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  • Sean Manning: Senior Editor, Simon & Schuster

  • SeanManning
    “My two years at The New School were what I imagine it’s like being an apprentice in a skilled trade; writing was treated as a craft as much as an art."

    “My two years at The New School were what I imagine it’s like being an apprentice in a skilled trade; writing was treated as a craft as much as an art,” says Sean Manning, Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster and 2003 graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing Program. “The New School was all about defying convention and doing things differently,” Manning says. “I really loved the fact that I was one of the few students who came to the program right out of undergrad, and that most of my classmates had real-world experience and had done some living.”

    Before entering the program, Manning says, “I had some excellent teachers in undergrad, but as an English major, I only took literature classes. I had never been in a workshop.” Manning wrote short stories during his time at the University of Tampa, but, he admits, he’d never shown them to anyone. When he found out that he was accepted into the Creative Writing Program to study fiction, he decided to take his writing to the next level.

     

    Today, Manning is the author of the memoir The Things That Need Doing (Broadway/Random House, 2010), and is the editor of five critically acclaimed anthologies featuring original contributions from writers such as Ray Bradbury, Jennifer Egan, Susan Choi, and Chuck Klosterman, among many others. His work has been published in Playboy, The Village Voice, The Awl, and Deadspin, among others. Prior to his time at Simon & Schuster, Manning worked as executive editor of Rhapsody, an in-flight magazine published by United Airlines, which The New York Times described as “the Paris Review of the air.”

     

    Manning began working as a senior editor at Simon & Schuster in 2016, and says his time at the The New School was instrumental to his career as an editor.

     

    “There are a lot of things I learned in the [MFA] program that help me in my current job as an editor,” Manning says. “Probably the most important is that I went through the workshop process. I know what it’s like to have my work criticized and feel that kind of vulnerability. I know how it can be helpful and how it can suck. So, when I’m giving feedback to my authors, I always try to remember what it’s like to be in that position.”

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