By Hannah M Smith, on 17 January 2018

If there’s one thing publishing students are known for other than reading, it’s for drinking tea! Here’s a couple of my favourite places to buy and drink tea – but be warned. Your wallets will be burning by the end of this post!

  1. Bluebird Tea

Bluebird Tea is without a doubt one of my favourite places to get tea. Their flavours are so unique! One of the best things about Bluebird is that they do a monthly subscription service where you get 3 sachets of some of their best tea! Themes have included cocktail-based teas, Christmas teas, and ones that make great iced teas!

Check out their website here!


  1. Teapigs

Teapigs is my go-to tea – they too have amazing flavours. I mean, matcha mint? Jelly and ice cream? What more could I possibly need? Their bags are also really nice, which somehow makes a difference to my tea experience.

More information about teapigs’ great flavours can be found here!

  1. Birdhouse

    Birdhouse is an independent tea company found in Sheffield. They have a TEA STUDIO where they blend all of the tea, and where you can go for tea consultations and advice on how to blend your own. How awesome is that?! They also have the most beautiful Instagram, which I highly recommend you check out.

Their website can be found here.

  1. Last but certainly not least is the London Tea Company.

    Situated right here in London, this is a FairTrade company that focuses on their love for London and tea! (I’m already a fan!)  Their packing is also A+, which is always a bonus. Gotta have your tea in cute tins and things!

Check them out at London Tea Company.



Assignment Inspiration

By Hannah M Smith, on 10 January 2018

Light at the end of the tunnel image









So, UCL Publishing students are currently all hating on life with assignment overload. Whether you’re pretty much done (and about to start Author Management) or only just beginning your assignments, here’s a load of quotes that might (or might not) motivate you:

“If you try and lose then it isn’t your fault. But if you don’t try and we lose, then it’s all your fault.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game 


“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”
― Thomas Jefferson

“I’m going to keep going until I succeed — or die. Don’t think I don’t know how this might end. I’ve known it for years.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

(We all know how this might end.)

“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”
― Michelangelo Buonarroti

(Just to remind everyone that we’re aiming for mastery *excited rustle through the lecture hall*)

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
― Jimmy Johnson

“Your friends will believe in your potential, your enemies will make you live up to it.”
― Tim Fargo

(That UCL publisher’s WhatsApp group is your friend but which lecturer is your enemy?)

“There’s a pile of exciting stories waiting to be read at the end of every assignment.”
— Hannah Smith

(Couldn’t resist. Mine has grown by 4 books since last week and I’m itching to start them)

“…[I]f you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”
—Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

“I don’t like work— no man does— but I like what is in the work— the chance to find yourself. Your own reality— for yourself not for others— what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.”
—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“You’ll stay with me?’
Until the very end,’ said James.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

(Replace James with ‘any-UCL-publishing-student-that-wants-to-be-pro-at-networking’ and someone will always be with you)

May the odds be ever in your favour.


Our Highlights from the Autumn Term!

By Hannah M Smith, on 16 December 2017

As the last post for the Autumn Term we have gathered some of your highlights of the year so far:

Hannah Robinson – The Branding and IP class with Dan.

Evangeline – I’ve greatly enjoyed meeting people who love books (and cheese) as much as I do on the course! It’s been a wonderful experience getting to know new people and make new friends. Course wise, I loved the penultimate lecture we had in Author Management with the author, Frances Mensah Williams because she was so jolly and had a great backstory. I’ve had a lovely term and I’m sad it’s over, but I’m looking forward to the next one! And thanks to everyone who’s put up with my talking about figure skating all term!

Ines – My highlight was meeting great friends.

Silke – It’s been wonderful to hear from so many varied guest speakers from the heart of the industry. I particularly enjoyed Helen form Cornerstones because she gave such an interactive session. I also liked hearing from Frances Mensah Williams – her talk was very inspiring.

Lucy Beirne – I really enjoyed the PR lecture – my favourite by far! I’ve also loved the SYP events I’ve been to.

Hannah Smith – I loved the guest speakers – particularly Sam Missingham, Frances Mensah Williams and the panel at the last Entrepreneurship lecture. And, of course, lunches between lectures!

Jessie – I loved learning about the maintenance of well-known, well-loved literary brands from Laura di Giuseppe.

Annie – Going to see Hamilton!

Jess Miorini – Two things: first, I know it’s super cheesy, meeting new awesome people on the course that I’m now friends with (a huge step for an introvert); second, the panel on publishing and creativity at the Bloomsbury Institute that made me realise what I really want to do in publishing and the companies I would love to work for (mostly independent publishers).

