Marian Robb, MLitt Publishing Studies 2014-16 (part time)

October 21st, 2015 by Marian Robb | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Marian Robb, MLitt Publishing Studies 2014-16 (part time)
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IMG_20151013_135351Hi. I’m Marian and I’m in my second year of the MLitt in Publishing Studies. My undergraduate degree is a MA from Glasgow University and I also have a PGDip in Information and Library Studies from Strathclyde University. I worked in a mix of university and college libraries before taking up a permanent post with the railway, as a Records Officer. A few years down the line (pun not intended), I swapped the records management for baby management and consequently quite a different role altogether. However, the babies have grown a lot, the house seems to get smaller every year and I decided it was time to gain some new skills and knowledge and go back to university. After spending a lot of time on the internet, checking out various courses, I found myself returning to the Stirling publishing degree as it just seemed the most appropriate to complement my previous qualifications and also open up some whole new opportunities.


I’m possibly one of the few students who hasn’t joined the MLitt in publishing because they love books. If this sounds like absolute sacrilege to anyone, be assured I love reading a good book as much as anyone, it just wasn’t my reason for applying to this course! Children’s literature is what I really love best. Nothing to do with having kids of my own. I’ve always loved children’s books, even before Harry Potter made it both fashionable and acceptable. Guilty secret is now out in the open but at this point I must quote C.S Lewis who said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I just couldn’t agree more. I can remember one summer holiday when I was about nine, discovering boxes of books hidden in a cupboard that had belonged to my older siblings. I happily settled down with them and was totting up around two or three books a day until my elder sister (assigned with the enviable task of looking after me) “cracked.” I was thrown out into the garden minus sun protection and ordered to soak up a few rays. Clearly she thought that a good dose of Scottish sunburn was a far healthier pursuit for me than immersing myself in the exploits of the Famous Five. How wrong she was. I still dislike excessively hot days (and sunburn) but my enjoyment of children’s books is here to stay.


I’m also a wildlife lover and strongly support the conservation of indigenous species. Scotland is of course a fantastic place to see birds and animals in their natural environment as we still have many beautiful landscapes. However, like everywhere else, many species and their habitats are still under threat. If I could combine a career in publishing with helping to protect our wildlife I would be extremely happy.
Just to finish, here are a few more random things about me which spring to mind as I write. I love deserted beaches, particularly on the west coast of Scotland and conversely I can’t resist a traditional British seaside resort. I love interesting buildings, particularly those from a different era and hate to see them left in disrepair. I love chocolate, cups of tea, the occasional coffee and musicals. I really want to own a retro VW camper van but can’t afford one, so I keep entering competitions in the hope that I’ll win one instead. I love heading off on holiday with my family and wish we could do it a lot more. Hence the campervan on the wish list. Incidentally, I do like sunny days but just in a cooler, Celtic sort of way!





Catriona Cox, PhD in Publishing Studies

October 19th, 2015 by Catriona_Cox | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Catriona Cox, PhD in Publishing Studies
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DSC_0061Working Title: Publishing in Scotland 1968-2018

Topic:  In collaboration with Publishing Scotland my research will look at the history of the publishing industry in Scotland. I hope to gain valuable information from the Publishing Scotland archives and also conduct interviews with publishers based in Scotland to gain a complete picture of the businesses and their own histories.

Research interests: Scottish publishing, book history, book marketing, metadata, literary awards, arts funding, Irish publishing


Scholarships: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award




Catriona on Twitter: @CatrionaMCox
Catriona on LinkedIn
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Charlotte Mörsch, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

October 13th, 2015 by Charlotte Mörsch | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Charlotte Mörsch, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16
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Hello, I’m Charlotte Mörsch, not born but definitely raised in the very north of Germany and therefore happiest when the sea is not more than two hours’ drive away. An avid and early reader whose parents at times resorted to taking out the bedside lamp’s lightbulb in a futile attempt to discourage late night reading, I’ve known I wanted to work in the publishing industry ever since watching You’ve Got Mail as a child. And yes, the irony of first discovering the possibility of making a living out of producing books in a film is not lost on me.

