Book Manuscript Workshops

Wouldn’t it be useful to have a group of people read your book manuscript and have a discussion about it with you?

[Sculpture by Stephen Doyle]

While it’s not unusual to ask friends and colleagues for comments on one’s manuscript, and while sometimes people hold graduate seminars focused largely on their work in progress, not all academics are well-positioned to get criticisms and suggestions from others on drafts of the books they’re writing. Book manuscript workshops expand access to this useful, professional feedback.

The purpose of this post is to provide a space for readers to share information about book manuscript workshops they run or know about that are open to philosophers.

For example, there’s an interdisciplinary book manuscript workshop run by the Ann Johnson Institute (AJI) for Science, Technology, and Society at the University of South Carolina. My colleague, Leah McClimans, writes:

This workshop is targeted towards individuals at any career stage who have not previously published a monograph. We are happy to consider individuals with or without publishing contracts. The successful applicant will have a first-time book manuscript near completion at the time of applying. He or she will invite, and the AJI will fund, up to three senior experts in the author’s field. A small group of relevant experts within the South Carolina community may also attend.

The purpose of this workshop is to support stronger and more rigorous manuscripts from first-time STS authors. Equally, it is geared toward developing communities of colleagues from different disciplines and geographical locations. The AJI is committed to building such communities from the bottom up, seeding them and positioning them to question and reframe complex problems. The AJI takes a broad approach to STS, envisioning it in partnership with historical, philosophical, scientific, engineering, and medical approaches, because at the AJI community is the method.

She also shared feedback from one of the authors, Rosiland Donald (Miami), who had been through the workshop in 2021, and who said: “The Ann Johnson Institute’s Book Manuscript Workshop was an unforgettable experience. I felt supported through the whole process and now, in addition to detailed, expert, advice on how to progress with my book project, I have a new network of colleagues.” There’s further information about this workshop here.

In the comments, please tell us about book manuscript workshops open to philosophers that you’re aware of. Thanks!

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Chris Armstrong
2 years ago

This is a very good one in the UK. It’s in political theory, but I’m sure they’d be very happy to consider projects in social and political philosophy.

Rob Reich
2 years ago

The Stanford Center for Ethics in Society regularly hosts manuscript workshops for local philosophers and political theorists. It also has an annual writers workshop to discuss a nonfiction manuscript by a writer without a university affiliation. More here:

And finally, the Stanford Humanities Center has a standing program for manuscript workshops for philosophers and other humanities faculty.

Fritz Allhoff
2 years ago

You can also just host your own? I’ve applied for university funding to bring in people and work through the manuscript–it’s super fun and makes the project a lot better.

Jonathan Westphal
Jonathan Westphal
2 years ago

Great idea!