What’s Coming Up

By Hannah M Smith, on 17 November 2017

Image of London SkylineSo far this term, we’ve been to oodles of events. If you’ve missed out, you can find some event reports (including lovely pictures of Publishing students) in our recent posts. If you’d like more information about any previous or upcoming events, please message one of us and we’ll put you in contact with a helpful someone.

To keep everyone in the loop and make sure we don’t miss anything accidentally, here are some exciting things coming up:


18th (-16th Dec): Kingston Children’s Literary Festival – https://www.visitkingston.co.uk/events/kingston-childrens-literary-festival-18-11-2017

20th: SYP London – November Book Club – The Siege by Helen Dunmore https://thesyp.org.uk/london/event/syp-london-november-book-club-the-siege-by-helen-dunmore/

21st: The Ventriloquist’s Daughter: A Talk with Author, Translator and Publisher https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ventriloquists-daughter-a-talk-with-author-translator-and-publisher-tickets-39693486286?aff=es2

21st: Writing About Conflict with Caroline Brothers and Anita Sethi http://www.bloomsburyinstitute.com/upcoming-events

22nd: SYP November Workshop: Discovering new authors and working with publishers


27th: How are Independent Publishers Shaking Up The Book Industry? http://www.bytethebook.com/events/byte-book-publishing-networking-groucho-club-november

28th: Independent Publisher Conference (I’m not sure we can actually go but it’s maybe worth knowing that it’s happening!)


28th: An Evening with Sherlock Holmes https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/an-evening-with-sherlock-holmes-tickets-38456798319?aff=es2

30th: Black Women in Publishing https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/black-women-in-publishing-tickets-39685338917



4th: Eat, Drink and Be Merry! https://bookmachine.org/event/eat-drink-merry/

6th: Jingle & Mingle https://bookmachine.org/event/jingle-mingle/

15th-16th: The 2017 London Children’s Book Fair http://parasol-unit.org/whats-on/education-and-events/the-2017-london-childrens-book-fair/


Careers Events

Don’t forget to sign up to any of the careers events that take your fancy at the end of November (all in an email from Sam):

28th: Get into Publishing

29th: Get into Broadcasting: TV, Film & Radio

30th: Journalism Workshop

30th: Get into Marketing, PR & Advertising


Finally, please don’t forget that CHRISTMAS IS COMING and there are a crazy amount of festive-themed events in London to make the most of!

Book Christmas Tree


Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference 2017

By Hannah M Smith, on 15 November 2017

Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference Room

On Monday (13th November) the London Book Fair and the Publisher’s Association held the second Inclusivity in Publishing Conference. The day was insightful and motivating, filled with interesting and inspiring panel members. The aim of the day was to address the diversity issues in the industry with a big emphasis on what we can do to move forwards! A quick summary of the day goes:


Managing Disability in the Workplace

Kiren Shoman – SAGE Publishing (Chair), Andie Gbedeman and Mark Brooke – Dimensions UK, Vicki Partridge – Books Beyond Words

We need to move away from the misconceptions regarding what people are capable of and look at what every individual can offer. The recruitment process needs to be flexible; for example, working interviews are less intimidating for people with learning disabilities. Training can be provided for employees to help them communicate with colleagues who may communicate differently to them, including using pictures, accessible easy-read documents and ‘Listen-Up’ training. It is vital to provide positive narratives about people with disabilities in children’s books and not to make disability the focus.


Keynote: Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Creative Industries

Different perspectives are invaluable in such a diverse country. Positively, new imprints are emerging that are focused on diversity and schemes have been setup to improve diversity in entry level roles. A theme that continued throughout the day was the economic benefit of diversity. ‘Diversity is opening the door. Inclusion is inviting people through it’.


Mirroring Inclusivity – How Role Models are Building an Inclusive Industry

Simon Dawson-Collins and Nancy Adimora – HarperCollins

Role models need to reflect the diversity in society so that all young people can see themselves mirrored in higher roles. To ensure this happens, there need to be lots of different people involved in the recruitment process. They also mentioned the importance of talking about diversity. For our industry this will both develop a more diverse readership and the ability to understand and reach them in the employment force. Unconscious bias training should be given to recruitment employees, and to as many members of staff as possible.


