By the Book: thoughts on the conference

June 2nd, 2014 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on By the Book: thoughts on the conference
Tags: , , , ,

Rachel Noorda, PhD researcher in the Stirling Centre for International Publishing & Communication, reports on attending the By the Book conference in Florence:

Rachel Noorda presenting her paper

Rachel Noorda presenting her paper

I had the great pleasure of attending and presenting at the “By the Book” publishing studies conference which was jointly organised by Benoît Berthou (Sorbonne Paris Cité University), Miha Kovač (University of Ljubljana) and Angus Phillips (Oxford Brookes University) and held on May 23 and 24. The conference location was beautiful—and it was my first time to Italy—but the best part was listening to the exciting research that is taking place internationally in the publishing studies field. The conference brought researchers from the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Croatia, Lithuania and even South Africa. The focus of the conference was “the book and the study of its digital transformation” but the presenters approached this wide topic from various angles relating to their own experiences in publishing and academic areas of expertise.

This was my first experience presenting a paper at an academic conference. It was a perfect conference to be my first because it was small and intimate, with researchers who were all interested in publishing. I spoke about books as souvenirs, using data I collected from observing the bookselling practices of gift shops at heritage sites in Scotland, particularly those sites run by Historic Scotland.

Stevie Mardsen, fellow PhD Publishing Studies student from the University of Stirling, also presentedFlorence at the “By the Book” conference. Not only was her presentation stellar, but it was comforting to have a friend at the conference right from the beginning. Stevie’s PhD research is focused on the Saltire Society’s literary book awards and so her presentation addressed the importance to some judges to have a physical copy of the book for judging and how this affects the judging process.

All in all, a wonderful experience! There was talk at the end of the conference about holding a similar conference next year, and if so, I will certainly be in attendance.

Scottish Publishing and Independence

May 14th, 2014 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Scottish Publishing and Independence
Tags: , , ,

Scottish publishing and independenceSarah Boyd, an MLitt in Publishing Studies student at Stirling, has just had an article on ‘Scottish Publishing and Independence’ published in the journal Logos.

In the article, Sarah examines the challenges and opportunities for publishing if Scotland were to vote for Independence in the forthcoming referendum. It addresses key considerations, including the prospect of operating in a newly autonomous country, examining issues such as VAT, currency, content and market visibility.

The article originally was created as a course assignment for the MLitt in Publishing Studies. Professor Claire Squires, Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, said: ‘We’re delighted that this article has been published. Our Centre is international in terms of where our students come from and where they end up working, but we’re also deeply immersed in and networked with the Scottish publishing environment. Sarah’s article makes a strong, unbiased contribution to the debate about whether Scottish publishing would be better served within existing UK frameworks, or within an independent Scotland or – indeed – whether it might be the case that not that much would change.’

The full article can be read here (with thanks to Logos for permission to reproduce the article).

Carolyn Khamete Mango, MRes Publishing Studies 2014-2015

May 14th, 2014 by Carolyn Khamete Mango | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Carolyn Khamete Mango, MRes Publishing Studies 2014-2015
Tags: , , ,

247009_10151418690816662_1156767516_nMy name is Carolyn Khamete Mango from Nairobi, Kenya, famed for cross country athletics and one of   the wonders of the world, The Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Over the years I have helped people write by virtue of my vast experience as an editor. However, I did not think I would get a challenge in writing about myself! Nevertheless, here I am.

I am at the University of Stirling undertaking a MRes in Publishing Studies, having won the esteemed and competitive Commonwealth Scholarship. This is my second scholarship. My first was awarded to me by the Government of Kenya to study a Bachelors Degree in Educational Studies at this same university.

I joined publishing from teaching because I wanted to be more involved in curriculum interpretation and preparation of quality teaching materials.

Back in Kenya I work as a Chief Editor in charge of humanities. I am also a gender officer, a post I was appointed in line with global and local legal frameworks in empowering women and promoting gender equality in all sectors of the economy. Multitasking in two departments (editorial and human resources) required that I  enhance my management skills. Therefore,  I studied a Higher Diploma in Human Resources Management.

Choosing the University of Stirling to study publishing was exciting because it was like going back home having studying for my undergraduate here. I also wanted to experience the vibrant Scottish and to a large extent the British publishing scene. I hope to fortify my experience and knowledge in book publishing and in management issues of book publishing firms. I am interested in joining the few female decision-makers in the publishing industry.

I am an accomplished Gospel artist having collaborated with other musicians back in Kenya to record music. Prior to coming to Scotland I had released my debut album called, My Healer. Recently I have felt this nudge to be a writer so I hope that by the end of my programme, I will have a clear direction on where to start. I might just write about my journey with breast cancer and how I came out of it victoriously.