During my undergraduate, I studied Scandinavian Studies at the University of Bonn. The course taught me the necessary skills to give in to my love of analyzing literature through different theoretical approaches. At some point, most literature students find a particular theory they return to again and again, because applying its various angles to different works never stops yielding fascinating results (or so they say). For me, what started with a single presentation about gender theory ended in a Bachelor’s Thesis about genre, gender and Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy, as well as an ongoing interest in representation in literature, be it science fiction or history books. My thesis also left me with a taste for crime fiction I hadn’t previously realized I had.

After two very rewarding and interesting editorial internships in German publishing houses, which taught me the basics of proofreading, copy-editing, typesetting and layout, it became clear to me that during my time as an undergraduate, I was sorely missing a more practical approach to books and the industry surrounding them. I was very happy when the University of Stirling accepted me and I am now looking forward to the experiences which await me as I study here and become more familiar with the Scottish and British publishing industry. I hope to have a chance to apply what I learned during my previous internships and to learn more about those parts of the industry I don’t know yet.

When I’m not studying or reading (my favorite authors are Jane Austen and Terry Pratchett), I watch and talk about a lot of movies and TV shows, spend a probably equal amount of time complaining about Germany’s national football team, and go on long, rambling walks which end with me getting lost and discovering wonderful places I can never find my way back to.



Gloria Addo-Safo, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

October 10th, 2015 by Gloria Addo-Safo | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Gloria Addo-Safo, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16
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SAM_1617Joining the MLitt Publishing 2015-16 class in the University of Stirling is a fulfilled dream for me, basically owing to the fact that I can finally put the little practical knowledge that I have acquired into building a successful publishing career.

I am looking forward to finally becoming a professional publisher, with the knowledge and experience I am receiving here in Stirling; and I hope to return to Ghana to impact the Ghanaian publishing industry positively.

I trust that with this qualification, I can significantly influence the Ghanaian educational system through publishing, because I still believe that publishing is a tool for educational and economic development for any country especially a developing one like Ghana.

My dream of change starts here in Stirling with an MLitt Publishing Studies degree.

Patrizia Striowsky, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

October 9th, 2015 by Patrizia Striowsky | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Patrizia Striowsky, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16
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2015-02-23_1424685469Having graduated from the University of Oldenburg (a lovely city in the north of Germany) with a BA in English Studies and Politics and Economics in Summer 2015, I was delighted when I received my acceptance email from the University of Stirling. My friends in Germany said it was only “natural” that I would end up in the UK – I like to think this reflects my interest in other cultures, and my desire to take on new challenges…

I had struggled with finding “the right career choice” for a long time. After studying Japanese Studies at the University of Düsseldorf for one semester, I realized that I instead wanted to do “something that has to do with literature” (wow, so specific!). After some consideration, I decided to pursue a degree in English Studies with a focus on literary and cultural studies. I was (and still am) especially interested in pop literature and its representation of contemporary discourses, a fact that was reflected in the choice of my bachelor thesis topic “We Are the Inquisition! (Are we not?): The Representation of Female Warriors and Leaders in Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition.”

I worked for Professor Martin Butler at the Univeristy of Oldenburg, which gave me the opportunity to be involved in the copy-editing and proofreading process of an academic edited volume and several papers and bibliographies. This sparked my interest not only in academic publishing, but in the publishing industry in general. Finally, my original plan to pursue a career that has “something to do with literature” took a more precise shape!

I believe that with my great attention to detail, ability to critically reflect my own as well as others’ work, and skill set I developed through my undergraduate studies, an editorial position might best suit me in the future. However, I am also interested in the design aspects of the publishing process and know a thing or two about Adobe software, so I am excited to see where my journey during and after the MLitt will take me!