Looks Like Me

Selma Nicholls

Selma told us the story of her daughter feeling out of place in society and not considering herself beautiful because of the images she was bombarded with everyday. Selma, passionately and proactively, then told us what she has done to change this. Looks Like Me is a talent and casting agency that strives to create imagery that reflects all young people. They work with many companies and started the incredible campaign: #sowhiteproject. She invited us to be the change we want to see, a call for all of us to address injustice.


Getting Writers from Minorities Published – Supply Chain Challenges

Chris Gribble – Writer’s Centre Norwich (Chair), Sharmaine Lovegrove – Dialogue Books, Emma Paterson – Rogers, Coleridge & White, Monica Parle – First Story.

There needs to be a genuine desire to make diversity happen. It’s not about the industry doing BAME citizens a favour, it’s about what they can do for us. The panel discussed ways in which we can achieve truly publishing for the whole of society: being less London-centric and making jobs more transparent (so people know of the abundant roles in publishing and can strive for them). We should look forward to the day that this conversation can end.


Audience Development: British Asian Community

Abir Makherjee

As a British Asian, Abir Makherjee says that we must change to cater to the demands of this changing society. As an accountant, Abir was appalled by how much further ahead the finance industry are in battling this issue. Paying for diverse talent is not an expense, it is an investment. We need to see growth in genre fiction from BAME writers, to extend marketing into other channels, to forge links with key community organisations, to take minority authors into schools and societies. Publishers need to be more culturally aware.


Broadening Inclusivity in Entry-Level Recruitment in Publishing

Nancy Roberts – Business Inclusivity (Chair), Linas Alsenas – Pride in Publishing, Heidi Mulvey – Cambridge University Press, Siena Parker – Penguin Random House

This panel discussed the ways in which their companies are trying to increase diversity. CUP have created many apprenticeship roles for people leaving school. Penguin Random House have started a randomised work experience program to give everyone an equal opportunity. They also now use video interviews and other technologies for the recruitment process to focus on talent rather than ‘type’ of person. Linas Alsenas has recently created ‘Pride in Publishing’ which aims to create a networking and social space for LGBTQ+ employees.


Diverse City

Jamie Beddard

Working in the arts industry, Jamie described how storytelling is key to: understanding, empathy, contextualising and re-imaging. We need to be telling untold stories and listen to unheard voices to develop a more inclusive and understanding society. We need to value people’s differences.


June Sarpong in conversation with Razia Iqbal

Razia and June discussed June Sarpong’s new book, Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration, and her career in the media industry. June addressed how far we have come and how far we still have to go. Her book not only addresses issues of race but also age, disability and gender. To hear more from June herself I would recommend listening to the CTRL, ALT, DEL podcast here.


The day finished with a presentation from Equal Approach on what they can do to help our industry diversify and company and individual’s pledges to address this issue and move forward, hopefully ending the discussion altogether.


To see more follow #inclusivityconf2017

MA Publishing Students at Building Inclusivity in Publishing Conference

The Inaugural Liberty Lecture with Ali Smith

By Jessica B S Brotman, on 11 November 2017

Ali SmithAs our first module, Publishing Contexts, was set to wrap up earlier this week, I’ve spent much of the past seven days asking myself, what is a book? On Monday, November 6th, however, during the Inaugural Liberty Lecture held at Senate House, I found myself wondering, what is an author? Moreover, what can an author do to better the society in which they live and write?

I found my answer listening to Ali Smith, author of such popular novels as How to Be Both and Autumn and this year’s Liberty lecturer. Notably, Liberty is a U.K.-based human rights organization focused on bringing fairness, equality, and justice to British society. In the spirit of the organization, Ali Smith delivered an astounding speech regarding the nature of liberty and what can be done to ensure it. Ali Smith’s lecture was poetic, mesmerizing, and artfully delivered. She compared the quest for liberty to Alice’s tumble down the rabbit hole­—frustrating and often baffling—but her words were not without optimism. Her conclusion inspired hope for a society in turmoil, as she stated, ‘Liberty’s no phantom, it is a spirit, and it is real.’

