Creative Internships with the Saltire Society and Freight Books

February 24th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Creative Internships with the Saltire Society and Freight Books

Creative Internships are currently available with the Saltire Society and Freight Books.

The Saltire Society is seeking a Project Manager for the new Saltire Society Publisher of the Year Award, and Freight Books is seeking a Publishing Intern.

Creative Internships are only available through the Creative Interns programme. Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria. Application can only be made via your local Jobcentre Plus personal adviser.

Creative Intern vacancies are open to an individual who meet certain criteria. They must:

  • Be aged 24 or younger
  • Hold a SCQF Level 8+ qualification related to the arts or creative industries (equivalent to an HND, first degree, SVQ Level 4 or above)
  • Be unemployed, either claiming benefits but not yet on the Work Programme/Work Choices or not yet claiming benefits, in which case they must make a claim for JSA to receive a referral.

Full details are available via the Creative Interns website (search on Jobs by Sector – ‘Publishing’).


February 19th, 2013 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on VISITING SPEAKERS FOR SEMESTER 2, 2012-13
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The Centre’s Visiting Speakers programme for this semester presents a broad mix of academic and industry experience. All sessions are held at 2pm in Pathfoot B2. Attendance is free but there is limited space so please register via to book a place.

The series begins on Thursday February 21 with an academic perspective from John Maxwell, lecturer in Publishing at Simon Fraser University in Canada. This is followed on February 28 by Emma House of The Publishers’ Association, the representative body of the UK publishing trade. Two small independent publishers based in Scotland follow: Mark Buckland of Cargo Publishing  in Glasgow (March 7) and Eleanor Collins and Helena Waldron from Floris Books  in Edinburgh (March 14). On March 21, John Seaton, Inventory Manager at Canongate Books will talk about what’s involved in good backlist management, while March 28 hosts Alastair Horne, Social Media and Communities Manager at Cambridge University Press, who will focus on digital publishing.

After the mid-semester break, on April 11 we welcome John Storey, Head of Literature and Publishing at the Gaelic Books Council. Another independent publisher, Vanessa Robertson of Fidra Books will speak on April 18, followed by the final session on April 25 with Timothy Wright, Publisher at Edinburgh University Press.

LSE Review Festival of Books: ‘The Future of Publishing in a Digital Age’

February 17th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on LSE Review Festival of Books: ‘The Future of Publishing in a Digital Age’
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Our Director, Prof Claire Squires, will be speaking on Saturday 2 March at the LSE Review of Books Space for Thought Literary Festival.

Her panel is entitled ‘The Future of Publishing in a Digital Age’. Other speakers on the panel are author and indie publisher Ben Galley and Oxford University Press’s Damon Zucca. The event will be chaired by Jonathan Derbyshire of the New Statesman.

The talk links to Claire Squires’s AHRC-funded research project, The Book Unbound, which has explored digital publishing.

Tickets for the event are available here.

“Ausgeliefert!“ – Subcontracted Work and Amazon

February 17th, 2013 by Eva Graf | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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Eva Graf, currently studying on the MLitt in Publishing Studies, reports on a recent documentary which focused on conditions for staff at Amazon distribution centres in Germany:

The documentary “Ausgeliefert!” (a play on words as “ausgeliefert” has two meanings in German: dispatched and at the mercy of someone/something) kindled a lot of discussion in the German media.

Aired by the television channel ARD, the film by Diana Löbl and Peter Onneken shows how subcontracted workers (immigrant workforce) are being exploited by Amazon and degraded by hired security services.

In the beginning a short sequence depicts a group of happy Spaniards on their way to Germany, presumably to a better future. Nevertheless, the joy does not last very long, a short email sent by Amazon informs the workers that they will not be employed by Amazon directly but a temporary employment agency. Around 5000 workers from all over Europe are hired on a temporary three month contract leading up to Christmas. Instead of the promised 1,500€ they will earn 12% less. Despite this they all sign the contract, written in German, working three months for less than originally promised, as it is better than being unemployed at home. A situation which plays in the hands of Amazon and the agencies, as desperate people are unlikely to complain about a 12% wage cut.

