Student Profile

Katharina Dittmann, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 28th, 2016 by katharina_dittmann | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Katharina Dittmann, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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ProfileThe thought of going into publishing first crossed my mind when I was about sixteen years old. Books had been my constant companions ever since I could remember and I was, and still am, fascinated by the way stories can transport meaning and move people in so many different ways. Some of the books that initially made me consider this career path were J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (sorry for the cliché, but it’s the truth) and especially German authors like Cornelia Funke and Kai Meyer, whose beautiful language and exuberant imagination never cease to amaze me. So, in hindsight, a career in publishing seems to have been inevitable. Nevertheless, my decision to apply for the MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling was rather spontaneous.

During my last two years at school, the idea of working with books took a firm hold on me. However, I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to start a career in the publishing sector. Instead, I decided to follow my other interests, which were English language and literature, resulting in a degree in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Kiel in the far north of Germany. Over those four years in Kiel I considered several career paths, amongst others in cultural works, marketing and the museum sector. In 2015, I did an internship at a local museum where I was responsible for composing a small exhibition about scales and weights. Although the subject was “terra incognita” for me, I accepted the challenge, turning my time at the museum into a very valuable experience. It made me realise how much my studies have helped me in developing competences in areas such as research, flexibility, and self-management. Nevertheless, the part of me that wanted to work in publishing kept pushing itself to the fore. Books simply played far too big a role in my life to simply ignore that voice inside my head.

Luckily, when it was time to make a plan for my life post-bachelor, I got the chance to attend a seminar on editing held by the commissioning editor of children’s books of the Carlsen publishing house in Hamburg. He introduced us to the different departments involved in book publishing and gave us some insight into the editing process. This might sound cheesy, but it is thanks to him that I am here in Scotland today. His enthusiasm about his job is what inspired me to finally follow my dreams and apply for a master’s degree in this field. I am really excited about what the following year has in store for me. I can already say that I have made the right decision, meaning studying publishing in general, and doing it at the University of Stirling in particular.



Amalie Andersen, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 26th, 2016 by Amalie Andersen | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Amalie Andersen, MLitt Publishing Studies 2016-17
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I’m nprofot trying to brag but when I was a child the local book seller knew who I was. My friends would beg their parents to take them to Toys ‘R’ Us but I just wanted to go to bookshops. I always loved looking at the books and I would beg my mum to buy me books or stationery.

It was during my final year of studying English Literature that I began considering a career in publishing. I was studying in Stirling as an exchange student when I was first made aware of the university’s degree in publishing studies. Having never come across anything like it at home in Denmark, I was instantly intrigued.

Like many other English students, I was desperate to get relevant work experience when my semester in Stirling ended. It was therefore extremely lucky that I got an internship at a Danish publishing house. Here, I spent four months doing anything from copy editing, proof reading and translating to reading new scripts, managing the company’s social media and writing articles. I loved my time there and, very conveniently, I something I was good at.

So, the internship introduced me to the world of publishing and I am now in Stirling to learn even more. Right now, I am very keen on working in editorial but just a month into the course and I am already opening up to many more possibilities.

Barb Kuntova, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 25th, 2016 by barbora_kuntova | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Barb Kuntova, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Czech Republic born, I previously studied at a university in the heart of Europe (Prague) and after a few years of not knowing what I was doing, switching universities as well as majors, I ended up with a degree in English Teaching. I’ve been teaching for over four years by the time I got my degree and so I felt it was time for a change – I like to try as many things in life as I can. After a bit of a research (mainly financial, not going to lie), I settled on Stirling. And I applied. And I panicked, cried, got onto everybody’s nerves, because I really wanted to get in and the admission process is definitely not a short and kind-to-your-nerves one.

Well, I got in. I’m here. And it is an absolutely wonderful adventure. Not only am I currently living in Scotland (it doesn’t rain as much as everybody promised, I’m disappointed), but I also have an insight into how books are made. And it’s not an easy process – at this point of the course, I have no idea how anybody does it. I think publishers are super heroes, otherwise I really don’t understand.

Personally, I’ve always leaned most towards copy editing or being a commissioning editor though I am now interested in absolutely every part of the publishing process. Although I am not the best at working with technology and software, the good thing is that this course teaches it all – so there is no point in thinking you can’t do something just because you’re lacking the skills at this very moment.  Right, I’ll stop trying to sell the course to you.

So I know I said that I change the direction of my life quite often. Though coming to Publishing Studies, I have a feeling I might stick around in the publishing sphere for a bit, before I become an explorer or grow a beard and run away with the circus.

If you want to have a peek at what a publishing student is up to in her free time feel free to visit my twitter, instagram, or blog. Warning: it really is all about books.


