Jotham Burrello is an arts entrepreneur—writer, publisher, editor, video and radio producer, and member of the resident faculty at the Yale Writers’ Conference. He teaches in the Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago, where he created and now directs the Publishing Lab and the Review Lab. In 2010 he founded Elephant Rock Books, an award-winning fiction and nonfiction press. He produced the instructional DVDs "So, Is It Done? Navigating the Revision Process" (with Janet Burroway), and "Submit! The Unofficial All-Genre Multimedia Guide to Submitting Short Prose." I asked him for some helpful hints for novice writers interested in getting published.
It took you two years to write your novel, I will need two months to read it.
Emerging writers should understand that the author-editor relationship is a partnership. Authors need to consider the advice of editors who invest in their work, revise, and then go write something new.
Be patient waiting for responses from editors, especially for book-length material. It took you two years to write your novel, I will need two months to read it, and consider if I want to dedicate five thousand dollars (or a whole lot more) to publish it.
Get out in the community and meet fellow writers and editors. Go to, and participate in, readings. You may get published or not, but the job of a writer extends off the page. You'll make satisfying relationships to sustain your work, and your life.