The contract workers are lodged in remote holiday facilities, which are nowhere near the distribution centres. The nearest shopping is also miles away. The commute to work is made by coaches, yet despite being hired by the company there is not enough seating capacity and the coaches are overcrowded on a regular basis. If the coach is not on time for the beginning of a shift the workers have to accept a wage cut. This is a regular occurrence. This is not the only problem that is connected with the long commute and the hired coaches. Most of the time there is only one bus per shift. If there is not enough work and the contract workers are sent home early they have to wait for hours to actually have a chance to return to the remote holiday facilities. No matter if it is cold or snowing, the workers are stuck at the distribution centre. Some try to make the best out of the situation and go to sleep on the canteen tables.

Perhaps sleeping on canteen tables is more relaxing than sleeping in the actual accommodation. Five or more strangers share a small bungalow. The rooms are hardly big enough to store personal things as the double beds take up most of the space. Complaining about the conditions is not tolerated. After Ms. X complained about the living conditions she was kicked out under the pretext that she supposedly had been drying her laundry illegally on the radiators. The security guards followed her to her new shelter and focused the headlights through her window for hours to intimidate and scare her, as well as to undoubtedly demonstrate their power and superior position.

Security in accommodation is provided by a company H.E.S.S., the abbreviation standing for Hensel European Security Services. Despite that abbreviation the name also has a historical association with Rudolf Hess, a henchman of Hitler. The omnipresent security guards radiate the vibe of a paramilitary group, wearing black uniforms, boots and military haircuts. Two guards are even seen wearing Thor Steinar jumpers, a brand connected to the radical right-wing scene and therefore banned in German football stadiums and the Parliament. Ironically Amazon stopped selling Thor Steinar clothes because of this connection in 2009.

Guards search the rooms in absence of the inhabitants, as “this is our house and therefore we make the rules. We are like the police here”. Quotes like this demonstrate the pressure the workers have to live and cope with. Power-hungry guards are not only searching the rooms in absence of the inhabitants, they are also checking bags on a regular basis. The workers are permitted to take away one single roll for breakfast. A breakfast which they pay for.

The documentary shows the dark side of the booming retail giant. To satisfy our Christmas orders promptly underpaid workers have to walk 17km per shift. Temporary employment agencies cart desperate people to the German distribution centres where they work gruelling shifts for little money. It is possible to argue that this is modern slave trade. The winner and benefactor in this system is Amazon, which saves money through the small wages, made through the agencies that hire the workers. There are numerous other players, including travel agencies who book the accommodation (“I don’t count in humans, I count in buses.”), the owners of the holiday facilities (“I can place seven in one bungalow, that means you can save some money and I can accommodate more”, or “Of course I’ll take Polish workers, they are not as dirty and drunk like others”), and of course the seedy security company.

How can Amazon not know what happens with the contract workers? During the filming the company refused to answer any queries made by the crew. Following the controversy after the documentary was aired in Germany, Amazon promised to look into incidents and said they were most likely isolated cases. The response to the documentary in the rest of Europe has not been as shocked, with this article in The Indendent newspaper being one of very few media responses to the incident in the UK. Even if the occurrences were isolated, cases like this cause a bad aftertaste which stays.

Merit Scholarships to study publishing at Stirling

February 16th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Merit Scholarships to study publishing at Stirling
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The University of Stirling is offering Merit Scholarships of £2000 to Home/EU students who have graduated with a first-class honours degree for postgraduate study in 2013-14.

Full details of the scheme are available here. To apply for a place on the MLitt in Publishing Studies at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, please apply for a place on the programme.

Details of other scholarships for Home/EU students are available here (AHRC) and for students from developing C0mmonwealth countries here (Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme).


Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for study at Stirling

February 16th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for study at Stirling
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The University of Stirling is inviting applications from students for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme.

The University is offering three scholarships, and Publishing is one of the areas in which applications are being accepted. If you are from a Commonwealth country and wish to be considered for a scholarship to study for the MLitt in Publishing Studies at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, please apply for a place on the programme and indicate in your personal statement that you wish to be considered for a scholarship.

The deadline for initial applications is 30 March 2013. For further details of the scheme and eligibility, please see the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission website.