Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Cúirt International Festival of Literature

By Britt S Van Klaveren, on 15 April 2014

Last weekend, four students from the MA Publishing class visited the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Ireland. Not only because of the many great authors that would be present, but also because one of the MA Publishing students, Philip Connor, had won the New Writers Prize in the fiction category! To read his brilliant story follow this link. Again, congratulations Philip!!

In addition to celebrating Philip’s success, we also visited two events. On Friday night we went to an event featuring Hollie McNish and Patrick DeWitt. I was unfamiliar with both authors, and after this event I fell a little bit in love with both of them. Smart, lovely, and incredibly funny they both caused the audience to cry with laughter. Especially a poem by Hollie McNish, ‘Mathematics’, stuck with me for the next couple of days, an honest and heartfelt poem on immigration. See the video below to hear the poem being read by Hollie McNish and experience it for yourself.

The next evening we went to see Eleanor Catton and Rachel Kushner. They both did a reading of their latest novels and were interviewed for an hour afterwards. Again – loved them. Having already seen Eleanor Catton at an Apple Store event shortly after she had won the Man Booker Prize 2013, we were familiar with her almost intimidating intelligence and charm, something that hadn’t changed in this interview. Picture this and add the witty Rachel Kushner – a formula for a brilliant event. Rachel Kushner’s reading intrigued me so much that I hurried to buy her book, ‘The Flamethrowers’, after the event, and was lucky enough to get her to sign my copy.

After these events we went to an after party where all the authors, book sellers, event organisers, and us as baby publishers/fan base wandered around. My first visit to Galway and the Cúirt Festival was a brilliant experience and I will definitely go back again.

Written by Britt van Klaveren

UCL Blog Post on The Bookseller

By Nick P Canty, on 25 January 2014

Molly Slight, a student on the UCL MA in Publishing programme has posted the first of what will be a series of monthly blog posts by UK publishing students on the website of the industry magazine, The Bookseller.

Molly wrote about S by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst and published by Canongate

No-one knows the future of publishing but as the blog says, the industry is resiliant and S is an excellent example of creativity and how print can co-exist with digital.  



ALPSP Award for Contribution to Scholarly Publishing 2013

By Ian G Evans, on 17 September 2013

The Council of ALPSP was delighted to make this award to Anthony Watkinson in recognition of his support for and commitment to the interests of the scholarly publishing industry over many years. During his varied and eminent career across the breadth of the industry, he has worked in research, as a scholarly librarian, and held senior roles with major publishing houses. He has also been involved in teaching as a visiting professor at the City University and UCL. He is currently principal consultant for CIBER Research, director of the Charleston Conference and Fiesole Collection, a consultant to the Publishers Association, a course director with STM and still finds time to teach at UCL and Oxford Brookes University.

Seminar on the History of Libraries, London, 2013-14

By Ian G Evans, on 17 September 2013

Seminar on the History of Libraries, London, 2013-14

A series of research seminars, which are freely open for anyone to attend, has been organized by the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. They are jointly sponsored by the Institute of English Studies, the Institute of Historical Research, and the Library & Information History Group of CILIP.

Most seminars take place in Senate House, Malet St., London WC1E 7HU, but a number have been arranged elsewhere (see below).

Meetings will take place monthly during term-time on Tuesdays at 5.30 p.m., usually in the Senate Room on the first floor of Senate House.

Changes to room allocations will be displayed on the website of the Institute of English Studies where a more detailed programme can be found.


Seminar convenors: Giles Mandelbrote (Lambeth Palace Library); Dr. Keith A. Manley (National Trust); Professor Simon Eliot (Institute of English Studies); Professor Isabel Rivers (Queen Mary).

November 5 2013:  Ian Willison, C.B.E. (Institute of English Studies):

‘The Archival Research Library in the West: from the Alexandrian Library to the Present Day’.

To be held in the Senate Room of Senate House (first floor).

December 3 2013: John Goldfinch (British Library): ‘The Survival of the Old Royal Library Collections 1660-1760′.

To be held in the Board Room of the British Library, Euston Rd., St.

Pancras. Everyone attending is asked to meet at 5.20 at the British Library’s reception desk on the ground floor. As the Library needs to know numbers in advance, if you are intending to attend, please send a message to Jon Millington <mailto:>

February 4 2014: Ed Potten (Cambridge University Library) on ordinary book owners and their libraries.

March 4 2014:  Professor Alan Nelson (University of California, Berkeley): ‘Tracing Books through 17th Century Libraries: the Case of Humphrey Dyson and Richard Smith’.

May 10 2014 (Saturday): Dr. Geoff Day (Fellows’ Librarian, Winchester College) will host a visit to the College Library and Archives at Winchester College.

June 3 2014: Dr Caroline Bowden (Queen Mary, University of London) on early modern convent libraries.


To be held in the Guard Room at Lambeth Palace. Intending visitors are asked to send an email in advance to Mary Comer <>.

Late June 2014:  After the success of the last session’s Library Walk, led by Alice Ford-Smith, it is hoped that another walk will be organized.

