective of who you are, I am able to help you by donning any of these roles, including Writing Coach, Professional Book Editor, Publishing Consultant and Literary Agent.

About my Professional Training

Over the past five years, I have completed at least seven professional courses in book editing (fiction and non-fiction), ranging from basic to intermediate to advanced levels. Although the majority of my training is in big picture and story editing, i.e., structural editing and manuscript assessment, I have equally enjoyed learning line editing. You can see the courses in the order in which I took them. 1. Introduction to Developmental Editing: Book Length Fiction and Creative Non-fiction by the Author Editor Clinic I owe my professional reputation and work to Barbara, without whom I don't think I would have realized what I wanted to do. Don’t judge Barbara Sjoholom, the instructor for her not-so-fancy website. Her course and book, An Editor’s Guide to Working with Authors can be definitive for anyone! Author of several books (fiction and non-fiction), she is also co-founder of Seal Press for 25 years. 2. Advanced Editorial Workshop in Substantive Editing by UC Berkeley Extension I pursued my interest in big picture work right after Barbara’s course and landed at this comprehensive course, taught by Elizabeth King Humphrey. I can say with confidence that publishers today are aiming far below the benchmark I saw here. Participants had to edit a difficult non-fiction manuscript about a woman without whose contribution the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park would not have been the pioneer institution it is today.  3. Advanced Fiction Editing by Editorial Freelancers Association First things first, the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) is the most recognized body for freelance editors across the world. I have now done two courses by the instructor Jennifer Lawler, who is also a book editor for more than 20 years. The focus in this course remains on 'reviewing the principles of developmental editing, making an editorial plan,' editorial letter or report and more. 4.Editing Memoir by Editorial Freelancers Association This was the first genre specific course I did and I pursued my interests in memoir with another course in 2022. 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. For any professional (read independent) editor worth their salt, EFA's resources are the most handy, useful and affordable, especially for big picture editors.  5. Copyediting Fiction 101 by The Penn Institute I still use the instructor's lessons and assignments to help add value to ongoing projects! This is especially useful if you are editing your novel and are hoping to write many more. Don't save a buck on a copy editor's fee but really, it may open your eyes as a novelist! By the way, this is one of the largest independent organizations for Christian authors. 6. Weekend Writing Workshop by Aditi Rao  When I did this course almost a decade ago, I did not know what to expect but it helped me shape my thinking and I am still thankful to Aditi for strengthening my style as a reader, and editor. Anyway, if you are based in Delhi, you can ignore Aditi's course at your own risk. Although a poet first, like a good writing teacher, Aditi has a knack for bringing writers from across genres and age groups on the same page. 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, Christina 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. 11. Certificate course in film editing by Pune-based Living Bridge This was a 40-day hands on course in film editing conducted by Neeraj Voralia, veteran film editor, FTII alumni and now professor at his alma mater. He has many feature films, and documentaries to his credit. For the Bollywood buff, he edited the Netflix original, Class of 83 starring Bobby Deol. Less importantly, I did this course because I love editing and I was curious, that's all!  12. Explorations: Editing Memoir by Club Ed Freelancers I love the name of the organization, but don't be in a rush to judge the course by the club type feeling. This was the most difficult course I have done so far but the best thing is the class instructor, Jennifer Lawler is kind and pragmatic enough to help you do your best. By the way, she also helps editors figure the shit they are doing, a much welcome help for all professional editors working solo! My educational background - B A English (Hons), Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi Diploma -Journalism, Express Institute of Media Studies, ITO, New Delhi

My Work