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Student Profiles

Meet some of our current and recent students on our programmes:


Morven Gow, PhD Publishing Studies

November 15th, 2018 by Morven Gow | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Morven Gow, PhD Publishing Studies
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Working Title: Negotiating Authenticity in 21st Century Book Publishing

Topic: Worth £4.8bn to the UK economy while playing a central role as generator of IP underpinning other creative industries (TV, film, and theatre), book publishing merits concentrated examination. Authenticity lies at the heart of publishing, desired by readers and sold by publishers. My research will ask how the experience of authenticity in book publishing cultures is produced, negotiated, and contested; and if the tension between commercial demands and the desire for authenticity on the part of the consumer/reader resolved.

Research Interests: authenticity, book publishing, book history, book marketing, creative industry, heritage industry, cultural economy, psychology, sociology, marketing

Supervisors:

Professor Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing)

Professor Sian Jones (Centre for Environment, History, and Policy)

Studentships: SGSAH AHRC DTP Scotland Funded Studentship

Links:

Morven on Twitter: @Morv60

Morven on LinkedIn

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Ilaria Tagliafierro, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

November 15th, 2018 by Ilaria_Tagliafierro | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Ilaria Tagliafierro, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19
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I didn’t always love reading. The first childhood memories I have about picking up a book are of passionate hatred.

My grandmother used to always gift me books instead of toys, in hopes that I would understand the importance of reading a good book for personal pleasure. I vividly remember my mother forcing me to read a chapter a day of a book I wasn’t enjoying at all as a summer holidays homework. Back then I didn’t think it was possible to suddenly love something you had hated for such a long time. But I adored the first two Harry Potter movies and somehow I ended up badly wanting to read a copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that my mother had bought me. That book was the beginning of something new. I started it and devoured it. I kept bringing it everywhere just to reread a scene or two.

If you’ve watched iCarly, you’ll remember the episode in which Sam has to read a book for a bet, and she actually decides to have someone read it to her because she hates reading. However she starts reading the book herself because the reader is late and then suddenly realizes that books are great. I particularly love this quote from that episode 22 of season 1: “So I started reading it myself and it is fantastic! These things are great! It’s like TV in your head!”. Sam’s experience really speaks to me.

So, my journey with books was a long one but it actually got me to where I am right now. As I reflect upon it, it’s kind of shocking to me that a single book completely changed my mind and my entire future.

I read a fair amount through middle school and my first years in high school, but it’s only in the last five to six years that I’ve been obsessed with reading. I’ve never liked reading books from my home country, with a few exceptions, so I have almost always read English translated works. When I finally became fluent enough to read books in their original language I couldn’t believe how many books existed that I could have loved, and I had missed, that my country wouldn’t publish just because there wasn’t an adaptation for them. My online researches lead me first to Goodreads and later to Booktube, and those two permanently reshaped my interest and pleasure in reading books.

In the meantime, during this latest phase, I was studying languages and publishing as my undergraduate degree. I’ve always loved studying foreign languages, especially English, so that choice was a safe bet, however I still wasn’t sure about what publishing was and if my future career should have been in that area. My undergraduate degree showed me that the publishing route was the right path to follow. Unfortunately, it also made me realize that Italian education is too dry and far rooted in theory and that my degree wouldn’t be enough to pursue a career in publishing. Nowadays the publishing industry requires more practical and updated skills, and my university had taught me mainly the history of books and printing. That’s where the University of Stirling comes into play.

Amazed by the publishing industry in the US and in the UK thanks to my online activities and my choices in reading, I was looking for a degree in one of the two countries that would enhance my publishing knowledge by teaching me practical and updated skills that I would actually need in a working environment, and I think I’ve finally found it.

Many people still ask me why I decided to risk everything to come to Stirling, and while I very much enjoy speaking my favourite language, meeting new amazing people and visiting a dreamy Scotland, my answer will always be the same: I came to Stirling because the MLitt Publishing Studies program was perfect for me and my ambition.

