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literary publishing

Otieno Owino, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 11th, 2016 by Otieno Owino | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Otieno Owino, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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otieno-owinoAbout four years ago a friend casually asked if I could proofread some work for her employer, a major publisher in Kenya. I gladly accepted because I’d make extra money off it. I was then working as newspaper reporter, having left a language teaching job. I received a lot of freelance work thereafter through referrals. I turned this freelance experience into a full time job as an Assistant Editor with Kwani Trust, Kenya’s leading literary publisher where I have been in the last one and half years.

Working in a small team made it necessary to understand all the major stages of book publishing. I realized that even though I could do good editorial work, I needed some grounding in design, production and marketing, other important aspects of the business. It is this realisation that has brought me to the University of Stirling to pursue the MLitt in Publishing Studies course.

A mini literary revolution is ongoing in my country Kenya, with online journals such as Jalada, Enkare Review and Kikwetu publishing what Kwani Trust would traditionally publish. Part of my research interest is online literary journals, how sustainable they can become, how they can make money out of the process and the digital or e-book publication market which is still to be fully exploited in Kenya.

I hope to add onto my editorial skills; project management, production and marketing which I believe will be important for future work in the publishing industry.

Other than my work at Kwani Trust I was a junior editor for a nonfiction anthology put together by Commonwealth Writers, if you get a chance, do read Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction.