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Ailsa Kirkwood, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 20th, 2016 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Ailsa Kirkwood, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Hi, I’m Ailsa and I’ve always found describing myself one of the hardest and most awkward things to do, but here goes…

Before coming to the University of Stirling for Publishing Studies (MLitt), I graduated in Scottish Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Having grown up in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, I fancied a change of scenery and have happily relocated to Stirling.

Like most people hoping to pursue a career in publishing with a background education in literature, stating my love for books may seem like a cliché, but it is unavoidable. Living in Edinburgh made my passion for literature an easy one to explore, as Edinburgh itself is a vibrant hub for literature. Every August the city hosts the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the only redeeming part about living in Edinburgh during the entire month of August. Without fail, the Festival has excellent line ups of authors and guest speakers, not to forget the fabulous bookshop of new releases – all in one tented village. I’ve been privileged enough to have seen Chuck Palahniuk, James Kelman and the late William McIlvanney, to name a few, provide fascinating and mesmerising talks and would have seen Alasdair Gray last year had he not fallen outside his flat at precisely the wrong moment.

It was during my time at Menzies Distribution, magazine and newspaper distributors that I decided to pursue a career in publishing but I wanted to swap sides and become part of the creative industry instead. It was this decision which prompted my return to education for my undergraduate and now here I am in Stirling. It seems that most of my classmates have already picked a specific field within publishing they wish to work in; I am, however, quite content exploring the different aspects before I find and choose my place.