Helena Markou, PhD in Publishing Studies

October 8th, 2015 by Helena Markou | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Helena Markou, PhD in Publishing Studies
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biog_helena_markouWorking TitleThe Shelf-Life of Books: An Exploration of the Lifecycle and Longevity of Books in the UK in the 21st Century

Topic:  With 180,000 new titles now published each year, there is fierce competition for space on bookshop shelves.  This research aims to identify and investigate longselling titles within UK trade publishing (namely the books you find in high street bookshops).  It will first establish an overview of the typical lifecycle of books across genres, using quantitative data analysis.  Then seek to identify and explore the cultural significance of those titles that, against all odds, remain on bookshop shelves.

Through this research data analysis methods will be developed and the themes of longevity, obsolesce and the impact of online bookselling on the UK publishing industry explored.

Research interests: bookselling, publishing, product development, consumerism, book history, book culture, creative industries, digital publishing, digital book history, digital humanities.



Scholarships: SGSAH AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship


Helena on Twitter: @helena_markou
Helena on LinkedIn
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Email: h.l.markou[at]

Elizabeth Krajnik, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

October 8th, 2015 by Elizabeth Krajnik | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Elizabeth Krajnik, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16
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A photo of me while on holiday in the Scottish Highlands c. autumn 2014

A photo of me while on holiday in the Scottish Highlands c. autumn 2014

Welcome to the wonderful thing that is my student profile. I’m terrible at writing about myself, so I’ll attempt to make it as bearable as humanly possible. My name is Elizabeth Krajnik: youngest of three and the only girl. I was born and raised in rural Wisconsin, a land full of dairy cows, corn fields and pine trees (AKA a lack of neighbours), all of which allowed me to find my passion in reading.

At present I am thinking my future career will have something to do with young adult fiction; however, I have FOMO disease (fear of missing out) and would hate to cast off other areas in which I might excel. I’m the type of person who likes to try anything — within reason — at least once. Upon graduation, I’d be delighted to find a job that suits me in the UK or perhaps on mainland Europe.

My publishing background is not nearly as lengthy as some other students, but rather than bounce around from experience to experience I prefer to gain the trust of my colleagues and form strong relationships with them. I work well within tight time constraints, easily command the attention of a group, and do exceptionally well in situations under which most would falter. I love incorporating humour (which I’m sure you have gathered from reading this whole thing) into the workplace whenever appropriate and know when a flip of the proverbial switch is required.

I have an amazing family that means the world to me: two loving parents who have supported me through everything (even my first year of uni which was spent freaking out about being a pre-med student) and two brothers who know just how to brighten even the darkest of days with silly memes and inside jokes.

In my spare time (yes I do have some of that on occasion) I enjoy falling down the rabbit hole that is Buzzfeed, cooking, attempting to learn new languages, watching funny videos of dogs, and taking really crappy amateur photos.

Some of my favourite authors are: Jodi Picoult, the ever-wonderful Queen J.K. Rowling, Salman Rusdie, and Mary Higgins Clark. However, I must never forget the greats: Virgil, Dante, Boccaccio, and Chaucer. This list isn’t even close to complete, but I’m sure you understand how difficult it is to come up with the authors you love most on the spot. There are too many to list!

Well, I think this is a sufficient amount of writing about myself for the time being. Cheers!

Visit to Booksource 2015

October 7th, 2015 by Marian Robb | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visit to Booksource 2015
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On Thursday 1 October the publishing students of Stirling University visited Booksource: a distribution company based in Glasgow. We were welcomed by Louise Morris, the Customer Service Director and Jim O’Donnell, Operations Director and were then separated into two groups. (The MLitt cohort is quite large this year!) One group was taken on a fascinating tour of the warehouse by Jim and the other was given an informative presentation about the company by Louise.

While touring the impressive 44,000 square feet warehouse, Jim told us how Booksource was founded by Publishing Scotland and is still 90% owned by them. The company has approximately eighty client publishers, most of whom are small to medium sized and information about them and what they publish can be found on the Booksource website ( ). The company provides storage and distribution for their clients and client-customer transactions are processed through their information management system.