A number of seminar podcasts will be found on the website of the Institute of Historical Research at <>,

including talks given during the last ssion by Alistair Black, Mark Purcell, Peter Hoare, and Geoffrey Little.

(with apologies for cross-posting).

35th Annual Conference on Book Trade History

By Ian G Evans, on 16 September 2013

24 November 2013 – 25 November 2013

35th Annual Conference on Book Trade History
Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane, London EC4M 7DD

Organised by Michael Harris, Giles Mandelbrote and Robin Myers in association with the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and ABA Educational Trust

The movement of manuscript into print can be a difficult as well as a rewarding process. Authors and publishers often have different agendas, as well as status, and the negotiations around money and content can lead to an uneasy relationship. This year’s speakers will describe the trials and tribulations of authors and their relations with booksellers, as well as delving into the dark corners of some rogue publishers.

Please click here for full information:

UCL MA in Publishing alums in The Bookseller ‘Rising Stars of 2013′

By Nick P Canty, on 9 September 2013



In its third annual ‘Rising Stars’ list The Bookseller magazine has included two former students of the UCL MA in Publishing programme, Bryony Woods and Ella Kahn.

Bryony and Ella were both on the course in 2009 and since leaving have worked for leading literary agencies Caroline Sheldon and Andrew Nurnberg Associates before starting their own agency Diamond Kahn and Woods Literary Agency in 2012.  Based in London DKW provides editorial services to authors of fiction and non-fiction.

The Bookseller Rising Star process is “opt in”; people have to be nominated by a colleague or company, or be amenable to become a Rising Star, so inclusion on the list is a significant achievement.

Many congratulations to them and everyone on the list.  For the full list of Rising Stars, click here



Some advice for jobseekers

By Laura A Lacey, on 11 May 2013

By Victoria Hart, aspiring publicist

 Now most of us have finished our illuminating five week work placements a lot of us are entering the job market. With that scary process in mind here are a few tips from industry professionals that were given at the Society of Young Publisher’s ‘Getting into Publishing’ seminar at the London Book Fair. The panel was made up of Neil Morrison, HR at Random House, Samantha Rayner, Lecturer at UCL, Sophia Blackwell, Marketing Manager at Bloomsbury and Jessica Leeke, Senior Commissioning Editor at Simon & Schuster.

Neil Morrison started the talk off by saying that at Random House, they receive 250 job applications  per assistant role, which is a huge number for an entry level job! He said that there are a lot of really high quality CV’s that come through, and his advice was that the clearer the application, the better. If you want a job in publishing, he said that all applications should have perfect grammar and spelling and they should be edited properly. He emphasised the word ‘quality’ quite a lot. He said each application should be tailored and suited to the publishing house you are applying to.

Social networking is key, all careers and work experience opportunities at Random House are posted via social media. He also said there are a number of stock questions that you will be asked at interview level. The most obvious of them all is, ‘what is your favourite book?’ and this is a question I’ve been contemplating for a very long time. My problem with this, is that every book is my favourite at the time of reading it. I don’t think I’ve read that book that has ‘changed my life’ or ‘made an impact’ just yet. So, if someone asks me that question, I’ll probably end up spitting out Dracula or something. What? It is a good book. He also said that companies are starting to interview via video rather than in person.

Next up was Samantha Rayner. She was talking about how an MA in Publishing can help, how it is beneficial in building contacts and getting an overview of the industry, which I can vouch for. So all you really need to know about this part of the talk, is that an MA is an amazing thing to do, and it guarantees you a work placement for 5 weeks with a publisher/literary agent that suits you.

Next was Sophia Blackwell. Sophia spoke about how she got into publishing starting at Routledge. She said that getting work experience with a big publisher can be a game changer when applying for jobs. She encouraged all work experience, and said that the more you do, the more chance you have of getting close to your goal. Sophia also said that blogs are good and are a good way of communicating yourself – so there we go, I’m doing something right! She also said LinkedIn is good, and interacting with people on Twitter is a great way to engage and communicate as well as learn from people already in the industry.

Sophia gave some brilliant interview advice, she said first of all, RELAX, when you’re in an interview, you are in a privileged position and you must respect that. She said that publishers like you to have your own opinions, and your own thoughts, but she said that you should never assume and don’t over romanticise. Publishing is still a business, they need to know that you understand that. She also said, don’t be taken advantage of. As much as you need the work experience, you need relevant work experience, and this will count.

Last of all, Jessica Leeke took the stand. She said that keeping your goal clear and sticking to it will give you more chance of actually getting it and if you know what you want, then you will do anything to get it. Later, when asked what type of person gets into publishing, Sophia said the person who perseveres, the one who says yes, who really wants it, is the last one standing. Jessica talked about how she started at Harper Collins and gained valuable work experience there, then she went on to do placements, one of which was in sales at Faber. She said that we shouldn’t overlook literary agencies, because they are great places to gain experience. Copy-editing and proofreading skills are really helpful, most publishers have grammar and spelling tests.