Therese Campbell, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 25th, 2016 by therese_campbell | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Therese Campbell, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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As clichéd as itProfile Picture sounds, my love for books began at a young age. As a quiet child, I was definitely a bookworm and could immerse myself in whatever book or story I was reading. My Mum – the English teacher – always encouraged me to read and helped me develop my love for literature throughout my childhood and teenage years. Being 17 and having absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I decided that studying books for 4 years seemed like a not-so-terrible idea and chose to do a degree in English Literature at the University of Strathclyde.

While I truly enjoyed studying literature during my degree, I began to ponder the processes and people behind the books but, at the time, had limited knowledge of publishing. For my dissertation, I was given the opportunity to interview playwright Chris Hannan, who had adapted Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment for theatres. During the interview, Chris spoke about his relationship with his editor and I realised how important the author-editor relationship was, as well as how influential the editor was to the final product. It was at this point, I began to consider a career in publishing, but I had no idea how to pursue it!

I was lucky enough to spend the end of my Honours year and the following months residing in Osaka, Japan. I eagerly trawled Japanese bookstores, amazed by their size and their eclectic range of books – none of which I could read, but I did enjoy looking at pictures of cats balancing oranges on their heads… one of the less disturbing books we found.

After returning from Japan and spending time working in the soul-destroying world of retail, I discovered the Publishing Studies course online and applied right away. I was over the moon to find a course which encompassed my interests but would also help me develop them in a more vocational sense. It’s been a challenge adjusting to student life again after time out, but the course and the opportunities it offers are certainly worth it.

Jo Ripoll, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 20th, 2016 by jo_ripoll | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Jo Ripoll, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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student-profile-imageHi, I’m Jo, and no, my name’s not short for anything. I am born and bred in New Orleans, Louisiana in the US, where the cultures are varying and the food is flavorful. I’ve been fortunate enough in my 22 years to have travelled all over with my family, which instilled in me a love for adventure, new places and a fascination for other cultures. It is one of the many reasons that brought me to Stirling, Scotland for my Master’s degree.

Books and stories have always been a part of my life, but I have not always been on the publishing track. For most of my young adult life, I thought I wanted to be a social worker. That is, until my life took a sharp left turn right before I started college. As I reevaluated what I wanted to do with my life, I always came back to my books. That’s when I first thought about publishing as a career in an abstract sort of way. So, I got my Bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University in English: Rhetoric, Writing and Culture, enhancing my reading and writing skills while uncovering an understanding of developing society through theory and linguistics courses. Also, my minor in Communication Studies allowed me to better my understanding of interpersonal skills and interactions, especially in a changing society that has become so computer mediated.

Most of my undergraduate years were spent peer-editing and proofreading fellow classmate’s writing, both academic and creative. The more time I spent copy-editing and proofreading, I realized how much I enjoyed helping to make people’s writing the best that it could be and building the bridge between writer and reader. My internship with Sophisticated Woman Magazine solidified my interest in publishing and editing and allowed me to get my feet wet in every aspect of the publishing industry. After my internship came to a close, I continued to work with them as a book review columnist.

I knew, however, that I needed to learn more to successfully break into publishing, which led me to the University of Stirling’s Publishing Studies program. Stirling offered me what no other school could: the chance to learn more about my chosen field in great detail while being able to live in this beautiful, magical place and interact with a largely international student body. This program has opened my eyes to consider every aspect of publishing and just fall in love with it (and books) that much more.

Ailsa Kirkwood, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 20th, 2016 by ailsa_kirkwood | 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.

Helene Bjørndal Fosse, Publishing (MLitt) 2016-17

October 19th, 2016 by helene_fosse | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Helene Bjørndal Fosse, Publishing (MLitt) 2016-17
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profilepic-uni This picture was taken on an extremely rare day in Bergen, Norway. It was sunny and only partly cloudy. We were all in shock, and I would bet money about 80% of the population of Bergen were out taking a profile picture that day. If you see a photo of someone from Bergen and it’s sunny, it will most likely have been taken on the same day as this. Because it rains all the time. And when I say rain, I don’t mean your pesky little Scottish showers. I mean full on take-the-roof-off-your-house, 24 hour, weeklong monsoons. And yes, I am Norwegian so therefore I ski (on the few days it doesn’t rain that is). We all do, the stereotype is true. If I hear one more Viking joke however, I will signal the longboats, so help me God.

I did my undergraduate degree, English Studies, at the University of Stirling and I just could not get enough of the place, so decided to stay for my postgraduate degree as well! I’m currently the resident Stirling expert within my newfound friend group at the Stirling Publishing (MLitt) course, so if you are wondering which buses go where, I’m your girl.

The decision to do a masters was an easy one, mainly because the prospect of trying to find a job with a BA (Hons) in English Studies and no clue what to do with it was just too much to handle. I can’t remember exactly what made me go in for publishing, but I know the idea has been at the back of my mind for the past two years, so I went with it. I also don’t know what made me go for English Studies… there’s just something about books that I obviously cannot resist.