Publishing Showcase 2014

April 24th, 2014 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Showcase 2014
Tags: , , ,

We’re already nearing the end of classes for 2013-14!

Only a moment ago, our 2013-14 cohort of MLitt in Publishing Studies students were fresh-faced and eager to embark on their publishing studies.

Now, they may be a little more tired, and both excited and intimidated by the job search ahead, but more than anything they’re much more publishing savvy.

We’re celebrating their achievements on Monday 12 May by showcasing their work from the Publishing Project. There will also be invited guests from our Industry Advisory Board, and a selection of our PhD and MRes students speaking in a round table about publishing studies research.

You are welcome to join us to either or both parts of the afternoon – please let us know if you’d like to come so we have an idea of numbers.

3-4.15pm Round Table on Publishing Research (Chaired by Claire Squires, with Maxine Branagh, Paul Docherty, Carol Mango, Rachel Noorda, Anna Kiernan, Stevie Marsden and Louisa Preston). Pathfoot B2

4.30pm onwards Publishing Showcase and Drinks Reception. Pathfoot Crush Hall.

Publishing Research Word Cloud

September 15th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publishing Research Word Cloud
Tags: ,

Last year’s students have just received the marks back for their dissertations – congratulations to one and all!


This year, we’ve taken the key words from each student’s dissertation and created a word cloud from them. It demonstrates some fascinating trends in contemporary publishing research. There’s a strong interest, of course, in the digital publishing environment, with HTML5, apps, user-generated content, and transmedia storytelling all featuring. Marketing and branding also feature heavily. Additionally, there is emphasis on particular sectors: children’s and crime, for example, as well as a focus on topics relating to our Scottish location (the UNESCO Cities of Literature; Gaelic publishing) and our international outreach (publishing in China and the United States).


The results are intriguing! We’ll do it again next year.

AHRC PhD studentship ‘Developing Literary Glasgow’

June 7th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on AHRC PhD studentship ‘Developing Literary Glasgow’
Tags: , , , , , ,


Glasgow Life and The University of Stirling are pleased to invite applications for a three-year Studentship under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) Scheme, to commence 1 October 2013. The studentship is fully funded by the AHRC (UK/EU rate) and Glasgow Life will provide additional financial support to cover travel and related costs in carrying out research of up to £1,000 a year.

This studentship will be a collaboration between the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling and Glasgow Life. The doctoral project will develop a strategy for a reading, writing and publishing city that builds on and develops the existing infrastructure, and showcases its literature for its citizens, and its visitors. The student would be expected to place knowledge exchange and research impact at the heart of the project, enabling Glasgow Life and Glasgow as a city to develop its literary expertise, profile, practice and impact.

The applicant should plan their research project in relation to the Glasgow Life’s existing infrastructure relating to literature and literature development (including Glasgow Libraries, the book festival Aye Write!, and its creative industries policies), as well as the city’s commercial and community-based environment, which is frequently supported by Glasgow Life/Glasgow City Council funding. Areas of research could include (but are not limited to):

  • the history and current profile of Glasgow as a city of writers
  • the history and current profile of Glasgow as a city of publishers
  • the role of literary events and book festivals (including but not limited to Aye Write!) in Glasgow’s literary environment
  • literature, literary heritage and tourism
  • books and literature within the creative industries and wider arts, cultural, and commercial environment of Glasgow
  • the relationship between public-funded, commercial and community-based literature-based organisations and environments
  • books and literature in relationship to schools (including via the Curriculum for Excellence) and libraries

The precise scope and emphases of the work will be shaped by the interests and initiative of the successful application in consultation with the supervisory team. This primarily comprises the academic supervisor, Professor Claire Squires (Professor of Publishing Studies and Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, University of Stirling) and the Glasgow Life supervisor, Karen Cunningham (Head of Libraries and Cultural Venues, and Director of Aye Write!, Glasgow Life). The successful applicant will be expected to divide their time between Glasgow and Stirling.

Applicants must have gained a good undergraduate degree in an appropriate subject and a Master’s degree, or be about to complete an appropriate Masters level qualification – or have other professional experience relevant to the scope of the project.

Eligibility to Apply

In order to apply, you must fulfil both the academic and the residency criteria laid down by the AHRC.

Academic eligibility – you must:

  1. Have applied for and been offered a place to study at the University of Stirling (such an offer will be made to the successful applicant for this studentship);
  2. Hold a relevant postgraduate Masters degree, or be about to complete an appropriate Masters level qualification – or have other professional experience relevant to the scope of the project.

