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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.

Anna Keville, MLitt Publishing Studies 2011/2012

December 5th, 2011 by Anna_Keville | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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In my final year studying English Literature at the University of Glasgow I realised I was going to need to make a decision about what to do after graduation (and for the rest of my life). I’d done a very good job of avoiding the decision up until that point. They were innocent days.

After doing a degree in reading books and quite enjoying myself, it made sense that I should aim to work with them. Getting a job in Design and Production in a publishing house would be ideal. I love to read but I have a passion for how a book looks and feels. Feeling woefully underprepared to get such a job it seemed a publishing course was what I needed. There are a few in the UK but Stirling suited me best. It offers practical skills, which I’m very much in need of. It is in Scotland, a lovely bonus for me having lived here for four years. It also seemed very supportive, which it has turned out to be. Our lecturers actually care that we learn what is needed and that we can make our way in the world when the year is out. So far I’m enjoying learning lots of new things and gaining more and more confidence that when it’s time to face the grown-up world of too few jobs, I may be one of the lucky ones.

Catriona Cox, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2011-2012

December 4th, 2011 by Catriona_Cox | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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I’m from Ireland, I did my BA and an MA at University College Cork. I heard about the course through  a friend of a previous student. It has taken me two years to finally sort myself out and get here but I  think it’s a great year to have managed it. I simply love books and that is mainly why I am came to Stirling. Linguistics was the original plan but the job prospects were not very amazing; I’ll always have a keen interest though and my knowledge in that area can only help and sure I may combine the two in the future.

Lucy McClune, MLitt in Publishing Studies, 2010-11

December 12th, 2010 by Lucy_Ellen_Mcclune | Posted in Student Profiles | No Comments
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Stirling University has always provided a supportive and flexible learning environment. So after the completion of four years of English Studies at undergraduate level, there was no doubt that I wanted to continue my studies here.

I’m originally from Northern Ireland, making me one of the home students. However, Stirling’s Publishing Studies course is host to a multinational student body, and has provided an interesting environment in which to achieve insight into a spectrum of cultures – publishing and non-publishing related!

One of the other many things that has impressed me about the course was how quickly opportunities were made available for students to become involved with the publishing industry at a practical level – even before the beginning of the course we were forwarded internship details.

So far the MLitt in Publishing Studies has been fast-paced, challenging and engaging. After the first semester I have already an abundance of new skills – such as the ability to operate InDesign and Photoshop – along with a well of new publishing terminology at my disposal. I am looking forward to what next semester has to offer – especially the construction of our publishing projects.