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Alice Piotrowska, PhD in Publishing Studies

November 14th, 2018 by Alice Piotrowska | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Alice Piotrowska, PhD in Publishing Studies
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Working Title: Publishing in Scotland 1968–2018: From Cultural Heritage to Digital Engagement

Topic: In collaboration with Publishing Scotland and HarperCollins, my project examines the recent history of the publishing industry in Scotland. With my methods involving archival and oral history research and participant observation, I consider how Scottish publishing has developed in the past five decades with the influence of internationalisation, conglomeration, and new digital technologies. My aim is to generate a history of Scottish publishing that incorporates a business-oriented perspective and adds to the understanding of how the ideas of nation and culture impact the industry.

Research interests: Scottish publishing, digital innovations, book history, book design, literary translation, marketing, nationhood, independent publishing

Supervisors:

Professor Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)

Dr Gill Tasker (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)

Marion Sinclair (Publishing Scotland)

Sheena Barclay (HarperCollins UK)

Studentship: University of Stirling Match Funded Studentship co-funded by Publishing Scotland and HarperCollins

Links:

Alice on Twitter: @AlicePiotrowska

Alice on LinkedIn

Email: alice.piotrowska@stir.ac.uk 

 

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Anna Zminda, MLitt Publishing Studies 2018-19

November 14th, 2018 by Anna_Zminda | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Anna Zminda, MLitt Publishing Studies 2018-19
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I always had love for words. At the age of 7, I wrote my first story, called “Princess Anna”, and proudly read it out to every family member that visited our house. At school, I was better at humanities subjects than science or maths. Therefore, growing up I decided that I wanted to be either a writer or a journalist. And honestly, if I still lived in Poland, where I originally am from, I would have probably chosen Journalism as my undergraduate degree.

When I moved to Scotland 10 years ago and couldn’t speak any English, I accepted that I will never be able to be a journalist because my English will never be good enough to produce articles. Fast forward a few years, I actually did end up studying Journalism for a semester and realised that it was not for me. However, when I was still in high school, I discovered my love for languages. I did French and Spanish at Advanced Higher level and decided to study both languages at the University of Stirling.

For the majority of my Bachelor’s degree I thought that, once I graduate, I will pursue a career in translation. I hoped to be able to translate books, of course – I was still not letting go of words and the power that they have. However, the closer the graduation got, the more unsure I was about my career choice.

I finally realised that working in publishing is something that I have always wanted to do, since a very young age. At one point, I even wished to have my own publishing house – although now, I might have to reconsider that thought, after all! I remember thinking to myself, in 4th year of university, that I should stop worrying about the level of my English, my accent, and study something that I have always wanted to do.

Choosing to study MLitt in Publishing has been the best choice I could have made. The thing that I love the most about the course is how practical it is. Whenever I read a recommended textbook, I know that, one day, I will be able to use all the information in real life situations. I am happy to be part of such a dynamic and always changing environment and I cannot wait to see what the future brings. With every day passing I know that publishing is the industry I want to work in. I also hope to have a career where I could speak French and Spanish, as my ultimate goal is to daily use the two degrees that I have.

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Hannah Fields, PhD in Publishing Studies

November 13th, 2018 by Hannah Fields | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Hannah Fields, PhD in Publishing Studies
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Working Title: Industry Shakeup: Independent Publishing and the Plight for Change

Topic: My research aims to examine the methods and publishing practices of independent publishers to close the diversity gap within UK publishing. The diversity focus includes race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and class. It is also my hope to answer the following question through my research: Are various forms of diversity/social justice better dealt with by independent publishers rather than large/corporate houses?

