Conny Lenz, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2010-2011

March 20th, 2012 by prm | Posted in Alumni | Comments Off on Conny Lenz, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2010-2011

Having spent four years in Stirling completing my bachelor’s degree, the decision to continue my education with the MLitt in Publishing Studies course seemed like the natural next step. I loved the diversity in subjects that were taught and the range of aspects, of publishing, that were covered. The course gave me the opportunity to not only expand on my publishing knowledge, but provided me with invaluable work experience through internships and the classes themselves. The Stirling course adapted itself to suit the changes occurring in the publishing industry at present, and the insight into digital publishing gave me the knowledge I needed in order to find my current job.

Although it took me nearly four months, I now work as Publishing Assistant for the Library Reference department at Cengage Learning EMEA in Hampshire, England. I have recently passed my probation and am constantly building upon the knowledge and experience from the MLitt course, which provided me with a firm base and the understanding I needed in order to get to where I am now.

Aye Write! Festival 2012

March 16th, 2012 by Sara_Gardiner | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Aye Write! Festival 2012
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Opening day, Friday 9th March, the Aye Write! Festival in Glasgow began with an opening discussion from Mark Buckland, Cargo Publishing, Adrian Searle, Freight Books and Sam Best, Octavius Magazine discussing how to be a small publisher in Scotland. The main points discussed were funding and the abundance of emerging new talent coming from Scotland.

Sam discussed how Octavius was set up on a shoestring, primarily creating the magazine in an electronic form with a view to expanding into a physical format when their funding becomes more established. Octavius consists of four volunteers managing submissions from around the world. Sam explained how he was surprised and happy at the amount of writing talent that came from Scotland for the submissions, which has now had to close due to the innumerable amounts of new material they have received. Their first online magazine will launch in spring this year.

Mark also discussed the beginnings of his business, as a University graduate with a keen interest in books. His interest in publishing stems from his love of literature and interest in making the complete form. Mark discussed how he was a gardener with £800 in his pocket when he began Cargo, and made it into what it is today. In the present day, Cargo are linked with the Dundee International Book Prize and have recently announced their judge’s panel – Stephen Fry, Alan Bissett, Jenny Brown and Philip Pullman, with the winner of the prize being announced in October.

Mark candidly spoke of the industry and the realistic ways in which publishing needs to change. Cargo have begun the process by updating POD systems, which have now been taken on by the big publishing houses and the introduction of the Margins Book and Music Festival, to showcase new talent both in the publishing world and the music industry.

The day became an opportunity to talk to other publishers and listen to the seminars provided by Aye Write! Many writers were also keen to see if they could get their manuscripts read by companies while also acquiring a few free sweets at the same time.

– Sara Gardiner

We love books. And domino chains.

March 13th, 2012 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | 2 Comments
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To celebrate World Book Night, a group of us at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication have decided to hold a book dominoes event* on April 23rd. The goal is to create the biggest book dominoes event possible, promoting a love of reading, Scottish literature, and Scottish Publishing. Of course, to achieve this lofty goal we need your book donations! We’re looking for any donations, great and small, and we are willing to pick them up by car if necessary. However, they do need to be able to stand up, fall over, and knock other books over. A strange way of judging literature, but there you go…

We’ve already had pledges of books from Alban Books, Cargo Publishing, Freight Books, the Gaelic Books CouncilPublishing ScotlandSaraband Books, and Stirling Libraries (thank you!). Blasted Heath are going to see if they can make their ebooks stand up for us! (Though we think p-books probably win here…)

If you would like to participate, please email: You can also follow our exploits on Twitter via @stirpublishing and the hashtag #stirbkdominoes

We will release details of the event itself closer to the time. If you’d like to come and watch, contact us via the email above.

*We love books, and we promise to love your books, too. No books will be harmed in the making of this event and loaned books will be returned to their respective owners.

