Friday Job Board
Catapult dumpster fire edition
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If you are a person on the Internet, you have probably heard by now that Catapult—an esteemed publisher with three imprints, a successful and much loved writing school, and a fantastic online literary magazine—announced on Tuesday that they were shuttering the writing school and magazine-arms of their outfit and laying off heaps of people across the company— including in the book publishing division that they purported to be cutting other programs to support.
What you might not have heard is that none of the Catapult instructors or authors were notified that this was happening. We (I have a book with Catapult and a class that has been ongoing with them for 3 years) found out on Twitter. People who aren’t on Twitter found out through texts and phone calls that went something like this: “I’m so sorry about the news!” “What news?” "(Awkward silence.)
I have had a lot of jobs in my life, many of them in corporate spaces. As stifling as corporate culture can be, I found it reassuring that there was such a clear corporate etiquette in the spaces that I worked in; a hierarchy, a way that things were done. When I worked at Starbucks, for example, you knew exactly who would be giving you a dressing-down if you fucked up someone’s mochaccino. I worked for the massive branding agency Interbrand for a decade, and there was such a clear system of checks and balances that there was a person dedicated to checking my Powerpoint for the person who checked my Powerpoint before said deck was shown to a client. My point is, there was thought and consideration put into actions and initiatives, and if there were consequences, there was a way of talking about and delivering those consequences.
Publishing though? Wooooo boy— if you like untamed horses, you’ll love the bucking bronco ride that is American publishing right now. This is not the first time I’ve heard about super talented people being laid off with no notice. But it’s the first time that I’m one of them— and from a publisher I have a book with, a book that I believe in with every fiber of my body and keep working to promote, because my publisher seems interested only in “printing” the book, while leaving the publishing to me.
In an effort to salvage some embers from the dumpster fire of Catapult’s abrupt lay-offs this week (people found out on Tuesday, and everyone’s gotta be gone and done by today, Friday) this Job Board will be entirely dedicated to writers, instructors and other literary citizens who were laid-off by Catapult. We’ll start with people looking for work and we’ll end with people/organizations hiring. Please share this post with others in your network: their next developmental editor or book doula or copyeditor might be below!
Disclaimer: Please note that I do not personally know each of the people listed below nor have I worked with them in a professional capacity. I am posting the listings in the order they arrived when I placed an open call for listings through my social media. I asked each person to share their name and professional specialties along with an email. Some of the listings have been edited for length.
Ex-Catapulters looking for work
Jenessa Abrams was an instructor at Catapult. She is looking to continue teaching her classes on an independent basis or to host them on an alternative platform. She is also open for independent studies and personalized editorial feedback. Her areas of expertise are teaching and writing about: Illness, Family, Translation, Book Reviewing, Food, and Grief. To learn more about her, please visit her website: jenessaabrams.com or connect with her on Twitter + Instagram: @jenessaabrams.
I, Joanna Cantor, was an instructor at Catapult. I am looking for work as a fiction-writing instructor or fiction editor. My expertise are teaching and editing fiction, with a particular knack for dialogue and creating complicated, compelling characters. Here is a student testimonial from one of my past Catapult classes: "Joanna was a thoughtful and motivating teacher with a wealth of knowledge and lots of empathy." My website is joannacantor.com. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Leslie Contreras Schwartz, a multi-genre writing and writing teacher, and I had my first class at Catapult planned for May. I am looking for work, specifically teaching or coaching online. My areas of expertise are poetry, nonfiction (I have books in both genres), and using lyrical language in fiction (and development Al editing/coaching). My websites where people can check out my writing is lesliecschwartz.com and testimonials at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leslie-contreras-schwartz. I can be reached at email@example.com
I Danielle Lazarin was a teacher at Catapult. I am looking for teaching and coaching work. My areas of expertise are fiction/the short story/process and practice; I'm especially good with revision and getting writers unstuck. More about the services I offer are on this page of my website, and I've started a newsletter for anyone who wants to follow my course offerings. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I, Cari Luna taught for Catapult for five years, and have decided to offer my classes on my own, beginning with a 12-week novel course, limited to 6 students, where the writers workshop their entire manuscripts, and a one-day Revision Strategies seminar suitable for fiction and creative nonfiction writers. Folks can get more information at https://cariluna.com/classes/.
