Meadows Marathon Madness!

Sitting down, with a cup of tea and my feet up, I would like to say a big congratulations to all the fun runners, half marathon and full marathon runners who took part in the Meadows Marathon today! Despite the recent sunny spell not lasting, there was a great atmosphere with hundreds of people actively raising awareness and money for their chosen charities and causes, in fancy dress choices from bananas to bathroom taps!

Myself and Juliane chose to take part in the fun run to raise awareness of Merchiston Publishing’s latest live projects – Olalla by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Glorious Thing by Christine Orr. As well as talking to many individuals about the projects today, we also contributed promotional material to the runners bags that all participants received at the finish line giving the link to our publishing by degrees website –

ImageIt’s a hard job, but somebody has to do it!

ImageTwo hundred and seventy goody bags ready to go!

Sweets may seem like a strange choice to include in a marathon runners bag, but there was a significance for this decision, apart from runners needing a good sugar boost of course! The vampire fangs and gummy teeth were chosen to represent Olalla, a novella of gothic theme that tells the story of a mysterious family with a strange penchant for human blood! Now for a fun fact that will hopefully help you in future table quizzes – jelly babies were originally called ‘peace babies’ to celebrate the end of the First World War! Which is fitting to represent The Glorious Thing as it is a novel set in the home front of Edinburgh during this very war.

ImageThe beautiful finish line.ImageTwo tired and smelly publishers. (L-R): Niamh O’ Brien and Juliane Schmidt.

Apart from having a great morning out and realising how unfit we are, it was really great to raise some awareness for our projects in a ‘novel’ way and inspiring to see how many people were interested in what we were doing, as well as hear some of their stories as well. Simoné Hinrichsen, a journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University, filmed our experience and a video of how we got on will be available to view in the near future, so stay tuned if you want to see us seriously struggling around the meadows and learn more about the projects!

Vagabond Voices: An Author’s Perspective

During my placement with Vagabond Voices, I had the fortune of attending two of their launches:  Allan Massie’s Surviving (to conclude a memorable first day) and The Lost Art of Losing by Gregory Norminton, the second book of aphorisms to be published by Vagabond Voices.

After the latter event, I approached Gregory to ask about the unusual form of the aphorism, and why we haven’t seen more of them in print, to which he replied, “I suppose the perception that no one would purchase a book of aphorisms is the main reason we don’t see more in print.” Among those who had arrived to pick up a copy of Gregory’s “little book” were Alasdair Gray, Bernard MacLaverty, and another of Vagabond Voices’ writers, Chris Dolan.

The seemingly irresistible little volume is perfectly proportioned to be picked up and dipped into for moments at a time; as Gregory summarized, with his characteristic concision and style,  “After all, when should the book be read if not in snatches: on the Tube between proximate stations, or for a moment while brushing your teeth?”

When asked about his experiences with Vagabond Voices, Gregory lauded the creative support and personal touch which developed through working with a small publisher, and described the benefits of the intimate author-publisher collaboration which could be achieved in this setting: “Working with a small publisher, specifically Vagabond Voices, I find an attention to detail, a care and a commitment to each book, which can be missing from bigger publishing houses. The former has to nurture, within its limited means, every hatchling” – a statement with which, as an intern of Vagabond Voices, I can readily identify.

Men assert, women know.

Toleration should not be confused with respect. Of course you are entitled to your opinion – as am I to treat it with contempt.

Fearless” is an epithet which bigots apply to themselves. An open mind grapples constantly with dread.


A Date for your Diary

Edinburgh Napier University Publishing students printers visitMSc Publishers spent the afternoon at Letts printers. They are the largest print maufacturer in Scotland and as the market leader, they produce over 20 million diaries a year.

The students were impressed with the sheer scale of production and the specialist processes used in Notebook and Diary manufacture.

Thanks to Graham Ellis and and his team for a highly informative tour.

See their website:

Win £3k towards postgraduate fees

Prospective postgrads have the chance to win £3k towards their fees.

Applicants are required to submit a 100 word summary of their idea to enhance graduate employment opportunities by 1 June. Anyone interested should enter the ‘Open Minds Challenge’ at

Ask the experts: careers in magazine publishing

Avril_gray_webAvril Gray joined a panel of experts to provide careers advice for The Guardian readers. The Q&A – ‘Careers in magazine publishing’ – advised on the different careers available in the sector, and the skills and qualifications required to secure these sought-after positions.