Much of Ali Smith’s speech centered around art as a means of speaking truth, making others heard, and defending the notion of justice, and it is this idea that inspired an answer to my previous question. In addition to being an entertainer, an artist, and a creator of stories, Ali Smith made clear that an author is a voice. What’s more, an author is a voice with the power to speak up for others, to call attention to societal issues, and perhaps most so, to inspire liberty.

The second installment of Ali Smith’s highly anticipated Seasonal Quartet, Winter, is now available from Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Image provided via The Institute of English Studies 

When In Doubt, Go to the Library

By Wendy C Tuxworth, on 4 November 2017

This guest post was written by Brittany Yost.

Screenshot 2017-11-04 12.16.34

In a move that would make Ms. Granger proud, The British Library has curated  it’s very own Harry Potter exhibition. Harry Potter: A History of Magic will run until February 28th, 2018 giving plenty the opportunity to make their way through the truly enchanting showcase. Naturally, the UCL Publishing students wasted exactly zero time in snatching up tickets to see a new side of the story. We were not disappointed.

A brief warning to those HP fans among us that fall more on the movie side of things: this exhibit focuses heavily on details from the novels. While most aspects are very much accessible to both movie watchers and book readers there will be little in the way of adorable Daniel Radcliffe  pictures. I know, I know, he was super cute. But don’t be disappointed. You will not be let down with how much precision the library curators employed in establishing both the space and the items to be presented.   

The exhibition is fittingly in the downstairs of the library, invoking all our fondest memories of our favorite moody professor Snape. The area is split into sections relating to potions, divination, astronomy, herbology, and magical creatures. Each section physically played to its theme beautifully, with star lit ceilings and floating potion bottles. There are interactive elements to some displays, including a station to digitally make a potion and a digital tarot card table. I will fully admit that we spent a lot of time at that tarot card reading station in the hopes someone would get an answer to whether we would pass our dissertations. Alas, it just told us general fortunes of strength and doom. Hey, we tried.

The history portion of the exhibit comes into play in two ways. The first are the items donated from the grand creator  herself, JK Rowling, relating to the process of how Harry Potter first came into existence. You can see query letters, the original notebooks with hand scribbled story notes, and story flow charts. There was glass in between me and the page that JK Rowling touched but it was the closest I have ever been to her so I will take it. I love her, ok?! I am not ashamed. The second element are pieces pulled from the library relating to real life references in the Harry Potter novels. Yes, much to our surprise, Nicolas Flamel was real and apparently lived in 15th century France. Alchemy? Real! Study of phoenix? Real! Belief in mandrakes? Real! There were a lot of “no ways” springing up from around the room. It truly was unbelievable to see how much research was put into weaving magical elements from history into the magical world of the books.

Overall, the exhibit is a glorious look behind the veil of details that exist in the seven books of Harry Potter. Proving that magic is not as far away from us as we think. If only we know where to look.

2017 Stevenson Award

By Hannah M Smith, on 1 November 2017

On Monday 23rd October, past and present students gathered with other lovely people at the rather majestic Stationers’ Hall to attend the inaugural Stevenson lecture. The evening was a celebration of book historian and UCL professor Iain Stevenson (1950-2017) hosted by Bloomsbury Chapter and UCL Publishing. Simon Eliot gave an inspiring talk entitled: ‘Letters, Leaflets, and Lectures: Before and Beyond the Book 1840-1945’ – we learnt lots (including the correlation between pay and height for Victorian male servants) and were reminded of weird and wonderful things (such as the reason for the holes in our front doors).

At the end of the evening, Daniel Boswell presented the U.C.L Stevenson Award 2017. We obviously wanted to know more about the winner and runners up, Claire, Dominic and Sarah – so here is a little insight!

Winner: Claire Ormsby-Potter

Claire OP Head Shot

A fun fact about yourself:

This question always gives me conniptions because I’m never sure what’s interesting, haha! How about – I actually trained as a teacher after leaving University, but realised that it absolutely wasn’t for me.

