Writer’s Toolbox

Ask The Writer

Your most pressing and perplexing questions about writing answered here by Gotham teacher Brandi Reissenweber.

A magazine that accepted my article is sending me a galley. What's that?

A galley—or galley proof—is a preliminary look at your article as it will appear in the publication. The term comes from the hand-set printing process; a galley is a long tray that holds a column of type. The typesetter filled in those galleys, then sent a draft for approval before finalizing. You’re getting a galley as part of the editing process, to make sure everything is as it should be. At this point—when it’s laid out on the page—most of the major editing should be done. Still, you should give it a thorough read before giving your final go-ahead.

Galley proofs come in many different forms. You might get a paper copy to look at, or an electronic version. When publishing a book, galleys can be uncut and unbound, or they can come bound, looking like a generic paperback version of the book. Some publishers even use bound galleys as advance reading copies, sending them out to reviewers in advance of publication.