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Close Encounters of a Publishing Kind: Being On a Publishing Course Without Having an English Degree by Hannah Reedy

Camilla GLunde8 January 2016

Being on the UCL’s MA Publishing course has been one of the most fantastic opportunities I’ve ever had. While having been able to make more friends and learn new things, I’ve also been able to boost my chances of getting into the industry and securing a career.

When I look back on the first week of the course, I remember worrying so much, because I didn’t know if this was the right course for me. The main reason for this was searching on Twitter for my new course mates and finding that the majority of them were English or Literature graduates while I was a recent graduate in Graphic Arts. I was terrified that I didn’t have the same skills the rest of my cohort had, and that I would probably fail this course.

Well, I’m writing this as I’m just about to undertake the second term, and I have to say I’m still alive! It’s been hard at times, but I really don’t regret joining this course, and it has given me confidence in skills that I thought I didn’t have and ones I didn’t think I needed from my past course. I’ve found that I’ve done a lot more designing and illustrations than I had done in my year after my graduation!

So here are a few tips for those who are interested in applying for the 2016-2017 MA Publishing course but who might not have an English/Literature BA degree. Hopefully, it will encourage and inspire you to use your skills to your advantage!

  • Don’t feel intimidated!

On the first day of the course, you and every other of your classmates will be in the same boat. You will all be learning together, so there is no level of disadvantage for anyone. Just try to keep positive and remember you are on the course because you share the same passions and interests as those of your classmates, no matter if you’ve studied a different course!

  • Use your skills to your advantage!

Publishing has many varied areas from design to finance. So there are plenty of opportunities for the skills you have learned to shine! The skills you have will always work as an advantage to you and help to make you stand out from the others on the course. Also, if they are taught in class and people are struggling, make sure you’re available to give them a helping hand. It’s also key to keep your skills on your publishing CV, even though they may not seem relatable – you never know if they may come in handy.

  • Take as many opportunities as you can!

From internships to a call for help from tutors – make sure they know what you are skilled and interested in. If you work hard and show you’re interested with your skills, you will get noticed. It’s so important in the professional world to demonstrate you have a unique selling point because you’ll be more memorable to people who may have a job for you under their sleeves!

These are tips that I have learned from this first term on the course. It’s so important to make sure that you believe in yourself, and if you have a strong love for books and a passion for reading – you’ll fit in here just fine!

Good luck to you if you’re just about to send in your application, or just about to finish your graduate exams. Hope to see you soon at UCL!

Competition time!

SamBradbury22 October 2014

Each week we are planning to present a student profile for future employers to see. These profiles can include anything you think relevant, including personal information, CV, work experience, information on where you’d like to work – really anything you fancy.

In order to make it fair, we will be running competitions each week in order to choose the student to focus on. This week, the competition is…

Compose a Tweet that describes everything you love about the UCL Publishing course.

Tweets can include photos, links and videos, but must include #UCLPubLove and be posted by midnight on Tuesday 28th October. The student who writes the best Tweet will be featured on here next week in whatever form they prefer.

Happy Tweeting!

Good Morning…

Caroline AMurphy19 October 2014

… from the new blog team at UCL’s Centre for Publishing!

We’re really excited to be running the blog platform for our department, and we hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoy creating! So you know who we are if you ever have any questions, or want us to post anything for you, we’ve created little profiles for all 6 of us below.

 

Yasmin Morrissey @MorrisseyYasminYas

Where are you from?: Half Irish, half Egyptian but raised in London.

What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: I studied Law, in Cork, Ireland.

What is your favourite book?: I have a few depending on my mood. I don’t want to be too typical and say Harry Potter (even though it is really) so I will say Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith.

What Publishing Project are you working on?:  I am working on the Norvik Press project.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?:  Difficult question. I think having our first meeting with Norvik Press as a team and deciding who will be doing what on the project. Working with a great team and it’s making me feel very excited.

Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Books, bears, cooking, Bulldogs, travelling and chocolate. Dislikes = Cucumber, sausages, waking up early and football.

 

Lucy Broughtonlucy @lucyybroughton

Where are you from?: Southampton.