What was your favourite moment of the year?

I’m not sure it’s possible to identify a single moment. The whole course was a really great experience for me, and all the opportunities I had as part of it were unbelievable.

What project/piece of work were you most proud of and why?

Probably my Children’s assignment. I got my highest mark for it, and just waxed lyrical about books for ages, interspersed with cartoons I drew. It was a lot of fun!

Runner Up: Dominic Aveiro

Dominic Aveiro Head Shot

A fun fact about yourself: 

Not many people know this about me (…okay, maybe quite a few people do), I used to be in the Metropolitan Police Service…and before you ask, the answer is yes – I have arrested someone.

What was your favourite moment of the year?

This is a hard one for me as there are so many great moments to draw from. Nevertheless, I will have to focus upon a string of moments, or to be more precise, Thursdays. Why were Thursdays so important? Well – not only had the academic week ended for us (though all our classes were great) – it also meant going to the pub! Here, great friendships were forged. Not surprisingly (or perhaps, surprisingly?), the pub was an environment that was highly conducive to communication.

What project/piece of work were you most proud of and why?

Without a shadow of a doubt, my absolute pride and joy was the piece of work I did for Children’s Publishing. I basically designed a DK-inspired Dragon Ball piece on InDesign with the skills I had gained from Publishing Skills. This is the wonderful thing about the Publishing MA – skills are transferable…and encouraged!



If you want to see what they’re up to now, give them a little follow:

Claire: @okyeahbut

Dom: @DominicAveiro

Sarah: @sjfcarver

‘The Enduring Popularity of Gothic Fiction’: A Bloomsbury Institute Event

By Jessica B S Brotman, on 30 October 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 1.47.18 PMOn the evening of Thursday, October 26th, the Bloomsbury Institute at Bedford Square was cloaked in eerie, glowing candlelight. A soft rain fell outside its doors, supplementing the mysterious atmosphere as publishers, readers, and spooky-literature fans gathered to celebrate the Gothic genre. ‘The Enduring Popularity of Gothic Fiction,’ a panel chaired by The Guardian’s Danuta Kean, featured author Joanna Briscoe, screenwriter Jeremy Sheldon, and perhaps most prominently, Laura Purcell, author of the modern Gothic horror novel The Silent Companions.

The panel began with a short reading from Purcell’s new novel, a 19th-century tale that follows Elsie, a recent widow who, pregnant and grieving, has retired to the ominous countryside. The reading featured a section reminiscent of classic Gothic literature, and it set the stage for a discussion about the genre’s traditions, its modern applications, and the lasting influence of thrillers, mysteries, and ghost stories. A common theme of the discussion was Gothic literature’s corruption of normalcy. The panelists insisted that ghosts and hauntings can take many forms, and perhaps they are most effective when grounded in things we hold dear and familiar. Other interesting questions posed included why children feature so prominently in spine-chilling tales, as well as whether or not a story can be considered Gothic if it’s set in the modern age.

As Halloween approaches, now is the perfect time to enjoy a dark tale. I highly recommend Purcell’s The Silent Companions, and other popular reads include the works of M.R. James, Susan Hill, and Shirley Jackson. At the panel, Purcell recommended the works of Michelle Paver, including the popular Thin Air, and Joanna Briscoe endorsed the ghost stories of Roald Dahl. Be sure to check those out, and happy haunting!

Follow the panel’s ghostly players on Twitter here:

Laura Purcell:


Joanna Briscoe


Danuta Kein


Bloomsbury Institute


Raven Books


The entirety of the panel can also be viewed here.

The Word for Women is Wilderness

By Hannah M Smith, on 27 October 2017

This blog was written by fellow student, Lauren Hurrell. We love it! Read more from Lauren here.

Growing up, taking inspiration wherever I could get it, it was brave characters like Mulan that I looked up to. I wasn’t going to be saving China any time soon, but the closer I got to adulthood the more I would examine the qualities that characters like Mulan had, to get through each day as best as I could. A lot of the time I would identify with male fictional characters, because they would have goals or personality traits that I identified with, or wanted to develop myself, and I never really thought much about that. Mainly because, well, those attributes are often seen as male.