Residency eligibility – you must:

  1. Be a British national normally resident in the UK; or
  2. Be an EU national normally resident in the UK, the EU or Switzerland; or
  3. Have been resident in the UK or EU for the past three years for reasons other than education.

For full details (particularly regarding residency eligibility, which has many conditions and exceptions), please see the AHRC’s Student Funding Guide (pdf).

Further information on the studentship and on the application are available here: GlasgowLifeCDA_fps2 (pdf). Potential applicants are welcome to contact Professor Claire Squires ( informally with any questions they may have.

Deadline for applications: 4pm Wednesday 17 July.

Interviews will be held at Glasgow Life on Wednesday 14 August 2013.


LSE Review Festival of Books: ‘The Future of Publishing in a Digital Age’

February 17th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on LSE Review Festival of Books: ‘The Future of Publishing in a Digital Age’
Tags: , , , ,

Our Director, Prof Claire Squires, will be speaking on Saturday 2 March at the LSE Review of Books Space for Thought Literary Festival.

Her panel is entitled ‘The Future of Publishing in a Digital Age’. Other speakers on the panel are author and indie publisher Ben Galley and Oxford University Press’s Damon Zucca. The event will be chaired by Jonathan Derbyshire of the New Statesman.

The talk links to Claire Squires’s AHRC-funded research project, The Book Unbound, which has explored digital publishing.

Tickets for the event are available here.

Student article in Publishing Research Quarterly

January 12th, 2013 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Student article in Publishing Research Quarterly
Tags: , ,

Rachel Noorda (nee Chase) has recently published an article in leading international journal Publishing Research Quarterly.

Her article, ‘International Success: Selling Niche Titles Beyond the Prime Home Market’, is based on her MLitt in Publishing Studies dissertation, which she completed last year. Within a specifically Scottish context, but with relevance to small and niche publishers around the world, Rachel’s article assesses how niche titles can find global success. She uses examples drawn from her research with Scottish publishers including Edinburgh University Press, Floris, and Freight Books.

Rachel’s article is available from Publishing Research Quarterly (2012) 28: 359–36.

Saltire Society Book Awards 2012

November 21st, 2012 by SCIPC | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Saltire Society Book Awards 2012
Tags: , , ,

Every year, the Saltire Society Book Awards shortlists and winners bring attention to the best of Scottish writing. Novels, short stories, poetry, biography and autobiography, history and other works of non-fiction are all celebrated in the literary prizes, which were first awarded in the 1930s, and on a regular basis since 1982.

This year’s awards have a particularly strong Stirling connection. Our Director, Professor Claire Squires, has been since 2011 one of the six judges involved in the process of judging the submitted books. This year, she is joined at the Saltire Society by Stevie Marsden, an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD student, who will be writing her thesis on the book awards, is involved in the administration of the awards at the Society, and also sits in on judging meetings.

This year also sees the shortlisting on the Saltire Book of the Year Awards of our colleague Kathleen Jamie, Professor of Creative Writing. Her book Sightlines joins books by Carol Ann Duffy, James Kelman, Ewan Morrison, Aonghas MacNeacail, Alan Warner and Irvine Welsh on the shortlist.

We’re also really pleased that two of the six books on the shortlist for the Saltire First Book of the Year are published by new Glasgow-based publishing imprint Freight Books. Freight’s publisher Adrian Searle is on our Industry Advisory Board, and regularly comes to Stirling as a Visiting Speaker on the MLitt in Publishing Studies. Other Scottish publishers with books on the shortlist include Cargo Publishing, Fledgling Press and Polygon. Publishing and writing in Scotland is alive and kicking!

The winners of the Saltire Society Book Awards will be announced in a ceremony at the National Library of Scotland on Friday 30 November, as part of Book Week Scotland.

What’s the Point of Literary Festivals?

October 21st, 2012 by Claire Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on What’s the Point of Literary Festivals?
Tags: , ,

One of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication’s research projects, the RSE-funded Book Cultures, Book Events, has its final event at 10am on Thursday 25 October, at Literary Dundee.

Our Director Claire Squires will be chairing an event titled ‘What’s the Point of Literary Prizes?’, and the speakers on the panel will include Anna Day (organiser of Literary Dundee), Kirsty Gunn (author and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Dundee) and Adrian Searle (publisher at Freight Books).

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a literary festival, the session will give you a privileged peek into the green room, the box office, and the organisers’ diaries.

Tickets are free and can be reserved via the Literary Dundee website.