A great piece of advice was to read what other people are reading, especially from the Bestseller chart. You must have a lot of author care to be an editor, you must accept the lifestyle because it is not just a job. To prepare, she said you must know who the authors are that the publisher you are applying to publish. You must also know the charts, focus on their best sellers, brush up on HTML skills, and she also said, find out what they’re NOT good at. This can make you an asset.

All in all, say yes to every possible opportunity. Enjoy learning and gaining experience because it will help you when you start applying for jobs. Make your CV’s and applications concise and clean, with no grammatical mistakes, edit and improve them like your life depends on it. Don’t forget to add your personality in, they want people, not robots!

 By Victoria Hart

(Image from

Placements, Book Fair and World Book Night

By Laura A Lacey, on 27 April 2013

It’s been a busy few weeks for us UCL publishers. We’ve been on work placements, essay-writing, job hunting, dissertation planning, World Book Night celebrating and London Book Fair-ing.


Most of us are in the middle of our 5 week industry placements. So we are in publishing houses across the capital, with a couple further afield: everywhere from Penguin to Bloomsbury, and literary agencies to digital publishers. A lot of us have also been given the chance to work in different departments, including editorial, marketing, publicity, sales and production. We’ve been getting a taste of what it’s like to work in a real life publishing house and putting into practise all the skills we’ve been learning in the past months, as well as learning some new ones.



15th-17th April was The London Book Fair, which many of us were attending for the first time. It was certainly a unique experience! Some students were there as representatives of their work placement companies but we all got time to wander around in awe and soak up the atmosphere. Some of the seminars were particularly interesting, including SYPs ‘How to Get Into Publishing’ where our very own Samantha Rayner was a speaker and some of our class were involved in the organisation. I’d like to say a big thank you to all the publishers, agents, printers, authors, speakers and organisers who made us feel so welcome and put up with our questioning when they almost certainly had better things to do.

And lastly, a belated Happy World Book Night for Tuesday. A couple of our students were givers for the event this year, handing out 20 copies of one of their favourite books. Congratulations to Julia Kingsford for making the event run so smoothly and thanks again for the inspiring lecture she gave us a couple of months ago. Long may WBN continue!

When you play the game of thrones you either win or you die…

By Laura A Lacey, on 11 April 2013

By Stacey Riley

As a die hard fan with unshakeable love, I’ve been aware of the series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ for a few years now. However, the rest of the world has only just caught up. I’m no longer met with blank faces when I drop my coffee and complain, “Oh Seven hells!” or when I answer the phone to my friend Matthew with the greeting, “Morning, Blood of my Blood”.

The series’ new publicity is partly down to the fact that HBO acquired television rights to the books and is now shamelessly plugging the third series, Mondays, Sky Atlantic. 9pm. Sham


elessly plugging. However, the television series has been a huge success. With a fantastic cast (particularly great performances by Peter Dinklage [Tyrion Lannister], earning him the Emmy and the Golden Globe Award for Supporting Actor), stunning backdrops and a great script (obviously – great books) it wasn’t ever going to be any other way.

The publisher of A Game of Thrones in the UK is HarperCollins Voyager.

Although I did give my Grandad the first book to read the other day,
Me: “Read this Grandad, you might like it. It’s really good.”
80-year old Grandad: “Yeah? What’s it like?”
Me: “It’s like.. Lord of the Rings meets -”
80-year old Grandad: “-what’s Lord of the Rings?”
Me: Facepalm.

Seven hells. Apparently not everyone in the world has caught up.

Read all the books you wish you’d read…

By Laura A Lacey, on 29 March 2013

Oyster last year announced they had raised $3million to create a service for eBooks that works along similar lines to Spotify. They seek to oystercollectively license eBooks from publishers: including fiction and non-fiction, and everything from bestsellers to classics.

Oyster have partnered with media and technology companies, as well as publishers. This mirrors the growing trend across the creative industries as owners of intellectual property seek to exploit their copyright in all possible formats, and sellers try to provide services above and beyond simple content delivery.

The trendy-looking New York-based team (pictured) are focusing on Access, Discovery and Mobile:

ACCESS: By adopting a subscription model they believe readers will be able to enjoy books more freely, dipping in and out of new authors without investing money: ‘This leads to a more fulfilling experience built exclusively on taste and relaxed reading’.

DISCOVERY: They realise that discoverability comes down to many factors and a lot of chance. They believe by combining ‘discovery with consumption’ they are removing frustration that comes from receiving recommendations in many locations.Readers will enjoy the process of discovery by sharing the same library with their friends, with no need to hunt for links.

MOBILE: Their claims as far as mobile goes are perhaps less easy to agree with: they claim their market research has shown that all readers (from avid to casual) ‘love reading on smartphones’. This has certainly has not been my experience. Perhaps it will be in future – as mobile devices become larger and more comfortable to read on it is thought ‘phablets’ will be one of the most prolific devices for sale.

Only time will tell if their venture will be successful and how many publishers will be willing to give up their content for a limited fee. Currently it is in testing mode with just a few. Their aspirational aims certainly sound idyllic:

“We are building Oyster for an audience that aspires to read more. Read all the books you wish you’d read. We hope to bring books to the center of people’s lives through a beautiful product and the feeling that the world is your oyster.”