Most of the time it was because those characters possessed the desire for adventure, something I always had. At weekends, when my brother and I were younger and my mum was a single parent, she would take us on hikes and bike rides on long days out where it felt as though we were the only people around for miles. Both of my parents came from Devon, so we were never too far from the ‘great outdoors’. I was lucky to be able to travel as often as I did too, most often to the French Alps and the Swedish lakeside forests. I was also obsessed with Lord of the Rings in that period of my life, and fell in love with any landscape that might have resembled Tolkien’s imagination. (I even took up archery with a friend on Sundays).

The sad thing is, at that time, I didn’t consider it to be a gendered thing to feel that way about nature or my imagination. I didn’t know what it meant to be a ‘tomboy’, I just knew that I was one by the way I dressed and what I liked. This isn’t a ‘not-like-other-girls’ thing, but I do remember being a slightly wrong fit for every gendered activity, whether it was with the girls or the boys. I regularly wore loose jeans and my brother’s enormous hand-me-down Jurassic Park hoody, forever ripping jeans at the knee by falling over in football games or climbing trees, while a lot of girls in my year were starting to become more concerned with boys and stuff. But I could never quite be one of the boys either.

Regardless, I didn’t really think of “that world”, the one of adventure and the wilderness, as being a male-dominated sphere, until later on. When I think about it now, the famous adventurers that spring to mind, the heroes of the wilderness chronicling their experience of loneliness and introspection or navigating their solitude and survival, are people like Jack Kerouac and Bear Grylls (I was personally more of a Ray Mears fan) – but the point is, I can only think of men who were popularly seen as adventurers.

This is exactly what Abi Andrews’ debut novel, The Word for Woman is Wilderness, pulls into question, but far from the only thing. From the gender politics of Iceland, to the first explorers of space, Andrews explores all kinds of topics, as she offers the adventure narrative from a young woman’s perspective. She does this through her nineteen-year-old protagonist, Erin, who embarks on a voyage into the Alaskan wilderness, ‘a one-woman challenge to the archetype of the rugged male explorer’.

I’ve been reading this book for the better part of a month, carrying it with me everywhere from commutes to coffee shop corners. From the first page onwards, I realised how long it had been since I had read something that felt so close to my own voice, whilst being entirely revolutionary and enlightening at the same time. I even got a bit tearful when I reached the end, which doesn’t usually happen to me with books. Its content returns me to the space of time when I used to read about, dream of, and crave adventure before anything in my mind had become politicised or gendered – that I was aware of, at least. This book pulled me right back to the roots of those cravings. But the best part? It comes through as a genuine woman’s voice, and is a woman’s story. Finally. It even mentions periods.

This is the novel that my childhood yearned for, and I wish I could return to it and read it again anew. Not just for the comfort factor, though – I also learned a lot. It is so well researched, bursting with anecdotes and observations that capture a feeling, a sentiment or a milestone in words I wish I could have written myself. Erin’s voice not only conveys her intelligence, but also the immense talent of the writer herself. Abi Andrews writes from her mid-twenties with the voice of someone far beyond of her years.

Sharing a resemblance to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, it’s not the first book of its kind, and I pray to god it isn’t the last, but my experience of reading this book has been tugging at the child in me, and that child says my god, thank you! It is one of those books that encapsulates the universal experiences of women, and human beings in general. One of my favourite parts is Erin’s commentary on the power of women taking up public space, whether it’s eating alone in a restaurant or reading in a café, to demand that space and reclaim it as their own, instead of creating an opportunity to be accessed and approached by a man. She writes,

“Growing out of the girl and into the woman sitting in cafes alone, libraries alone, anywhere alone, really, without feeling the itch of the out-of-place, displaced, mistaken. With the self assuredness of the intentionally-put-in-place. I am starting to feel that now. A body that says, before they think to ask, no thank you, I am where I intend to be.”

