One week at Canongate Books


As an Italian expat and a Modern Languages graduate, it is safe to say I have a penchant for international literature, and a strong one at that. That, coupled with a deep fascination with the exactness of contracts, made me think that rights would be the most exciting department for me to work in.

Little did I know, when I made that decision, that I would have the chance to intern for one of the most successful Scottish publishers, and one of the biggest independent imprints in the UK: Canongate Books. With their variety of titles from around the world and their wonderful backlist, I jumped at the possibility to work with them for a week!

Having to fly back to Edinburgh from Italy in order to attend, the most challenging aspect was organising and scheduling the internship. Once this was settled, fear started to kick in: this is, after all, a majorly successful publishing house, and I was nervous that all the practice and hard work I had put into the course would still not be preparation enough for the challenges of a real-life publisher.

Luckily, these proved to be mere fears, as the whole team was very welcoming throughout my stay, and helped me understand their processes while giving me responsibilities: I had the chance to learn how to use Biblio, their title database, to input and process royalty statements, and to work very closely with contracts. It was a very positive work experience, as it gave me insights into the world I soon hope to enter.

As my Master’s degree approaches its end, this internship made me more confident of my career choices, while allowing me to meet a lot of lovely people.

Work experience at White Light Media

White Light Media logo

Since I moved to the UK from France, I have wanted to work on my design skills and my creativity. I started by being Art Directors for both Buzz magazine and my book project, A voyage to Arcturus. These experiences were greatly rewarding, but I wanted to gain more industry specific experience. This is the reason why I reached out to Eric Campbell, Managing Director of White Light Media and Creative Director of the magazine Hot Rum Cow and brilliant designer, whom I heard speak during the SYP Conference, Odyssey 2020, for a meeting, that turned into a 5-day work experience.

White Light Media is a design agency that launched in 2001. They have produced award-winning print and digital products for companies such as Standard Life, Tesco, London Wine Fair and Equiniti. They also launched their own well-written and beautifully designed magazine, Hot Rum Cow in 2012.

It was a bit nerve-wracking to come in into the agency, as this placement was very important to me. But, as I could have expected, the White Light Media team was very welcoming and I was a bit more at ease by the end of the day.

I was given a chance right from the beginning to think about what I wanted to do with my placement and we were able to tick off every task on that list. Interning at White Light Media showed me that design was what I wanted to do and that, with a little more training and experience, I could do it. 

Just found some photos of past Burns Night!

Working in Publishing means you can always find a task that’s a little more fun to do. It’s the same with teaching Publishing. While marking is splendid fun (!), it’s good to have a distraction and at such times even tidying files can be appealing… While sifting through some folders on my desktop, I found some lovely photos from a Burns Night we held with students and our industry partners in 2013.


(Back to marking!)

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Let’s get researching: my time at Four Letter Word

TwoCoversAs a student new to the publishing industry at the beginning of the course, formerly a psychology graduate, the publishing placement was one I was avidly looking forward to. Desperately divided between my love of books and magazines, I chose new magazine Four Letter Word as the placement to be. Four Letter Word is a magazine that discusses what it is to be human in the 21st century, looking at gender, transhumanism and augmented living (e.g. technology’s impact on our conceptions of being human), food, fashion, arts and culture. It celebrates gender and sexual diversity, and nothing quite like it exists in the magazine market right now. As students on the course last year, the women behind theFLW are proof that the course works, so of course I wanted to learn from them. As a company dedicated to celebrating diversity, and magazine design that kills, this was the company for me. Continue reading “Let’s get researching: my time at Four Letter Word”

Interning With Four Letter Word

When the opportunity to intern for a start-up arose, I knew I had to take it.

TwoCoversDuring the second trimester of my MSc Magazine Publishing course, the creators of new Four Letter Word came to speak at Edinburgh Napier. When the opportunity to intern for a start-up arose, I knew I had to take it.

Before coming to Edinburgh Napier University to pursue my MSc in magazine publishing, I worked as an associate editor for a B2B publishing company in the United States. Prior to that, I did several internships at various consumer and trade publishing companies. They all had one thing in common – that was that they had been in business for decades.

There are lots of pros to being with a longstanding, established company, of course, of which I won’t go into detail.

But the defined structure that exists and helps a company to thrive also presents a few challenges for a newcomer. Continue reading “Interning With Four Letter Word”

When does Postgraduate Publishing start?

Our Postgraduate Publishing studies start in the first week of September with our Welcome events (Induction).

During this time (one or two days, see also the section on ‘What help is provided during my studies?’), we will introduce you to the Programme, the staff, the individual modules and their assessments and, of course, to the other students!

Teaching commences the following week. (The first class is normally on Monday, but the time of your class will depend on the tutorial group you are assigned to.)

Successful applicants will be sent details of the start date and the schedule for Welcome events nearer the time.

Please go to our University website for more information:  Edinburgh Napier University Calendar