What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: I studied History at the University of Warwick.

What is your favourite book?:  I hate this question because I never know the answer, so I’m just going to list some favourites… The Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lindsey Kelk’s I heart… series, The Book Thief, The Secret Garden, nearly anything YA.

What Publishing Project are you working on?:  The Bookseller Children’s project.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?:  The treasure hunt! I may be slightly biased because I won the subsequent blog competition and a beautiful copy of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell…

Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Books obviously… films (even the bad ones), indie and folk music, travelling, Italian food, sleeping in, Topshop and ASOS. Dislikes = Spiders, pink, running, spoilers, extreme historical inaccuracies.

 

Caroline Murphy @carolinealice93accommodation2

Where are you from?: Stratford upon Avon.

What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: English Literature & Philosophy at the University of Birmingham.

What is your favourite book?:  I really like Virginia Woolf, so probably The Waves.

What Publishing Project are you working on?:  The William Morris Society project.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?:  I’ve really enjoyed all of the guest speakers so far, but really loved Auriol Bishop’s talk on book cover design.

Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Food, Tom Hiddleston, Breaking Bad, food, Strictly, Jamie Cullum, coffee, books, food, blogging. Dislikes = Decaff, fan fiction, X Factor, drum and bass, misuse of apostrophes, cooking, when people say ‘generally’ when they mean ‘genuinely’.

 

Emily McCracken emily1@emilycracken

Where are you from?: Phoenix, Arizona. I have lived in the UK & South Korea for the last 6 years.

What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: English Literature at Gonzaga University in Washington and an MA in English Literature from London Met.

What is your favourite book?: Any of the following – Calvin and Hobbes, Clan of the Cave Bear, Tolkien, HP, Alison Bechdel, Kurt Vonnegut, Toni Morrison, Gertrude Stein, American Gothic, Victorian novels, Modern poetry!

What Publishing Project are you working on?:  UCL Press Archaeology eBook project.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?: Everything! I currently write children’s books for a publishing company in Seoul, so I am greatly enjoying learning about the industry as a whole at UCL.

Likes/Dislikes: I  like hats, socks, walks, and ales. I disagree with poorly made pizza (cheap cheese, overly thick crust), and I am on the fence when it comes to the serial comma! Thank you for visiting our blog and I hope you enjoy it!

 

aliceAlice Hughes @alicehughess

Where are you from?: Peterborough.

What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: English Literature & Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

What is your favourite book?: Impossible to choose! My most read book is Wuthering Heights. My favourite authors include Margaret Atwood, Donna Tartt, Eleanor Catton, Sarah Waters and Iain Banks.

What Publishing Project are you working on?: I am part of the Marketing Team for the UCL Publishers’ Prize.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?: Having the privilege of listening to Editorial advice from Gill Davies, Emeritus Professor for Publishing at the University of the Arts London, who bravely pioneered the work of Michel Foucault and the field of Women’s Studies.

Likes/Dislikes: Likes = Art. Debate. Pub with friends. Oldies playing on the jukebox. The seaside. Long walks. Meeting new people and listening to their stories. Dislikes = Being late. The sound of chalk on a blackboard.

 

Sam Bradbury @sambradbury89sam

Where are you from?: Grimsby.

What did you study for your undergraduate and where?: Psychology at the University of Leeds.

What is your favourite book?: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

What Publishing Project are you working on?: UCL Publishers’ Prize.

What has been the highlight of the course so far?: Amazing projects and the course leaders are great; they are always going out of their way to help and have absolutely fantastic guest speakers!

Likes/Dislikes: Likes = sci-fi and fantasy, pole fitness, sushi, cute animals and bright hair dye. Dislikes = being cold, slow internet connections, and close minded people.

 

Thanks for reading guys. If you want to get in touch for anything blog related, give one of us a mention on Twitter, or email Yasmin or Caroline on the addresses below:

yasmin.morrissey.14@ucl.ac.uk

caroline.murphy.14@ucl.ac.uk

 Stay tuned this afternoon for the ‘Publishing Events Calender’, which will feature all the events for the upcoming week.