Publishing is the UK’s largest creative industry. It is a popular career choice for many graduates, and is incredibly hard to get into without appropriate work experience, or a relevant qualification. Avril leads the only industry accredited publishing programme in the UK.

The blog can be viewed on The Guardian website:

Open Day … or should that be ‘Evening’…

Take your career in a new direction: MSc PublishingRecognising that many people interested in studying Publishing with us travel from across the UK or would prefer to visit us after a hard day’s work, we have organised an Open Evening, rather than an Open Day.

Come along to our informal
Postgraduate Information Evening
on Tuesday 22 November,
any time between 5pm and 7pm.

Meet academic and support staff and find out more about
MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University.

Whether you are looking to study full time or part time, we will be happy to talk about what suits you best.

This year’s events will feature:

•  Information from MSc Publishing programme staff
•  Student support staff on hand to answer your questions
•  Hosted on Merchiston Campus, where you will be studying

Open Evening: Merchiston Campus (in the Glass Box), 22rd November, 5–7pm

MSc Publishing Welcomes Head of Publishing Scotland

This year’s new arrivals to MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University were welcomed to the industry by one of the most important figures in Scottish, if not British, publishing.

Marion Sinclair, Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, opened the door on the exciting world of publishing and provided a taste of the calibre of speakers who regularly give of their time to talk to our students.

Photo shows Marion Sinclair (left) and Prof. Alistair McCleery speaking to MSc Publishing students in our Castle Room, Craighouse Campus.


CMYK Design logoWith a portfolio which boasts clients ranging from the Scottish Prison Service to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, CMYK’s design skills are impressive to say the least. However, my time at CMYK Towers did not involve improving my own design skills. Instead I came to learn about the fast paced world of magazine advertising.
Most of my time was spent on the hunt for potential advertisers for Scotland in Trust (the customer magazine for members of The National Trust for Scotland), and aurora (the passenger magazine for Highlands and Islands Airports). This has seen me on the phone to spectacular country estates, numerous outdoor clothing companies and even the agency which handles the marketing for Duchy Originals – though sadly not to HRH himself.
Working with advertising has been completely absorbing, and the support and enthusiasm of the CMYK team has made this placement a truly fantastic experience.

My Fair London

After the stress of live projects and work placements MSc. Publishing students decided to blow off some steam, London style. True, we were heading to southern pastures for the London Book Fair but we also saw it as a chance to spend some time together before parting ways for the summer. And we weren’t disappointed.

Around 15 students went down to the fair, 11 of which stayed in the ever-reliable Travel Lodge. We got the train down on Monday morning and, after a brief confusion over which Travel Lodge we were actually staying in, a few of us decided to visit the fair before the next day’s activities. Monday evening at Earls Court was certainly a lot calmer than the following day. We managed to get our bearings and our badges without being too overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the building and picked up our trusty guide of seminars for the next two days.

The CEO keynote debate on Tuesday morning was entitled “Digital Revolution or Digital Evolution?” Attendees were treated to the thoughts of bigwigs such as John Makinson, CEO of Penguin and Brian Murray, CEO of HarperCollins. The consensus appeared to be that the changes in the publishing chain have been a hybrid of revolutionary and evolutionary factors.

The focus for the LBF was on Russia and of course, on digital publishing. It seems that one cannot mention publishing nowadays without the D word coming up and the number of stalls dedicated to digital devices, along with the emphasis on “going digital” in almost every talk, was testament to this fact.

Although we did go to several talks and tried our networking skills at the Publishing Scotland stand (the handing out of cards aided to some extent by whiskey and wine!), our main activity was simply taking it all in. The fair was a great opportunity to witness the theory we have learned being put into practice and to prepare ourselves for the day when it will be our turn to man the colourful stands.

Of course, the trip wasn’t all work and no play…we had a great time doing the touristy thing in London and really enjoyed our time out in the evenings…perhaps a little bit too much in some cases! We were reluctant to leave our beloved Travel Lodge on Wednesday afternoon and it seemed that the trip passed all too quickly. All in all, it was a brilliant and informative experience – I’m looking forward to next year already!

