Announcing the Great Circle Books Manuscript Lab

We are excited to announce the inaugural Great Circle Books Manuscript Lab! This workshop is designed to offer feedback and support to emerging writers—those who have not yet published a book of literary nonfiction—at work on a proposal. 

Manuscript lab applicants should be writing about a topic that merges the human experience with our relationship to place, and applicants should come, in some way, from a background or experience underrepresented in the publishing industry. 

Selected applicants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on their work-in-progress from UNC Press sponsoring editors Lucas Church and Cate Hodorowicz. Applicants will know by the end of the Fall 2023 semester if their work has been selected, and the lab itself will take place during the Spring 2024 semester.

You can find more information about the Manuscript Lab and apply here.

Here’s what Great Circle supporters have to say about the Manuscript Lab:

I started my writing career with a somewhat unconventional approach: I had no MFA, no teachers, and no contacts. I strongly believe books and writing books should be for everyone—every voice, story, and person. I’m thrilled that Great Circle Books is attempting to democratize and demystify the publishing process further by creating the Manuscript Lab to identify talent. I hope you submit, even if you are a shy person, as I was and still am!

Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Great Circle Series Editor

One of the wonderful things about Great Circle is that we know you don’t necessarily have to be young to be an ’emerging’ writer. Deep life experience can benefit narrative nonfiction work. Sometimes, those voices just need extra guidance from experienced editors and mentors, and a little bit of opportunity. Those are things the Great Circle Manuscript Lab can offer.

Rosalind Bentley, Great Circle Editorial Board Member and Editor-at-Large, Oxford American

Few places are as bewildering as the U.S. publishing industry. Think of the Manuscript Lab as a machete to clear a pathway through the jungle. A sanctuary awaits you.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Great Circle Editorial Board Member and author of All the Agents and Saints

As a queer, brown author, I’ve often worried about my work being perceived as ‘flavor of the month.’ There also always seems to be a small window that my essays might catch the eye of a publisher, and this window usually coincides with a larger trauma, the impact of which I also have to navigate. Here’s the opportunity to circumvent that cycle and work directly with two editors, Cate and Lucas, that are serious about nurturing your work and you as a writer, over time.

Hasanthika Sirisena, Great Circle Editorial Board Member and author of Dark Tourist