I had a couple of false-starts with this placement module. Two of the companies that I originally selected I later found out had either gone out of business or had closed down their Edinburgh offices. This sent me into a bit of a spin and caused me to re-think my priorities with regards to the placement. Originally, I had selected three houses which specialised in various different genres of fiction publishing. This tied in perfectly with my career aspirations, as it is trade fiction publishing I would like to work with. However, as time marched on I found myself considering taking a placement in an area I had never previously thought about; journal publishing. I had noticed during my own job search that journals have a much higher recruitment rate than book publishers, and I had already had previous experience of working with trade fiction several years ago. So I decided to take the plunge and apply for a placement at the Journal of Perspectives on Applied Academic Practice. I am so glad that I did!
The Journal of Perspectives on Applied Academic Practice (JPAAP for short) is a small, online-only journal which aims to provide a platform for first-time authors to have their papers published. While some of the authors do have previously published works, JPAAP still provides a high level of editorial support to its contributors, making it a perfect publication for me to try out copyediting for the first time.
I had shown interest in the editorial side of the journal during initial communication with Kirsteen (my line manager), and I was very excited to hear that JPAAP’s resident copyeditor was due to go on holiday for several weeks and that the plan was for me to stand in for her. This was the perfect situation for me; I would be able to work in-depth with the articles and I would also have a level of responsibility above what I was expecting. I felt it would really put me through my paces and I was looking forward to the challenge.
I am currently halfway through my placement and I can honestly say that coming into the JPAAP office is the highlight of my week. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and I can spend the working day doing a job I love. I have been assigned six articles to copyedit, all of which are being prepared for a special edition of the journal which will be published at the beginning of June. I’m in charge of all of these articles, as well as overseeing and updating the master database of articles for both the special edition and the regular edition. I’m liaising with authors and editors and I have even been complimented by an author on the good work I did editing their article!
This placement with JPAAP has change my outlook towards my career somewhat. I know I am destined for an editorial position, but I am not so focussed on trade fiction as I was. I have enjoyed working on a journal more than I could ever have expected and I find that I have begun including journals in my job searches. So my biggest piece of advice for anyone taking this module is: select a company which is outwith your comfort zone—you might get a brilliant surprise.