Mary Mullen, Novel Institutions

Writer: Mary Mullen, Assistant Professor of English and faculty member in the Center for Irish Studies, Villanova University

Book manuscript: Novel Institutions: Anachronism, Irish Novels and Nineteenth-Century Realism (Edinburgh University Press, Critical Studies in Victorian Culture Series, 2019).

How we worked together: As Mary revised her dissertation into a book manuscript, I wrote comments on each chapter draft with suggestions for big-picture structural and rhetorical changes. Then Mary and I consulted about revision strategies for each chapter. Through consultations, I helped Mary set and hold herself to deadlines for revising chapters so that she was able to meet her self-set deadline for revising the whole manuscript. Finally, I edited some of the chapter drafts on the sentence level after Mary had revised them.

“Working with Michelle made an immensely stressful process—finishing a draft of my first book manuscript—actually fun. Her careful reading of chapter drafts, smart insights about structure, quick responses to my own ideas for revision, and calm demeanor helped me better understand how to communicate my argument while also reminding me why I care about this argument. She is a brilliant editor who shows that writing is an inherently social act.” 

— Mary Mullen