Wendy – Probably the visit to Hachette – it was amazing to actually visit a publishing house in action!

Clara – A highlight of this term was listening to all of the panel guests we had in every module and learn from their (very different) work experiences.

The UCL Publishing Blog team are having a Christmas break – we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What’s Coming Up in December

By Jessica B S Brotman, on 12 December 2017

We simply can’t believe this year has almost come to an end. Though 2018 is just around the corner, 2017 still has a number of exciting publishing and literary events to offer us. We’ve gathered some of December’s best events to round out the year, and we hope you enjoy!


13th(-21st): Late Night Shopping with Mulled Wine and Shortbread at Foyle’s –


13th(-22nd): Christmas Evenings at Waterstones ­ –


14th: Write and Shine: Early Morning Writing Classes with Gemma Seltzer –


15th-16th: Harry Potter Quiz Night at the British Library –


15th-16th: The 2017 London Children’s Book Fair –


18th: Elena Favilli in Conversation with Sarah Shaffi –


19th: Keats House by Candlelight –


22nd: A Christmas Carol with Professor Michael Slater –


24th: A Very Dickensian Christmas Eve –


Interview with Daniel Boswell

By Hannah M Smith, on 8 December 2017

The blog team thought it might be fun to use this opportunity to find out more about our lovely lecturers! So, first up: Daniel Boswell!

Favourite book.
Don Quixote de La Mancha – Of all the classics this is my favourite. Arguably the first ‘novel’, certainly one of the earliest examples of the form, I don’t really think it has ever been surpassed; themes of love, hope, ambition, ageing, class and comedy all seamlessly interlinked. It’s a book about a bibliophile who takes his passion a little too far. Publishing students take note. If you can read the original, not in translation.

How did you get into publishing?
Getting into publishing was as much about getting out of a series of successive industries I didn’t belong in after I finished my first degree. Life assurance was a low point. However, I’d always been around writers, my father was a journalist. The direct answer is that I attended a panel discussion at the Edinburgh Book Festival in the mid 2000s about changing trends in genre fiction and ended up having a very long and interesting conversation with, Marion Sinclair, the director of Publishing Scotland. She encouraged me towards some postgraduate study which led me to the Scottish Centre for the Book (SCOB) at Edinburgh Napier and the rest is (21st century) history.

How do you interact with your chosen field?
Publishing Studies is a small and developing field. This has pros and cons. The challenge is being able to draw diversely on a established body of contemporary academic sources. On the other hand, as a developing discipline, most academics working in this area know one another, at least in passing, and we have a wonderful, friendly network for collaboration. Over the past few years we have been gathering in Florence for a developing, publishing focused conference called ‘By the Book’, which is helping to ground this network. At the level of teaching, all of the UK Publishing courses are members of the Association for Publishing Education (APE) and we meet on a regular basis.

Favourite piece of research you’ve been part of?
Well, I should probably say my PhD thesis, a comparative analysis of industrial dynamics in Scottish and Catalan Publishing fields, but I also really enjoy the editorial and development side of journal and special issue publication, and have been involved with pieces for Book 2.0 and Scottish Comics that were fun. And a few MA dissertations that I’ve supervised stick in my mind as well.

What advice would you give a Publishing MA student?
Don’t Panic (That’s an SF joke)

A fun fact about yourself.
I collect pink elephant related paraphernalia.

A book that we might be surprised you have read?
Oh wow, that’s a doozy of a question. How am I to interpret this – would you be surprised because it’s not something you would expect me to like, or do we simply mean the sheer perseverance of a long, difficult text, or is this more about introducing the unfamiliar? Is the question designed to propel me towards confessing some inner shame or should I reinforce the idea that there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure? Hmm… I hope this will do…

As far as supervising dissertations go, when students want to consider particular genres or authors I do try to make sure (as far as possible) that I am familiar with the material as well (this does not stretch as far as Harry Potter, do not push me) I did read all of the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent YA dystopian series in order to be more familiar with these for studies. I thought the Hunger Games series was quite good.

Shame confession – I managed 20 pages of fifty shades, what’s all the fuss about?


Thank you to Daniel for giving some time to these questions amongst a busy term and lots of marking! If any of his answers have interested you, I’m sure he’d be happy to talk about them further!

