The Club Ed Certificate in the Developmental Editing of Nonfiction Program

Developmental editing is not an entry-level position. You have to understand the use of effective editorial techniques to do it well. The Club Ed certificate program is designed to help you develop these skills.

Benefits of a certificate of completion

We can’t promise that anyone will hire you or consider it a meaningful credential. The purpose of the program is skills-based and education-focused: it is meant to help you be ready to do the work. This is not an accredited program. It is intended strictly for professional development.

The Club Ed program focuses on editing works written for adults, and in particular trade nonfiction (that is, nonfiction that appeals to a general audience), as this is where most nonfiction editing work can be found.

How the program works


You must take the two introductory self-paced classes, Basics of Developmental Editing for Nonfiction and Principles of Developmental Editing for Nonfiction.


You must take three instructor-led classes covering specific developmental situations. These are:

  • Editing Short Nonfiction
  • Writing and Editing Book Proposals
  • Editing How-To and Self-Help Books

Note that more options will become available as the program expands.


You must take four electives of your choice. Choose from self-paced and instructor-led:

  • Editorial Toolkit: Coaching Writers (instructor-led)
  • Starting Your Editing Business (self-paced)
  • Getting Editorial Work from Publishers and Packagers (instructor-led)
  • Editorial Toolkit: Book Doctoring and Ghostwriting (instructor-led)
  • How to Edit Query Letters, Blurbs, Etc. for Nonfiction (self-paced)

Note that more options will become available as the program expands.


You must take the instructor-led Advanced Developmental Editing for Nonfiction class OR the self-paced Developmental Editing Practicum.


For all instructor-led classes, you must complete all assignments to be considered as having taken that class. If you missed doing an assignment during such a class, you can turn in missed homework using the Missed Homework Makeup product.


You must signal your intent to complete the program by filing an application to the program. (There is no charge.) You have three years from the time of your application to complete the requirements for the certificate. When you have completed the required series of classes, you must submit a request for certificate (there is also no charge for this).


You must agree to abide by the Kindness Policy.

Note: If you’ve already taken Club Ed classes, some of these can be applied to the program requirements. List the Club Ed classes you’ve taken when you fill out the application and we’ll let you know which requirements they can be used to fulfill.

If you have taken Beginning and Intermediate Developmental Editing through the EFA, regardless of the instructor, you can bypass the first requirement for the fiction certificate – but talk to the Resort Director first ( 

Similarly, if you have taken the Developmental Editing for Nonfiction class through Club Ed or the EFA, get in touch with the Resort Director to see how you can substitute this for the Basics and Principles classes. (

The cost of the complete program is about $2,000, depending on the class choices you make. Classes can be purchased a la carte, and you can pay for classes as you are ready, not all at once – unless you choose to take advantage of a certificate package. The program is intended to be completed in about a year, taking about one class a month, but you can take up to three years from the time of application to finish the program.