It is the 31st August 2017, I am all packed up and ready to fly the nest that is Northern Ireland and grasp the opportunity I have been given – a Masters in Publishing, my dream since I was fifteen years old. The things I’ve learnt living independently since moving have been many, but I will spare my embarrassing stories for another time. So, let’s turn the direction to the course itself.
Over the past three months I have gained in so much – friends, knowledge, experience. That is what the MSc Publishing course offers here at Napier. As we sat during our induction day, we were told to look around at each other, these people were our future colleagues. This advice has not left me over the timeline of my first trimester, it has helped me build solid friendships with the people I will work alongside with for years to come, even if they happen to become competitors, we will always have that connection of learning together.
The actual content that has been taught has, in short, blown my mind. I thought I knew what publishing was, what it entailed. I knew nothing. I have learnt more about typography than I have ever thought I would, and got excited over it. We also have had the absolute privilege of guest lecturers coming in from the industry to tell us about the world of work and how a publishing house runs daily, some industry speakers have come frome Barrington Stoke and Floris Books. They covered a range of topics and offered the chance to practice networking, another important aspect of the publishing world. Even if you’re too shy to do it face to face, there is always Twitter! If I told you all about the content we have learnt, it could open Pandora’s box, because there is just so much to it and something in it for everyone.
Studying in the City of Literature allows no excuse for not gaining experience. We have been thoroughly encouraged to get ‘ourselves out there’ by attending book launches, SYP (Society of Young Publishers) events and emailing those in the industry. Everything in this course is tailored to make us employable. So, what have I done with my time thus far? I have attended the Saltire Awards in Waterstones, an event hosted by the SYP where they broke down the roles in publishing and yes, there are many! Also, I have done the scary thing of approaching and talking to those in the industry and discovered just how lovely they all are. Currently, I am a part of The Big Read alongside my fellow students, where we are underway to distributing a free book to every Napier Student. Myself and another student oversee the Instagram account and are endeavouring to catch the student population’s eye! Simple things such as browsing bookstores gains you experience, because by doing this, you’re beginning to watch and recognise the market. As Avril says, research, research, research!
Of course, it’s important to enjoy and explore this beautiful city too.