Research Interests: independent publishing; diversity; representation; identity; inclusivity; publishing studies; social justice; politics; sociology; bibliodiversity

Supervisors:

Professor Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)

Dr Gill Tasker (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication)

Links:

Hannah on Twitter: @thehfields
Hannah on LinkedIn

Email: h.m.fields@stir.ac.uk

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Natalie Knabl, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018-19

November 13th, 2018 by Natalie_Knabl | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Natalie Knabl, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018-19
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Once upon a time… my mother used to read fairy tales to me at bedtime. I do not recall any early childhood memory as vividly as our reading sessions because they introduced me to a world of imagination and taught me the importance of stories. In a nutshell, I opened the first pages of my life as a reader back then. Memorising the plot of my favourite books and subsequently teaching myself how to read is the origin of my passion for a world full of words and sharing stories.

I decided to study two BA programmes at the University of Vienna and received a BA in Comparative Literature as well as in English and American Studies. I was, thus, able to combine my deeply rooted love for literature with that for the English language itself. More than anything, I wanted to not only deepen my knowledge in both of these subject areas, but I was especially craving to share my passion for words, reading and languages with as many people as possible. I managed to get a three-month internship at Helbling Publishing, an educational publishing company, in Vienna and was lucky enough to continue working for them for the last three and a half years as an editorial freelancer and content creator. I edited, annotated and corrected manuscripts as well as print-edition textbooks for the subjects German and Maths and was involved in various stages of development and production. I did, moreover, write exercises and texts for print books as well as online products. Having thus gained professional insight and skills from one part of the publishing industry, I am convinced that broadening my theoretical knowledge and being taught how to navigate other areas such as marketing, design and digital production at the University of Stirling will aid me immensely in finding my place in the diverse and exciting world of publishing.

There appears to exist a specific kind of magic surrounding publishing that drew me in just as quickly as the whimsical world of fairy tales did when I was a child. Pursuing a career in publishing and being a student at the University of Stirling is, therefore, hopefully the beginning of my Happily Ever After.

You can find me on:
LinkedIn
Twitter

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Lindsay Madden, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

November 7th, 2018 by Lindsay_Madden | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Lindsay Madden, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19
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Most people seem to be able to remember their first book, or the book that made them “fall in love with reading,” but for me, books have just always been there. From Robert Munsch, to Mary Pope Osborne, to Kenneth Oppel, to JK Rowling—I’ve had a book in my hand for as long as I can remember. Publishing is not a big industry in my hometown of Ottawa, Canada, so it never really occurred to me to make a career out of my love of books. When I started university, I decided to pursue a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice, as I loved studying human behaviour, crime, and deviance. Three years into the programme, I realised that publishing would be a dynamic, challenging, and hugely rewarding job that would pay me to bring more books into the world. I had the sudden epiphany that, as an adult, there was nothing stopping me from moving to where I needed to be to get into this field, so I went out and got a second BA (Honours) in English Language and Literature.

During my second degree, I completed a study abroad semester at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. While I was there, I enrolled in a Publishing module in which I conceptualised, wrote, edited, and designed an original crime magazine called Deviant. The module cemented my determination to work in the publishing industry and, as I loved living in the UK so much, I moved back to Norwich when I graduated in 2017 to begin my career. Unfortunately, like Ottawa, Norwich isn’t exactly a central publishing hub, so I made one of the easiest decisions of my life and moved to Scotland to start my MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling. It has already been such a rewarding and enlightening experience, and I’ve had opportunities to get involved by volunteering with Bloody Scotland and joining the Society of Young Publishers. My understanding of global book markets, the publishing industry, and the technical skills required to succeed in this field have grown substantially over the last two months, and I cannot wait to learn more so that I can apply my skills and my passion to a career in trade book publishing.

Follow me and connect on Twitter and LinkedIn!

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Federica Fiorillo – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

November 7th, 2018 by Federica_Fiorillo | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Federica Fiorillo – MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19
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I came out as a bookworm at the age of 8.

The real surprise for anyone who kept feeding books to the avid reader of a child I was, though, came when I declared I loved spotting mistakes on the page and correcting them. A bunch of years later, I found myself editing friends’ dissertations and cocooning a passion for footnotes and technicalities.