Other than that, I love candles, hot water bottles and generally keeping warm. Thermals are always on my Christmas wishlist. I have about 80 million scarves and I knit (mainly socks, hats, slippers, and other things that will keep me warm). Christmas starts in October. That’s just how it is. If I could live on cheese alone, I would. I would also go so far as to class cheese as one of my hobbies – just above knitting and just below ballet.

PS: the dog in the photo is not mine! It’s an evil little thing and I don’t really like it. Love all other dogs and animals generally, though. Just not this one.

Shaunna Whitters, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 18th, 2016 by shaunna_whitters | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Shaunna Whitters, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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shaunnawhitters I have previously completed a HND in Practical Journalism at Cardonald College and then went on to complete my undergrad in Multimedia Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University (commonly referred to as Caley). I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some key figures in Scotland such as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (although at the time she was Health Minister) and have undergone work experience at establishments such as The Scotsman, the Hamilton Advertiser, Clyde 1, Real Radio, the Rutherglen Reformer and many others.

It was during my final year at Caley that I began to question whether journalism was something that I wanted to do. The direction the industry was going, especially in Scotland, didn’t feel right to me but with graduation approaching and everyone asking the dreaded ‘What’s next?’ question, I knew I needed to figure something out. In the end I decided to go travelling and have spent the last two years visiting some of the most amazing places across Europe, America, and Canada.

It was towards the end of my travels and around a campfire (apparently this is where a lot of great ideas can be founded) that I finally decided my next step would be to pursue my postgraduate. I knew I didn’t want to continue with journalism but other than that I had no idea what I wanted to do. It was back to the drawing board. Thankfully, not for too long as I began to research postgraduates in publishing and discovered this course. Instantly I knew it was the direction I wanted to take my career in and so I applied. The rest, as they say, is history.

I was adamant before starting this course that it was editorial I wanted to pursue but my mind is slowly opening up to the prospect of design and production. At the moment though, I’m enjoying learning about all the different aspects of publishing and can’t wait to put those skills into practice.


Chiara Bullen, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 14th, 2016 by chiara_bullen | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Chiara Bullen, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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After I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English Literature and Language I knew I wanted to spend at least another year in academia. What better way to do so than by preparing for the career you hope to break into?

I gained my first insight into the publishing world (although small) when I worked as a bookseller in a local Waterstones, and that was also when I met someone who was studying Publishing at Stirling. The idea slowly lingered and took hold in the back of my mind throughout my undergraduate years. During this time I was also a keen student journalist and held various editing positions at our student publication. I enjoy writing and I’m currently writing for publications on a freelance basis in my spare time.

When my third year ended and I had to start thinking seriously about my career, I remembered my days behind the tills at Waterstones wondering about the processes that went into creating the books I sold each day. I looked into Publishing further and knew it was for me- combining writing and business seemed like the perfect industry to match my interests. I decided to apply for the course I had heard about so long ago- and here I am!

During the summer before starting, I got a job managing a company’s social and digital media, which made me realise that marketing is an area in the publishing industry I hope to pursue a career in, although I’m also interested in the editorial process. However, I’m always open to new opportunities! I’m excited to see what my time on the course does to influence my publishing interests.

You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn. I also blog from time to time over here.


Amanda Sarah Bain: MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17

October 14th, 2016 by amandasarahbain | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Amanda Sarah Bain: MLitt in Publishing Studies 2016-17
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Th10869760_836911536331483_7931824809201480419_oroughout my childhood I spent countless hours in libraries and each birthday always consisted of numerous new books. My literary obsession began thanks to the encouragement of my mother and the literary talent that is Dr. Seuss. Fast forward to 2016 and I have just recently graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a joint honours degree in English and French.

During the third year of my degree I contributed to an article which discussed the use of children’s literature as a tool for teaching English as a foreign language. The article was subsequently published in the Scottish Languages Review and my interest in publishing began.

Life as a graduate was a daunting prospect after five years immersed in the university bubble, and my search for the job that was supposed to transform me into a proper adult in the publishing world was proving unsuccessful. Thankfully my search led me to discover Stirling’s MLitt in Publishing Studies. Unsurprisingly, I jumped at the chance to be able learn more about the world of publishing and also to be able to avoid the dreaded graduate job search for at least another year.

I haven’t yet decided which aspect of publishing will suit me best. During my undergraduate studies I acquired a particular interest in French literature due to absurdist writers such as Camus and the semi-autobiographical feminist works of Annie Ernaux. I am also interested in the versatility of children’s literature due to its potential for recreational and educational purposes. Currently, I am most interested in the editorial side of publishing due to the possibility that I may be able to utilise my French language skills as a translator, combining my love of literature and languages. I am excited to engage with all aspects of the publishing industry such as marketing and production in order to find my niche.