Finally, here are the answers to the literature quiz:

1) The Catcher in the Rye
2) 1984
3) Harper Lee
4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
5) Stephen Hawking
6) Bridget Jones Diary
7) The Adventures of Pinocchio
8) Roald Dahl
9) A Hegdehog
10) Yann Martel

Literature Quiz

By Hannah M Smith, on 2 December 2017

Books in a question mark shape

Getting in the festive mood, here are 10 literature questions that you may come across over the holiday. How well will you do?

  1. Holden Caulfield, an icon for teenage angst and rebellion, is a fictional character in which American literary classic?
  2. Which book begins ‘It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen’?
  3. Which author, who passed away in 2016, was portrayed by Catherine Keener in the 2005 film Capote and by Sandra Bullock in the 2006 film Infamous?
  4. ‘The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it ‘the Riddle House” is the start of which book?
  5. Who collaborated with his daughter Lucy, in 2007, to write the children’s book George’s Secret Key to the Universe?
  6. Which book starts with ‘I will not drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week’?
  7. Which Italian novel for children has been adapted in over 240 languages?
  8. Who wrote the line ‘These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr. Bucket’?
  9. In Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which creature was used as the ball in the game of croquet?
  10. Who wrote the award-winning fantasy novel, ‘Life of Pi’?

If you can resist checking on Google, the answers will be at the end of the next post! Enjoy!

Christmas Gifts for the Literary-Minded

By Wendy C Tuxworth, on 29 November 2017

Everyone knows how difficult buying Christmas gifts can be – but never fear! The UCL Publishing lot are here!

100 Books Scratch Off Bucket List Poster: this is an excellent gift for the literary-minded! You ‘read and enjoy one hundred amazing books and each time you finish one you can scratch off the panel to reveal a hidden image’. What a cool idea!

A tote bag is always a good idea for the book lover in your life – how else are we supposed to carry all of our books with us?! This Penguin Pride and Prejudice tote bag is a particularly wonderful example of tote loveliness!

A book subscription service is another great way to treat your bookish friends and family – there are lots of examples, including Illumicrate, Fairyloot, and Book and a brew!

If you’re buying for someone who likes jewellery, these book earrings might just do the trick, or perhaps some bookish pins like Jane Austen or Kurt Vonnegut’s heads!

Some more novelty socks are always on a book lover’s list – what about having Shakespeare, banned books, or typewriters on your feet?

Finally, if these ideas weren’t enough – just buy them a book! Some of my favourites this year include Stay With Me, When the Moon Was Ours, and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.

Literary London Spots to Visit This Holiday Season

By Jessica B S Brotman, on 28 November 2017

The festive season is nearly in full swing, and there’s no place quite like London during the holidays. When most think of London at Christmas, classic holiday sights like sparkling Oxford Street and the glow of Hyde Park come to mind. As publishers, however, we’re seeking out holiday hotspots that are a bit more bookish. Read on for a few of our favorite festive and literary-inspired spots to visit this Christmas season.

Charles Dickens Museum

No Christmas sightseeing list would be complete without a mention of this quaint museum at 48 Doughty Street. The former home of the Man Who Invented Christmas, this museum is wonderful at any time of year but becomes particularly joyful during the holidays. Each room boasts holiday decorations and Dickensian relics, making the space heavenly for fans of both the author and the season. At this time of year, the museum also hosts special events like costumed walking tours, holiday-inspired lectures, and a Christmas Eve celebration.

Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is the stuff of dreams for any Harry Potter fan, and it only becomes more bewitching in the November and December months. The film sets adopt a celebratory air as visitors encounter the tour’s Christmas experience, aptly titled Hogwarts in the Snow. Along with the tour’s usual sights, guests can also enjoy an ornately decorated Great Hall and a truly stunning Hogwarts model dusted in snow. Though it’s a bit of a trip outside of central London, the holiday-inspired magic is no doubt worth it.

Agatha Christie Statue Near Covent Garden

This memorial statue is a must-see for any fan of the murder-mystery maven, and it also happens to be located in one of London’s most festive neighborhoods. The statue, which is crafted in the shape of a large book and includes a bust of Agatha Christie herself, pays homage to the prophetic author and playwright. For a perfectly literary December evening, visit the statue and toast to the queen of mystery with a holiday drink in glowing Covent Garden, just next door.

Saturday Sanctuary

By Hannah M Smith, on 24 November 2017

Since 2015, bookshops across the country have relished Civilised Saturday – the antidote to the madness of Black Friday. In the lead up to the busy Christmas period, people rush to stores to speed along their present buying. Black Friday represents a huge commercial drive to encourage and entice buyers.

