Specialization in Developmental Editing

Shape a Manuscript From the Idea Stage Through Publication


Program Details

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 11 weeks
  • Times: Evenings
  • Cost: $1,075

Next start date:

October 2, 2023

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Talk to an Enrollment Coach

About this Program

If you’ve ever admired a book for its story structure, a brilliant plot twist or the pace of a personal narrative, a developmental editor likely had a hand in it. Developmental editing, also called substantive editing, is when the editor provides feedback on the big picture of a written work. Developmental editors work closely with writers to help shape their work from the idea stage to publication.   

In this one-course specialization, you’ll learn key developmental editing skills. You’ll work on projects you’ll encounter as a developmental editor, including manuscript reviews, book proposals, article pitches and letters to the author. You’ll also develop the tools you’ll need to run a successful editing business, with a focus on creating a website and learning how to invoice, bid on contracts and manage clients.

▸ Related Article: Programs for Writers and Editors

Designed For

Writers, editors, publishers, literary agents and others seeking to expand their big-picture or developmental editing skills.

See Requirements

Video Overview

Hear about the UW Specialization in Developmental Editing from instructor Matthew Bennett and discover how the program demystifies the craft by walking students through a full developmental edit.

Duration 02:42

Skills You’ll Gain

  • Manuscript design
  • Story structure
  • Evaluation and consultation strategies
  • Business development
  • Writing coaching
  • Content development
  • Content management
  • Publishing sites
  • Invoicing best practices
  • Document preparation

Get Real-World Experience

  • Complete the developmental editing of a real, unpublished manuscript, beginning with the manuscript consultation, moving through several stages of editing and ending with the submission of the developed manuscript to the writer
  • Build the necessary business components (resume and website content) to enter the publishing industry as a professional developmental editor

Career Stats


Growth in demand for content editing skills in the U.S. (2018–2022)


Growth in demand for content editing skills in Washington state (2018–2022)

Source: Lightcast


Connect with an enrollment coach to learn more about this offering. Or if you need help finding the right certificate, specialization or course for you, reach out to explore your options.

Learning Format

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Combine the convenience of online learning with the immediacy of real-time interaction. You’ll stream courses online and interact with your instructors and fellow students via chat, web conferencing or phone, all in real time. Learn More »

Program Sessions

Online With Real-Time Meetings


    Noncredit Program

    You'll earn 3.6 continuing education units (CEUs) for successfully completing this program. Learn more about noncredit options.

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