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Yuwen Tong, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

April 20th, 2016 by Yuwen Tong | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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Yuwen Tong

My name is Yuwen Tong. I come from Shanghai, China. I am an art student. In college, my previous major was advertising design. I was particularly interested in design when I was a child. In Shanghai I have studied painting for seven years and have a certain degree of creative basis. I know that I amfar from a professional designer, but I have been watching and learning all kinds of design ideas. After coming to University of Stirling, I chose publishing studies which linked to my previous major as my postgraduate course. Because of the previous study of graphic design, I have mastered a number of graphics software skills such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, CAD and Adobe InDesign.

In these two semesters, I have learnt a lot about professional knowledge of publishing such as Skills Training for Publishing, Digital: Process and Product, Editorial Practice and Content Creation, Marketing Management and Communications and Skills for Publishing Management. I hope that in these two semesters I have mastered the professional knowledge of publishing, gained a familiarity with the operation of the publishing industry processes and strengthen my software skills.



My Publishing Journey

April 8th, 2016 by Gloria Addo-Safo | Posted in Blog | No Comments
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As publishers “in-training” we are taught to develop various publishing and workplace skills that will enhance our brand and careers. One such essential skill that we are encouraged to develop is our presentation skills. On May 23 2016, we delivered our first assignment for our workplace module. The task was to deliver a presentation on our work experience in our various publishing related organisations.

This assignment was peculiar in two ways. First, it was an individual presentation; unlike all our previous presentations where we had to work in groups.

Secondly, it was (kind of) the culmination of all the presentations we had had to deliver on the whole course. By now, I suppose, we were expected to deliver a nearly excellent presentation.

Reflecting on my past group presentations, like the very first one where we presented research on bookshop sales and marketing activities, I realise I have learnt a lot. My first ever presentation was a daunting task. When it was my turn to speak in the group, I was tensed and stuttered almost all through the exercise. Halfway through my speech though, I said something that got the class cracked up in laughter and this calmed me down a bit and helped me through my slide. Some groups delivered great presentations – or so I thought.

Between my first and last presentations, I have had to participate in three others, and each time, I went away thinking of a hundred things I could have done better. I recount one particular presentation where I totally lost track of what I was saying, went blank and simply had to apologise and excuse myself. I went away feeling terrible about how I had let my group down.

But today as I took to the lectern to deliver my presentation, I realized all these experiences had sharpened my presentation skills. I was poised to deliver the best presentation I would yet give on the MLitt course, and thank God I did my very best, I knew I did.

At the end of the class, our module coordinator extended congratulations to everyone for such quality presentations. I believe we were all well deserving of her praise, because we have improved over the months and become the best we can be – at least for now.

With this skill in hand, I keenly look forward to all the great presentations I hope to deliver in my publishing career, thanks to all my lecturers. This is one of the many reasons why I am glad I joined the MLitt Publishing Studies course in Stirling.



Elizabeth Krajnik, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2015-16

October 8th, 2015 by Elizabeth Krajnik | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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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!

Beautiful Gift Books

January 12th, 2015 by Leia Forster | Posted in Blog | No Comments
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Something that has always caught my attention in book shops is books with wonderful production value; thick paper, glossy images and gold embossing. If a book has gold embossing, I need it in my life. While run-of-the-mill paperbacks can be great purchases if you’re an avid reader, when it comes to giving books as gifts I feel there’s a need to choose something a little more special. If like me you are at a loss for what to buy someone this Christmas, read ahead and behold the beautiful gift books of my choosing.

The Barnes and Nobles Leatherbound Series



An affordable and wonderfully produced collection of books. Ranging from the classics to science fiction and non-fiction, you can tell a lot of thought has gone into the cover designs for each individual book. With an extremely reasonable RRP price of £25 a book, there’s no reason not to have several of these on your shelf. Many of the editions have several books within their pages, and the quality of production almost makes you feel bad for paying so little. The image to the right is just one example of the illustrations that can be found in these books. This particular one is from Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.


Mister Finch, Living in a Fairytale World

 mr finch 5For anyone interested in quirky art, this is the book for you. Mister Finch is a textile artist from Leeds who creates fabric fairytale creatures ranging from huge bees to dead canaries. Have you ever wondered what it might be like to have cat sized moths in the world? Mister Finch has.

This book showcases the best of his work with wonderfully photographed, glossy full colour images, and the cover could be considered art itself with the intricate metallic embossing.

mr finch 3mr finch 2










 Folio Society & Gollancz H.G.Wells Classics

H. G. Wells Set [3 Vols] Classics of Science Fiction The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds - Folio SocietyThe Folio Society prides themselves on their extremely high standards of book design and production. Amongst my favourites is this collection of H.G.Wells Classics complete with illustrations. This lovely edition is however out of print, but can be still be found through online retailers with a price tag of around £65.

