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Maxwell Perkins: The celebrated editor of great literary talent

Learning from the best — John Eilermann St. Louis

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Submitting a manuscript to an editor can be a scary experience, especially for young writers. However, it’s a necessary step toward improving one’s craft. Even the greats like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe were discovered by an editor. Maxwell Perkins of Charles Scribner’s Sons became known in the literary world as a discoverer of great talent. Under his care, many of the authors that people look up to were able to produce their greatest work.

An advocate and mentor — John Eilermann St. Louis

Unlike other editors, Perkins wasn’t the type who would rewrite the author’s work or impose his own ideas. Though there were times when he would get technical, he helped authors flesh out their stories and their characters more. The writing process can be exhausting for authors, but having an editor that acts as an advocate and a mentor is a gift.

Image source: Thenewdaily.com.au

A legend indeed — John Eilermann St. Louis

Throughout his career, Perkins fully believed that the book belongs to the author. Though this meant staying in the shadows while his discoveries enjoyed the spotlight, the renowned editor became somewhat of a legend among aspiring writers during his time.

Not a lot of people know about Maxwell Perkins. But millions know about the writers he discovered and the impact their works had on their lives. John Eilermann St. Louis.

 

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