Whilst seemingly an obvious point to make, this really resonated with me. I’ve always loved sharing my own company, and never had a problem with sitting on my own in public places until I began to grow a bit weary of being approached by unwanted company. It shouldn’t be something we have to lose for the sake of comfort and safety. While it is realistic, it reminds us that we cannot only live in fear, but instead must challenge why that fear exists, and how to overcome it, instead of letting it be a footnote to our gender.

“the tundra is always in soliloquy. Mostly it whistles and sings, but now and then the wind will die down suddenly and in the utter silence and still it feels like you are on stage. As though you did not know there were curtains until they just suddenly opened. Then the cacophony of noise again like applause”
It also captures the poetic immensity of nature. This novel has made me think that one day I might be able to write something similar, or set off on a similar solo adventure. It gives me the hope that more and more books like this will be written, but most importantly – it has adjusted a lot of the views I had, finessed them, and helped them into the right places, which makes the bigger picture of the world a whole lot more comprehensible. After reading this book, I am reminded of a quote by bell hooks: I entered the classroom with the conviction that it was crucial for me and every other student to be an active participant, not a passive consumer…education as the practice of freedom…. education that connects the will to know with the will to become. Learning is a place where paradise can be created’.

Most importantly, the novel offers a platform for more voices to be heard – voices of women disrupting male-centric spheres. The voices of women explorers.

“I took a last long look, blinking my eyes like they were shutters and I was capturing still photographs of this scene to file away in the far crevices of my mind, the special, self-defining crevices that stay secure and well preserved and accessible for life.”

I wanted to note down my favourite passage in the whole novel, because it was the one part of the book I read that I felt most compelled to read aloud to someone, and not just because it was moving and eloquent. For me, it captured everything that I search for, whether that’s in writing, art, or life in general. It is the feeling that comes in moments I know I need to remember, and moments that I hope to find, always. In short, if someone asked me how to describe the way I saw the world, it would be this:

“Everything looks happy and good in pink golden light but the beauty has sadness and sometimes this is difficult to distinguish from sadness itself… There is acute love for the thing then realising that one day one way or another it will leave you or you will leave it or the light will change, but the magnitude of this hurt is itself something that adds to the beauty. You let it enter: permeation, contamination, not-aloneness, shared knowing of this beauty. You grow with it like inosculation, and the sadness comes in knowing that it is so other to you, that it is like tree branches growing first together and then apart. We need this acute sad feeling to make us care about the preservation of otherness. Perhaps then the feeling is more accurately the love of sad beauty. Or nostalgia that has not happened yet.”

The Word for Woman Is Wilderness by Abi Andrews will be coming out in February 2018, published by Serpent’s Tail.

5 books for a beginner publisher

By Wendy C Tuxworth, on 25 October 2017

Screenshot 2017-10-24 18.11.25

We’ve been given lots of book recommendations so far in our four weeks at UCL – but where does a beginner publisher start? Lucky for you, I’ve found 5 books that I think will allow an easy way to begin to understand what publishing is all about!

1. The Professional’s Guide to Publishing by Gill Davies and Richard Balkwill

If you’re to read one book on this list, this should be it. This book covers everything: from editorial and production to sales and marketing. For anyone looking for a more practical guide to the publishing world, this might be your go-to.

2. Hit Lit by James W. Hall

What makes a bestseller? Hall looks at 12 bestsellers of the 20th century such as To Kill A Mockingbird and Jaws to examine what exactly makes a bestseller. This book is an extremely fun and easy read, whilst still giving valuable insights into the world of the bestseller.

3. The Naked Author by Alison Baverstock

This is a very interesting book to read for publishers, simply because it comes from the author’s point of view. This answers all sorts of practical questions, such as how book design actually works, to how to copywrite effectively.

4. Eats Shoots and Leaves

Struggling with the copyediting side of our publishing degree? Eats Shoots and Leaves is a simple way to come to terms with punctuation, as well as being witty and delightfully British, to boot.

