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Scholarships Available for September 2010

February 28th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Scholarships Available for September 2010
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A number of University and Departmental scholarships and bursaries are now available for study at the University of Stirling.

The University is offering over 50 Postgraduate Research Studentships for students beginning PhD studies in 2010-11. These Studentships include full tuition fees at UK/EU rates, an annual stipend at UK Research Council rates (currently £13,489), and research expenses of £750 per year. In order to qualify for consideration, applicants must have received a formal offer of acceptance as a PhD candidate by 17 March 2010. Should you be interested in studying for a research degree in the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, further information is available here. More details on the studentships are available here.

In addition, the Department of English Studies (of which the Centre is part) is pleased to be offering 11 Postgraduate Tuition Fee Bursaries, at both taught postgraduate and research level. Students applying for the MLitt in Publishing Studies and the MSc in International Publishing Management, as well as research students are eligible. The deadline is 2 July 2010, but we recommend that you apply for a place by early June to ensure you have an offer before applying for a bursary. Full details are available here.

More information on the courses available in the Centre is available from our Study page.

Publishing Scotland conference

February 27th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Scotland conference
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Publishing Scotland conference 2010Members of staff from the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication recently attended the Publishing Scotland conference in Edinburgh. The conference featured a Keynote Speech from Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, and talks on successful strategies for digital publishing, getting the best out of book festivals, retail trends in 2009/10, and the Google Book settlement. The talk from Jon Reed of Reed Media on using social media to promote your business gave us lots of great ideas – thanks Jon! We’ll put some of these into action soon…

As a Network Member of Publishing Scotland, we exhibited the Centre in the Network Showcase. We took a sample of practical work undertaken by students on the MLitt in Publishing Studies, discussed opportunities for work experience and internships with publishing companies, and opportunities for consultancy and training.

Despite the recession and a recent, contentious report from the Literature Working Group to the Scottish Government which advocated that publishers in Scotland no longer be represented by Publishing Scotland but by the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), the mood was upbeat at the conference. For us, this was helped by meeting some of our alumni, and also staff from Floris Books, who told us the good news that they’ve just employed one of last year’s graduates from the MLitt on a permanent basis following a temporary contract.

New Lecturer in Publishing Studies

February 25th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on New Lecturer in Publishing Studies

The Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication is delighted to welcome a new member of staff, Dr Padmini Ray Murray.

n750105289_3205885_9532_editedPadmini has worked in the publishing industry since 1999, when she joined Seagull Books in Kolkata, India as an editorial intern. Since then, she has been a website content editor, a bookseller, and worked in editorial, sales and marketing roles at a range of companies and organisations which include Canongate Books, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Ottakars and Edinburgh University Press.

Her interest in publishing is informed both by her industry experience and her background in book history. She has been an elected member of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society and published a number of essays in The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland: Volume 3, Ambition and Industry 1800-1880 . Her research interests include the colonial history of the book, contemporary academic publishing, the impact of online technologies on the publishing industry and the graphic novel.

Padmini will be teaching on our range of postgraduate publishing programmes, and involved in the Centre’s research.

A bookshop epiphany

February 13th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | 3 Comments
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This blog has previously featured depressing news from the book retail industry, but I wanted to post some more positive thoughts about what you might call ‘the bookshop experience’ – or, in this case, a bookshop epiphany.

Charlie Byrne's BookshopI’ve just returned from Galway, Ireland, where I was giving a talk on children’s publishing. Every time I visit the city, I take the time to visit Charlie Byrne’s, a treasure trove of a bookshop, an enticing mix of new, second-hand and remaindered titles. It’s the sort of bookshop that gently encourages the reader more used to the standardised, heavily-discounted offer of the chain stores to stop and think, and to fall in love with reading again.

Second-hand bookshops are particularly good at making you do this, I think, nudging you to escape the hold of the frontlist and the hyped, for more unpredictable territories.

Charlie Byrne’s isn’t a snobbish place, though – alongside its Irish-language books and academic texts, it has a lively children’s section, popular fiction, and a wall bustling with notices about arts-oriented events taking place round the city. The company also, as its website informs, ‘sells used books in larger quantities to be used as decoration or “furniture” in restaurants, pubs, shops, etc.’  Literature as wallpaper?

I first visited Charlie Byrne’s when I was working in publishing, at Hodder & Stoughton. At this time in the mid-1990s, Hodder was one of the most commercially-oriented trade publishers, and was instrumental in sounding the death knell of the Net Book Agreement and the rise of the 3-for-2 sales culture of the 2000s. I was happy in the job, though, working on Hodder’s literary imprint Sceptre, with authors including Melvyn Bragg, Jill Dawson, Siri Hustvedt, Andrei Makine, Andrew Miller and David Mitchell.

But that rainy Irish summer day, with time to kill, happily, in a bookshop, I suddenly decided I wanted to go back to university – to take the time to think a bit more about authors, books, readers and the process – ‘publishing’ – by which all these are brought together. For me, it was a good decision, and every time I have the opportunity to go back to Galway, I remember that moment, revisit Charlie Byrne’s, and go home with a suitcase full of books.

Has a bookshop ever changed the course of your life? Or do you simply have a favourite bookshop you’d like to tell everyone about? Let us know…

Claire Squires