As Jim took us down the aisles, with books stacked from floor to ceiling he explained how books are re-stocked early each morning and how a team then picks the books around 9am for the orders that are to be fulfilled that day. He also explained how they choose the most cost effective packaging for the publisher, with smaller orders packed in boxes or larger ones in pallets. The books are kept in the correct environmental conditions which means no heating in the warehouse. Perfect for the books but sometimes very cold for the Booksource team during the Scottish winters!

Jim then showed us the returns sections of the Booksource warehouse and we publishing students were faced with the reality of misjudging the print run or of typo errors missed during the proofreading stage. I think quite a few of us would have liked to save the books from becoming pulped fiction!

Louise gave us some more background to the company during the presentation and explained how important their service is to both publishers and their customers. Most small publishers do not have the resources to be dealing with their own distribution and equally, booksellers would have to order from lots of different publishers which wouldn’t be cost effective for anyone. Booksource means that the publisher-customer transactions can be controlled in one place, allowing publishers to concentrate fully on the publishing process.

She told us about the range of publications they deal with: fiction, outdoor, Scottish themed, children’s books and cookery to name just a few. Booksource also stores and distributes CDs and DVDs for independent music companies and provides an eBook service to publishers. So not just print publications!

Louise also explained how Booksource is continually adapting to the changes in the publishing industry and giving publishers the services they require. They will soon be launching a new online shop ( ) where each publisher will have their own dedicated page. It will be a great asset to small publishers who perhaps don’t have the time or resources to maintain their own online shop.

It was a really interesting and enjoyable afternoon seeing this aspect of the book publishing world, and Louise and Jim’s time spent with us was much appreciated, especially as they had to do the tour and presentation twice! We learned a lot and can really see how the services that Booksource provides play a pivotal role in the publishing process. Many thanks to the Booksource team for inviting us all to visit.

Visiting Speaker programme for Semester 1, 2015-16

October 6th, 2015 by Frances_Sessford | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Visiting Speaker programme for Semester 1, 2015-16

The visiting speaker sessions for Semester 1 are as follows:

  • October 8: Stevie Marsden (PhD researcher, University of Stirling/the Saltire Society): ‘‘fit tay be in schools, huvn no bad language, sex subversion or antireligion’: The Saltire Society’s Book Awards, Judgment Culture and the Scottish Literary Canon’ & Sarah Mygind, (PhD researcher, Aarhus University, Denmark): ‘How you and them work for you – when readers become co-promoters’
  • October 15: Peter Dennis, Publishing Manager, Leckie & Leckie
  • October 22: Mairi Kidd, Publisher, Barrington Stoke
  • November 5: Gillian Macrossan, Publishing Manager, & Jo Marjoribanks, Publishing Quality Controller, Witherby Publishing
  • November 12: John Watson, Commissioning Editor, Edinburgh University Press (as part of Academic Book Week) *PLEASE NOTE THIS SESSION WILL TAKE PLACE IN COTTRELL 2B84*
  • November 19: Lindsey Fraser, Literary Agent, Fraser Ross Associates
  • November 26: Cherise Saywell, Author & Royal Literary Fund Fellow
  • December 3: Lucy Feather and Eleanor Logan, Publishing Scotland

Please note a change of venue from previous years. All sessions will now be held in Cottrell 2B86 on Thursdays, beginning at 2pm. Places are free but limited. If you wish to attend but are not a Publishing student, please email to register.

Emily Ferro, MLitt. in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

October 6th, 2015 by Simon Rowberry | Posted in Alumni | Comments Off on Emily Ferro, MLitt. in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

P1030103Attending the University of Stirling to earn my degree in Publishing Studies was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. The broad range of courses taught throughout the year provide excellent support for work in any area of the publishing field, and the courses help students to identify the area that suits them best. I firmly believe that I would not be where I am today without the experience I gained from my time at Stirling, and from the internship I held as I studied. As courses in publishing are few and far between here in the United States, I count myself incredibly lucky to have had a chance to explore a new country while learning the ins-and-outs of an industry that I love.