5. The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston

And finally, this is an absolutely gorgeous book that gives a history of the book in all of its glory. Containing full-colour illustrations and a delightful break-down of the parts found in a book, this is a book that is sure to educate and entertain (as well as potentially help with the Publishing Contexts assignment!)

All of these books are available at the UCL library. Go forth and read!

Do a Good Thing – back the Good Journal

By Jessica B S Brotman, on 23 October 2017


This post was written by guest contributor Annie Warren. Thank you, Annie! 

Fun drinking game: take a sip of water every time you read the word ‘good’. Hydrate yo’self.

Have you done your good deed for today? If not, this one will probably put you in good stead until at least 2018. It’s really is an exceptionally good thing that you’re about to do.

If I told you that a quarterly literary magazine showcasing essays, short stories, poems, extracts and illustrations from writers and artists of colour is being launched in spring 2018 – would you be interested?

Of course you would – I had you at ‘literary’, didn’t I?

Well, you’re in luck! The project is called The Good Journal and is organised by Nikesh Shuklar and his agent, Julia Kingsford. Shuklar was the editor for The Good Immigrant, a collection of 21 essays about race and immigration in the UK by BAME authors. It was voted the British public’s favourite book of 2016 at the inaugural Books Are My Bag Readers Choice Award, which in the face of Brexit and Trump, helps to restore my faith in humanity a little bit.

The Good Journal intends to continue and build on the success of The Good Immigrant. The aim is to represent the underrepresented whilst developing and nurturing emerging talent; as such, it will print new writers alongside established authors. It will be published by The Good Literary Agency, a social enterprise that will focus exclusively on BAME, disabled, working-class and LGBTQ+ writers.

Where do I sign up already!?

I’m glad you asked.

The project is being crowd-funded and needs to reach its goal of £40,000 by 31 October in order to go ahead. The total currently stands at just over £30,000, meaning more pledges are needed to ensure this incredibly worthwhile project becomes a reality.

That’s where we come in.

There are a number of different pledges you can make, ranging from £5 to £5,000 – but don’t worry, nobody’s expecting you pay that much. The £5,000 option is pretty much reserved for the likes of JK Rowling, who actually did make such a pledge towards The Good Immigrant. Pledges more likely to suit our lowly bank balances include £5 for the digital version of an essay from the first edition, £15 for a tote bag (because you can never have enough totes) or a digital student subscription for a year and £40 for a digital AND print subscription for a year. You can pledge and find out more about the project on The Good Journal’s Kickstarter page.

So, have I convinced you? Are we doing this? Yes? Good good.

(Even if I didn’t convince you, you should at least be thoroughly hydrated by now – so that’s my good deed done, at least.)

‘Women’s publishing: An evolution, a revolution’: an SYP event

By Jessica B S Brotman, on 20 October 2017


This post was written by guest contributor, Hannah Robinson. Thank you, Hannah! 

About thirty of us, some students, some professionals in publishing attended the event hosted by the Society of Young Publishers about ‘women’s publishing.’ The event began, once everyone was settled in their seats with a drink, with questions from a member of the SYP and then opened to questions from the audience.

The panel consisted of Lennie Goodings, a publisher at Virago Press; Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks, a commissioning editor at Avon; Sam Eades the editorial director at Trapeze; and Jacquelyn Guderley the founder and CEO of literary magazine Salomé.

The event was live tweeted and you can find those under the hashtag #sypwip.’ Some of my favourite words of wisdom came from Sam, who urged the audience to not wait for submission but actively seek out new voices in response to a question on how to push for more diversity in publishing. The panel also agreed, with whole-hearted support from the attendees, that everyone has a duty to call out sexist behaviours; inspired by a question about that Sylvia Plath cover.

Concerning a question on the industry’s use of ‘women’s fiction’ the panel made good points; that it’s a catch-all for anything of interest to women, and that there’s no such thing as ‘men’s fiction.’

I found the best piece of advice came from Lennie, take ourselves seriously, know our worth and believe in ourselves.

Twitters to follow:


Lennie Goodings

Jacquelyn Guderley

Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks

Sam Eades:

Image credit via SYP on Facebook