I, Jaime Green, taught classes at Catapult. My upcoming class, Scrivener for Creative Writing, was scheduled for March 4 and cancelled. In the short term, I'm looking to offer that independently, and I'll also be offering my other Catapult workshop, Cheating Your Way to an Expert Writing Process. Class descriptions and testimonials are here: https://www.jaimegreen.net/classes Anyone who wants to know about future offerings of either class should email me at email@example.com.
I'm Julie Kliegman, the copy chief at Sports Illustrated and a former Catapult instructor. For the last couple of years, I've taught a one-night, three-hour copy editing craft seminar, meant for beginners and non-beginners alike. I'm looking for a place to run my class—or perhaps some advice about how to get one off the ground myself. You can see testimonials about my editing and writing on the Catapult page (at least while it's still live). My website is here. In addition to copy editing, I also write and edit frequently. I'm working on a book called Mind Game, about how elite athletes navigate mental health. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
I, Katherine Standefer, was an instructor at Catapult. They housed my “Personal Sex Essay and Unlocking Tough Stories” classes (which is basically Trauma Writing Lite). I'm looking for other well-paid opportunities to connect with serious writing students (as I always found Catapult's to be) who are trying to tell intensely personal stories, especially about the body-- through intimate classes and retreats, through speaking opportunities, and through one-on-one manuscript-level editing. I'm also open to one-off contest judging and special issue editing work. (I was working on Creative Nonfiction's "Caring for the Heart" special issue until they suddenly folded.) In addition to acting as a trauma writing doula, I also train other writing instructors in trauma-informed creative writing methodology, and help writers unlock high-level craft issues in book-writing. My website is katherinestandefer.com and my email is email@example.com
I, Madeline Stevens, was an instructor at Catapult. I am looking for teaching and developmental editing work. I instructed a successful six-week short story workshop and a generative "Writing As Play" workshop for the past five years with Catapult. I've also worked as a developmental editor for over seven years. My client list includes published authors like Diane Ackerman and Pragya Agarwal, and several past clients have gone on to secure first time publishing deals, notably Cecilia Rabess's Everything's Fine which sold at auction—to be released this year. I love literary fiction, suspense, and horror, but am open to most genres! See my website madeline-stevens.com for more info. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Kate Barss and I was an instructor and writer for Catapult. I taught a sold-out 6 week class about bringing magic realism into flash fiction and had planned to teach it again this summer. I am looking for places who would be interested in letting me teach this workshop and other comparable places to publish my flash fiction work. My areas of expertise are flash narratives, short fiction, queer narratives and magic realism. My website is katebarss.com. I can be reached at email@example.com
Ex-Catapult instructor Richard Farrell teaches writing workshops and classes on short fiction, novel, and memoir. He has worked with writers of all experience levels and genres. In addition to his regular teaching schedule, he is available for one-on-one manuscript critiques, with hourly rates and book-length consultation rates available. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or view his offerings at richardfarrell.net
I (Jenna Tang) was an Instructor at Catapult. I am looking for other teaching opportunities and potentially a position that helps facilitate writing programs. My areas of expertise are marketing, publicity, and teaching translation & creative writing. My personal website is: www.jennatang.com/ Twitter @Chiehlantang, and I can be reached at email@example.com
Oxford American is looking for a versatile and highly organized contract editor to join their editorial team for six months, from March through August 2023. The assistant editor will contribute to all aspects of the publication of the Oxford American magazine, from soliciting stories to editing print and web pieces to managing contributors’ deadlines, contracts, and payments. They prefer for the assistant editor to work from the magazine’s main offices in Conway, Arkansas, three days a week but will consider employees with demonstrated success working remotely. Though this position is short-term, the role offers opportunities for mentorship and growth. Click here for more info.