Arriving at Earls Court

Arriving at Earls Court – © Emma Sothern

Congratulations to new MSc Publishing Graduates, 2010!

Thanks to Clare for the photograph

The Publishing programme team extend their warm congratulations to Stephanie, Clare and Katrin (pictured here, left to right), three of our newest MSc Publishing graduates!

The graduation ceremony took place in Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre, with a champagne reception at the University’s historic Craighouse Campus. An appropriate and stunning location, where much of the teaching for MSc Publishing takes place.

The whole Publishing team wish Stephanie, Clare, Katrin and ALL this year’s postgraduates the very best in your future careers and professions – congratulations once again and keep in touch!

Welcome to our new MSc Publishing students!

We were very pleased to welcome our new Postgraduate Publishing students last week! Many exciting Induction Week events took place to introduce them to Edinburgh Napier University, the programme and the staff – including a session in the pub!

At Thursday’s ‘Welcome to the Industry’ event we were privileged to hear from Marion Sinclair, CE of Publishing Scotland and Kathy Crawford, Business Manager of PPA Scotland.

We were also delighted to have Dayspring MacLeod and Leila Cruickshank from the SYP (Society of Young Publishers, Scotland branch) come and speak. After the insights into the book and magazine publishing industry provided by Marion and Kathy, the SYP representatives inspired our postgrads with ways in which they could actually become involved in the publishing industry from week 1! Edinburgh is the centre of publishing in Scotland and, as it is also the first UNESCO City of Literature, there are lots of events and networking opportunities which are open to our Publishing students.

We wish them all the very best as they embark on this important stage of their publishing career!

Prof advises Guardian Careers Blog

Photo of Prof McCleery smilingYesterday, Professor McCleery was invited to contribute to the Guardian Careers Blog on Publishing studies.

The live Blog offered anyone the chance to put questions about a career in publishing to a small panel of experts drawn from companies such as Penguin and agencies such as Skillset. Professor McCleery, from Edinburgh Napier University, was the only representative from Higher Education.

Publishing is the UK’s largest creative industry. It is a popular career choice for many graduates, and is incredibly hard to get into without appropriate work experience, or a relevant undergraduate or Postgraduate qualification.

The blog can be viewed on the Guardian website:

NEW postgraduate magazine launched!

One of the most exciting aspects of the undergraduate and postgraduate Publishing degrees here at Edinburgh Napier University are the live projects.

For the past 3 years, Edinburgh Napier University has been responsible for several student-run projects, specifically book production and book launches. This year we are proud to launch our first Postgraduate Publishing magazine…

buzz… Everything else is just noise.

Independent magazine with a fresh offering of up-close and intimate interviews, capital conversations, style, travel and cultural musings – buzz talks to the city’s twenty-somethings. Say hello to your new seasonal pick-me-up.

buzz magazine is brand new and is produced by MSc Publishing and MA journalism students. Pick up a copy from all Edinburgh Napier University campuses and a number of other locations throughout the city this summer, or browse the latest issue here.

MSc Publishing students visit London Book Fair

Our SCOB/MSc Publishing party at LBF

Avoiding volcanic ash, cancelled flights and over-crowded trains, a private bus ensured MSc Publishing students and staff arrived safely at this major publishing event.

With over 23,000 industry professionals attending the 3-day event, the London Book Fair represents ‘the largest gathering of international literary agents, publishers and publishing suppliers under one roof’.

This year MSc Publishing students were provided with free travel and accommodation, allowing them to take full advantage of the London Book Fair and all the learning – and networking! – opportunities it provided.

Thanks to the Scottish Centre for the Book (SCOB), we also had a stand within Publishing Scotland where students could rest between seminars. Obviously, we took the opportunity to host a party while we were there!

Click here for more images

MSc Publishing Graduates 2009!

HUGE congratulations to our 2008/09 MSc Publishing graduates, some of who (in red gowns, proudly holding copies of their publication, The Thirty-nine Steps) are shown here with Lecturers Avril Gray and Derek Allan.

We wish you every success in your Publishing careers!

Thanks to Laura MacNicol (front row, far right) for this photo from yesterday’s graduation ceremony.