Becoming an editor has been my constant objective during my years of college in Italy; getting a MA in Classics helped me develop a keen eye on details and great mental flexibility. Moving to Scotland was a dream I had been nurturing for years, so the MLitt in Publishing at the University of Stirling seemed like the perfect next step.

I find nothing more exciting than the publishing industry, and I do believe that the printed book has not by far run out of allure – even though I appreciate e-books and any digital format that is around. You never know what author or story will change somebody’s life, but you can be sure that ink and paper still have a lot of difference to make in this world, and I definitely want to be part of it. Visionary and possibly rebellious publishers have always been my lifelong inspiration and influence, and I consider irony the most powerful tool humans have.

 

I drench my days with coffee, I never miss the chance to have a laugh, and I tweet about it. So far so good.

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Callum Spoor, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018-2019

November 6th, 2018 by Callum_Spoor | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Callum Spoor, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018-2019

I remember the first time I could not put down a book. It was Sebastian Faulks beautiful novel Birdsong. I had read it at the ripe old age of 16 and this was the first time I had truly been entranced by a book. Up until that point of my life, English to me had simply been something I was good at. Outside of History, no subject had really grabbed my attention until that fateful book. In the weeks following I was encouraged to read more and more, breezing through Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet, Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus and The Bloody Chamber. Even the mandatory books to cover for my coursework and exams (Macbeth and Frankenstein) had me enthralled.

Thanks to my academic studies, I had not just achieved qualifications but gained something more valuable – a passion. Now when looking ahead towards a lifelong career, it feels fitting that I would enrol in my current Publishing Studies course. In many ways it feels like the next step in my life, having gone from excelling at English throughout secondary school to completing an undergraduate course in English Studies and my other passion, History, at the University of Stirling.

I have always wanted to enjoy whatever career path I decide to venture down. Having found myself in employment since the age of 14, enjoyment would certainly not be the most appropriate description of my feelings towards my working environment. Despite still being very early into this course, I feel a sense of belonging as well as, for the first time in my life, a true sense of direction and a passion for what I do. I look forward to taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to me through various internships and the other gateways this course can provide for me. I know for a fact I made the right choice to continue my studies here at Stirling University.

You can find me on:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/callum-spoor-0451a1170/

Twitter: @CallumSpoor

 

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Alexandra Sautois, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

February 21st, 2018 by Alexandra Sautois | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Alexandra Sautois, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

Coming from France implies loving drinking wine and eating cheese. It is part of French identity. However it is not for me. I am an original; but I think everybody makes the world original. This is the reason why I chose Publishing.

I like the power of imagination. It turns people’s lives into other possibilities. Million possibilities contained on shelves. I discovered it when I was teenager and I wanted to be part of this creation. Allow new authors to find their readers, bring new titles on shelves and market them.

So, I took my bravery and my ideas to apply in Publishing Studies, first in France and later, here in the University of Stirling. Everything is different in Scotland and in the United Kingdom; it opens my eyes on new horizons for books.

I worked in independent companies most of the time, from a children book publisher, Bulles de savon, to the well-known bookshop Mollat. I copy-edited and proofread from high school, strangers on the web and friends, I got involved in various book fairs and I participated in the production of different titles. With Bulles de savon, the communication and the production was my principal work. My internship in Rebelle was more focused in production of various adult fiction, like Sci-Fi or thriller. Different experiences but enriching for me.

When I am not spending my Sunday reading with hot chocolate, I go hiking around especially while I am in Scotland. I have various other sport activities, and it helps to clear my mind, to think differently. Photography is an art I practice too because it is full of possibilities like books. I love dogs, regardless I am surrounded by cat lovers, even in my own family!

I hope one day I would work in a children’s publishing house in Canada. I built long years ago this dream, and I wish it became true like the Rapunzel one.