Aspen Words Institute is looking to hire laid-off Catapult instructors for their program “The Editing Room,” where the directors match writers with freelance editors. Former Catapult editors/instructors are invited to send along their bios for consideration (mention that we sent you!) They pay $10 a page and have a few manuscripts in the hopper right now that they’re looking for editors for. Send bios to Ivy.Chalmers@aspeninstitute.org
Write or Die.org is also offering a home for Catapult instructors and editors via their workshops. They have plans to expand with another community in April so their writing community and reach will continue to grow. They’re also open for submissions for essays and interviews for those looking to place their work. Write firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
The Resort is a community of writers founded in 2020 by writer/artist Catherine LaSota that hosts an online network of hundreds of writers, offer a variety of workshops and classes, and other resources for writers. If you are looking for a home for your classes, please reach out to the Resort by completing this inquiry form. They offer hosting platforms with various options for single session and multi-session classes, marketing, and all payment processing and class deliverables. Teachers receive more than half of student fees, and The Resort completes payment in full to instructors within 24 hours of the conclusion of a class.
The Porch (in Nashville, TN and online) is also welcoming instructors and editors to their writing programs with open arms. Email email@example.com with your propositions or for more info.
The recently created Writing Collab (founded by two ex-Catapult instructors a few months back) is absorbing Catapult offerings into their programming. Writing Co-Lab is a teaching cooperative owned and operated by artists passionate about craft, community, creativity, and the joyous power of the written word. Because they’re a cooperative, there’s no staff to handle administration or professional promotion of classes. This means they’re a better fit for teachers who are fairly experienced and have some built-in network or audience. Classes tend to focus more on process and craft, and less on intense “bootcamp”-style, product-oriented promises of publication. To find out more— and to figure out whether you’re the right fit for Writing Collab—visit their website.
The Rumpus is considering putting together online workshops and has shared this Airtable where interested instructors can be placed on a waiting list should their program take-off. (Do note that they have not ever run online workshops before so there could be some…bumps.)
The Chicago-based Story Studio is also welcoming Catapult instructors to their established program. Check out their website and upload your pitch to their Airtable and they’ll see what they can do!
Author, editor and former Catapult instructor Lilly Dancyger has a generous thread on Twitter where she shares everything she’s learned about taking her classes private. Lots of great information here for instructors wondering how to go it on their own.
I would love to sell a few copies of my Catapult-published writing and publishing guide before the Titanic actually sinks? If you are here but you haven’t actually read my guidebook BEFORE AND AFTER THE BOOK DEAL, now’s the time to order! If you have read it and loved it, consider gifting it to a friend, which would actually be a gift to me. Thank you in advance.
I love DIY MFA radio, and you know I am all about DIY-ing your MFA, or at the very least, DIYing this whole publishing thing after the MFA. Listen to my tell-all chat with host Lori Walker here.
Want to learn how to write a Book Proposal with me while I’m wearing a weird hat-thing because I was having a bad hair day? You can do so via audio or video here, or if you want to do it with homework assignments because you’re Type A like I am, you can do that here.
That is truly all for now. I’m exhausted and I’m angry and I’m frankly bored with how often and deeply some gatekeepers continue to disrespect their content makers. But I am grateful for you, though. Thank you for being here and remember to share this with your writing friends who might be looking to hire literary peeps.
The way that Catapult handled this business is shameful. It's makes me so angry and I didn't even work there, but their magazine promoted one of the awards I was fortunate enough to get. How hard is it to notify people before you do dirt? They're either incompetent or heartless or ashamed of their actions so that they didn't bother to notify people.
This also might be of interest. Corporealwrite is apparently taking pitches from instructors re courses to be taught: https://twitter.com/tumblehawk/status/1625573668775694337
I am so sorry this happened!! I truly hope everyone finds new homes. And Before And After the Book Deal is one of the best books I've ever read on how to engage with the publishing industry. I gave it a starred review in Booklist. Courtney, would you get your rights back if the Titanic sinks?