Civilised Saturday, however, spreads a different message. It is a day to celebrate all the bookshops have to offer and their calm and peaceful atmosphere in our hectic daily lives. Whilst browsing and purchasing of books is obviously not turned away (and hardly possible to resist), it is a day to remind booklovers why they love books. Not only can you escape the mayhem in a good book, you can escape the mayhem by simply relishing the atmosphere of your local bookshop.

This year, BAMB have replaced Civilised Saturday with Saturday Sanctuary. Creating an atmosphere much like the trending Hygge books, bookshops aim to treat their customers – with cosy reading corners, herbal teas and other relaxing activities.

Some Hygge-Inspired books to encourage this frame of mind are:

The Little of Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking


Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg

The Danish Art of Happiness

The Year of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme


The Art of Hygge by Jonny Jackson & Elias Larsen

The Art of Hygge

Enjoy Sanctuary Saturday and best wishes for a peaceful, relaxed and bookish festive season!

Interview with Helena McNish

By Wendy C Tuxworth, on 22 November 2017

We are very excited to announce that we have an UCL Publishing alumni here on our blog today! Here’s some of the questions we asked Helena McNish:

Why did you choose to do the Publishing MA at UCL?

I knew I wanted to be in Publishing but I had absolutely no idea where in the industry I wanted to go. Everyone knows the big three departments – Editorial, Publicity, Marketing – but I knew it was more complex than that. The best way to not go into it in the dark, I felt, was to do a master’s degree first. I also knew it would be a great way to make contacts, find work experience and internships, and the course itself sounded interesting beyond just being professional training. It has a bit of an academic dint too!

What was the main thing you learned from the degree?

The main thing I would say that I learnt was experience and exposure to the publishing industry. Having contextual knowledge and experience of how the industry works, like how they hire and what the market looks like is invaluable. You get immersed in that world which is the most useful thing about the degree, I think. I also met some really awesome people who are now doing cool things!

What was your dissertation about? Do you have any tips for us about writing 10,000 words?

I did my dissertation on medieval women and their access and usage of books, focusing on the period around the 15th century and two women specifically: Margaret Paston and Elizabeth Woodville (the one from ‘The White Queen’ by Philippa Gregory). I actually had a different idea in mind when I first started thinking about what I would like to do – an ethnographic study of bookshops based on what I’d done for Booksellers and Bookselling – but that’s the great thing about a publishing MA: you can be really creative with your topic choice. Publishing is a wide-ranging academic discipline with a long history, so don’t be afraid of pursuing something that might at first glance seem a bit irrelevant!

Another key tip I have, that has helped me through two 10,000 word dissertations, is to really enjoy the topic you choose. It’s really hard to work for four months on a project that you don’t enjoy and don’t want to constantly pursue around the other things you’ll be doing while researching and writing! And give yourself at least three days to edit before you hand it in. You will be super glad that you did.

What have you been doing since graduating?

After going through about three months of job applications and interviewing, I now work for a media company called Kantar Media as an Entertainment Researcher on their forward planning service. Every day I use skills that I gained from the Publishing MA (though I’m not technically in Publishing right now!) and the job itself acts as great experience. I’m hoping to move back into Publishing in the near future, but it’s definitely a tough industry that you have to work hard to get into. I took the job I’m in to help me towards that.

Other than that – and I only really finished my dissertation two months ago – I’ve been enjoying living in London, and considering what I’m going to do next. Currently I’m starting the process of applying for a part-time PhD in History, using my Publishing dissertation as a basis for a doctoral project. Sam is very kindly helping me out! That’s definitely some advice I would give here: stay in touch with your course friends and with the course itself. They provide great support, networking opportunities, and, let’s be honest, keep a twitter feed really amusing

Finally, do you have any advice about entering the publishing world?

First thing is not to being disheartened by rejection – it happens to everyone! Next is to be prepared for any cover letter or CV you write, or interview you attend. You need to know what the company you’re applying for does, what they want from candidates, how what skills you have apply to the role. Essentially, don’t batch apply! Tailor everything you submit to the specifics of the job advert, and prepare for each interview as specifically as you can. Also remember that every application and interview is practice, and you will get better at it! I definitely did.

Also, if you don’t follow @PubInterns you should be. They are fabulous advocates for people starting out in publishing and are a great resource for job adverts and advice! Twitter is also a valuable resource, so make sure you get really familiar with the key voices on there (the SYP accounts, publishers, and The Bookseller are good to keep an eye on too).

Helena can be found on Twitter @helenamcnish.