– Alicia Rice

Margins Book and Music Festival 2012 – A Night in the Gutter

March 5th, 2012 by Sara_Gardiner | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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Opening night in an underground maze, trains running on time overhead. Underneath the mundane patterns of everyday life, literature and music come alive. The Margins Festival celebrates music, through the unique sound of Roddy Woomble (Idlewild), Withered Hand, Alasdair Roberts and literature through the readings of Christopher Brookmyre and Louise Welsh along with the launch of Gutter Magazine 06.

Gutter is now in its third year as Scotland’s leading literary magazine and publishes the work of new Scottish writers, and this year’s collection is no exception.  With performances by Keith Macpherson and Nalini Chetty of the literature and poetry, Gutter were able to dramatise stories such as ‘Windows’ by Alison Irvine and ‘The Judge’ by Roddy Dunlop and poetry, ‘Sometimes I Forget’ by Stav Poleg and ‘Goma, Goma, Goma’ by Alexander Hutchinson.

Amidst the appreciative chuckles in the audience during the reading of ‘The Judge’, audience members included a select few of the contributors to Gutter 06, who kindly gave a signing after the readings.  In this dungeon-type palace of culture, Gutter Magazine was brought to life by actors and audience alike and somewhere in the background, plotting their next launch in the autumn.

Gutter 06 is available to buy now and is published by Freight Books.

– Sara Gardiner

What’s Wrong with Women’s Writing?: Centre Director speaks at Aye Write

March 4th, 2012 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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The Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, Professor Claire Squires, will be appearing at Glasgow’s Aye Write! festival on Sunday 11 March, at 3.30pm.

 She will be speaking on the topic of ‘What’s Wrong with Women’s Writing’, along with authors Laura Marney and Karen Campbell, and Sue John of Glasgow Women’s Library. The debate will be chaired by Vicky Allan of the Herald.

 ​As Aye Write! Has it, ‘the people who buy books, read and recommend to friends – in short those shaping the publishing trends – are women. The people writing the reviews and winning the prizes are men.’

 Expect some feisty debate! Tickets are available from the Aye Write! website.

Publishing Scotland Annual Conference 2012

March 4th, 2012 by Victoria_Sugden | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Scotland Annual Conference 2012
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This year the Publishing Scotland Annual Conference took place at Edinburgh’s Royal College of Physicians on Monday 27 February. Following registration and a number of freebies, an assortment of publishing professionals and students congregated in the main auditorium (at a somewhat vertiginous height!) ready to catch the pearls of wisdom thrown their way.

After a warm welcome from the Chair and Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, Bob McDevitt and Marion Sinclair, the conference was in motion. The most engaging speeches, for me, were delivered in the morning session. The key note speech came from Alan Clements, Director of Content at STV on ‘Future-Gazing-what’s in store for media and culture in the next few years.’ Clements pushed that in this day and age there is an issue of content, rather than the means of distribution in broadcasting and publishing. After all, “content is king” Clements later declared. Ultimately, Clements argued that publishing and TV should be more engaged than they already are. He also stated that Scotland has become the “other” in UK terms, thus publishers and TV should work together to create new Scottish-centric material.

Steve Bohme, Research Director of Book Marketing Ltd gave an insightful talk on key retail market trends. His decision to use a weddings metaphor in his slides was very effective but left some of us disheartened with the lack of real cake during refreshments…

Then came the presentation that was a firm favourite of mine, Social Media Consultant, Jon Reed speaking about ‘Publishing Direct-reaching readers online using social media.’ Social media is certainly proving to be one of the principle ways to reach consumers as Reed presented the staggering facts of there being two billion people online, 850 million on Facebook and approximately 500 million Twitter users worldwide! Reed was very insightful and revealed numerous ways to reap the benefits of social media marketing that many social media fiends would not even think of!

The afternoon sessions were less digitally focused but nonetheless enlightening with talks ranging from metadata (from Nielsen Bookscan) to Scottish library partnerships. At the end of proceedings Publishing Scotland kindly set up a Q&A session for us students, which gave us a valuable 45 minutes to grill those already in the industry.

My thanks go to Publishing Scotland for a fascinating and well-organised day.

– Vicky Sugden

Image by Sandy Young Photography