If that’s a little over budget, Gollancz published a series of cheaper but equally as charming H.G.Wells books. This edition of The Shape of Things to Come was recently featured in the hit TV show, The Walking Dead.

 classic collection hgwells

These are just a few of the many particularly special books in circulation that could make fantastic gifts. If these aren’t quite what you were looking for, I hope this post gives you the inspiration to find something suitable for that book-loving friend or family member.

Leia Forster, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2014-2015

October 15th, 2014 by Leia Forster | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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 new display brannanHi there! I’m Leia. Upon reaching the final year of my English Studies undergraduate course here at Stirling, I was more than pleased to hear about the MLitt in Publishing Studies that was also offered by the university. I had began looking at my English Studies degree as a foundation on which I should build, and so I jumped at the opportunity to do just that and learn about the industry that had produced the books I had been reading all of my life.

With a particular interest in science fiction and craft publications, I hope to learn about the traditional side of publishing as well as the digital side which seems to be advancing at the same quick pace as the rest of the technological world.

I’m hopeful that this course will give me the skills and knowledge required to play a role in the publishing industry in the future. I enjoyed my first four years here greatly and from what I’ve experienced of the Publishing Studies course so far, I’m sure I’ll enjoy this year too.


Nicola Marr, MLitt in Digital Media, Publishing and Law 2012-2013

January 25th, 2013 by Nicola Marr | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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My background is in psychology, which I studied at undergraduate level at the University of Aberdeen. I have a keen interest in adolescent development and behaviour, and have spent many years volunteering for organizations such as ChildLine and The Girlguiding Association.

After graduating I spent 2 years working in the sales and marketing department of Aberdeen Football Club, which provided a valuable insight into working life and most importantly, taught me the offside rule.

Itchy feet saw me spend the next 2 years living and working in Canada, where I worked for Virgin Mobile Head Office in Toronto. I enjoyed the fast-paced environment and the hustle-and-bustle of living in such a vast diverse city, but after a while I started to miss the home comforts of Scottish life (and the scenery!) so decided to move back home and embark on a Masters degree in Digital Media, Publishing and Law.

This year, I hope to combine my knowledge of children’s psychology with what I will learn during my Masters degree, and in the future I would love to work for a children’s publishing company focusing on how digital media can be used to improve the reading ability of children with special needs, which is what my Masters dissertation will focus on.

In my spare time I enjoy live music, board games and anything involving a slight risk of death – I’ve done two bungee jumps and swam in a tank full of sharks… thankfully I’m still here to tell the tale!



Mariclaire White, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

January 23rd, 2013 by Mariclaire White | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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I began considering a career in Publishing while studying MA English Literature and Film Studies at the University of Dundee. During summer break between 3rd and 4th year, I became a marketing intern for a comedy company during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The job was frantic, consuming and required a lot of walking around rainy Edinburgh promoting a show alongside hundreds of competitors. While this may sound like hell to a lot of people, the reward of seeing a member of public you had encouraged at the show, was completely worth it. Once University began again, I sought a way to combine a lifelong interest in literature with my newfound passion for marketing, leading me to the logical choice of working within the publishing industry.

Whilst researching postgraduate degrees, I was immediately attracted to the MLitt in Publishing Studies at Stirling due to its reputation as a Centre for International Publishing and Communication as well as its excellent links to the publishing industry. In order to finally make up my mind about applying, I spoke to a former student who could not recommend the course enough and I have not been disappointed. I am so excited to progress with my studies and put the skills I learn into practice in the real world! You can find out how my studies are going on twitter!

Talis S. Archdeacon, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

January 16th, 2013 by tsarchdeacon | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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Most people reading these student profiles already know what a dynamic and fascinating industry publishing is, with never-before-imagined possibilities and innovative new technologies at every turn. There’s no need to tell you how a profound love of stories in all forms – fiction and non-fiction, long and short, in books and magazines – irresistibly draws us all into the world of publishing.

I started my career as a journalist about six years ago in Riga, Latvia. I moved up quickly and within a few years found myself editor-in-chief of the largest English-language newspaper in the Baltic States. After that I ran a local second-hand bookshop and attempted to launch a new publication – an entertainment listing service in three languages. Though that idea soon failed (I didn’t really know at that point how to deal with the many challenges of a start-up publication), my interest in publishing had been piqued and I was eager to get myself into the industry proper.

But how? I tried applying for a few jobs in a few different countries, but my disparate and tangential experience made it difficult. My academic degrees were unrelated to the field. I needed something to tie it all together.

The publishing programme at Stirling is the ideal way to do just that. I joined the master’s degree programme to help transfer my related skills in journalism and bookselling to publishing and to learn about the rapidly evolving market.

This is one of the most exciting times in history to be in publishing. We, the publishing students of today, are at the very forefront of these changing times and are nearly ready to take our places as the industry leaders of tomorrow.

Cheridan Smith, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2012-2013

December 21st, 2012 by Cheridan Smith | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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My name is Cheridan Smith and I’ve come from Manchester to study in Stirling. My initial aims for studying on the MLitt Publishing Studies course are to learn about the publishing industry and gain the experience and knowledge needed for a career as an editor. When I was shown pictures of the university campus and around the area I knew where I wanted to study, and upon reading the course teaching programme I was happy to see it would be as promising as the landscape. From the overview of the modules on the course, it seems thorough in its content and structure which will be beneficial for getting as much knowledge as possible about publishing.

Having completed an English literature with English language course at undergraduate level from the university of Salford, I have had experience in analysing literature and the contents of books or publishing materials; however, this is the first time I have gained any official experience in how publishing works. Every part of this course is therefore exciting and I’m passionate about learning all I can from it. Hopefully my passion for reading will be a good start for book publishing and I will be able to get more involved with how books are marketed, conceptualised, edited, and produced. Once completing the course I aim to work specifically in the editorial sector of the industry but the other departments are also interesting to me.

Beck Hansen’s Song Reader

November 14th, 2012 by Blake Brooks | Posted in Blog | No Comments
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Beck Hansen is a music artist with many strings to his bow. In a career which has spanned almost twenty years, Hansen has experimented with various genres such as folk, rock, country, and rap, and the artistic forms he has assumed are also numerous; from refusing to sign exclusive label deals in order to record two contrasting albums at once, releasing singles mixed with video game soundtracks, to remaining a highly sought-after producer. Needless to say, avant-garde doesn’t cover it. However, his latest project further pushes the boundaries of modern concepts of music. In December Hansen will release a twenty track ‘album’ entitled Beck Hansen’s Song Reader which will be published only as sheet music. Sold unrecorded, this is an album in its most primal form; musical scores to be deciphered and created by each individual. Musicians may see a challenge while others may consider the album a prized collectible, but those who just want to hear Beck’s latest album may find it frustrating to learn they may need to pick up a ukulele in order to do so.

In America McSweeney’s will publish The Song Reader, while UK publisher Faber will be profiting from this experimental project. The album will retail in the UK at £18.99, more than your average album or book, and it is uncertain how well it will sell. Undoubtedly the experimental form will alienate much of Beck’s audience; a fanbase he has built since becoming the pin-up boy of the underdog, stoner generation in the 1990s. While some may appreciate Hansen’s experimentalism they may not be willing to pay for something they ultimately may not use and it is unlikely anyone unfamiliar with his work will be converted by it.

However, the album does pose some interesting questions about what music is and the possible role of the publisher in music production. In order to make the idea desirable and more than mere concept, the publisher has worked hard to ensure the album is aesthetically pleasing.  Marcel Dzama, who has previously collaborated with Hansen on his album Guero, has illustrated some of the album alongside others, creating a book where each song is illustrated in a beautifully individual style. The fonts used vary from page to page to compliment the illustrations, and thus every song has its own persona. This means anyone who buys The Song Reader is not merely purchasing an album but twenty skilfully crafted pieces bound in hardcover, with an elaborate Edwardian cover design that is homage to classical musical manuscripts. Preview images have been released on McSweeney’s website, and what is clear is Beck’s commitment to his vision of a modern tribute to an old style.

The release of a half page score of the song Do We? We Do prompted a flurry of videos and audio clips online of fans playing the song, interpreting it as everything from punk to a ballad. More recently McSweeneys released a page long sample of the song Why?, building on the interest in the Do We? Wo Do sample. These previews are a good marketing move on behalf of McSweeney’s, allowing musicians to integrate with the album even before its release. The sharing of these on sites such as Tumblr and Youtube raises the albums online profile  and is essentially free publicity. Expanding on this, McSweeney’s has announced that tracks and samples can be submitted and shared via an official page which has just launched in anticipation of the albums release. This further raises the album’s profile and simultaneously that of the musicians contributing to the project. However, it also crucially provides a platform for those who wish to hear the songs but cannot play them themselves.

Beck’s high profile sells itself, so The Song Reader may not be such a high risk for McSweeneys and Faber. As Hansen has not released a full album of his own work since 2008, anticipation for a new project has been growing steadily. Although early online reactions to The Song Reader were largely negative, there has been a more positive response since the early release of the Do We? We Do and Why? samples, and pre-release orders of signed copies at $50 sold out in a couple of days. It cannot be denied that McSweeney’s have taken on a complicated and innovative project, with a convoluted audience that may be hard to target. However, the early release of song samples, pre-release sales and previews of the artwork has created a buzz that may mean the project is more popular than early reactions would have anticipated. The clever song-sharing marketing scheme on The Song Reader website allows give-it-a-go musicians a way to be involved, while fans of music as an art form may enjoy the aesthetic of a project that has been beautifully and brilliantly designed. Although The Song Reader is unlikely to be as popular as a recorded album, for a concept it may prove surprisingly successful.