Mags, Magfest & magCulture

I began my MSc Publishing course blindly. I didn’t quite know what publishing entailed and I certainly didn’t know what company I aspired to work for. I had just returned from two years living in sunny Australia and was looking around at rainy Scotland, and its cold wind that whipped around my head and made the tip of my ears ache, thinking; why did I ever come back?

I had been freelancing in Melbourne but felt I had hit a lull in my career. I was making little to no progression and I struggled to get work that I found challenging and inspiring. So, I started applying for Publishing Masters. I applied in a panic all over the world; Australia, Scotland, Canada, England, thinking someone must accept! And to my surprise, everyone did. A triumph for most but not for an anxiety riddled twenty-something with a deep hate for making decisions. Scotland became my first choice because, if I’m honest, it was the only affordable option. Now I know this may seem like I’m being super negative, but I promise there’s good things to come. 

Day one of MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University I met Laura Dunlop from PPA who was speaking about MagFest 2018 and asking for volunteers to help at the event. I put myself forward and to my delight was offered a place. I worked closely with Jeremy Leslie, owner of magCulture (an incredible magazine shop in London), selling magazines in his pop-up. This really opened my eyes to the weird, the wonderful and the niche options out there when it came to printed media. MagFest was thriving with inspirational speakers from the industry and truly re-lit my excitement in publishing. From behind my magazine stall I met Fraser Allen, CEO of White Light Media, who began the conversation by asking what my job title at the PPA was, to which I laughed and flicked my hair away from my name badge reading: ‘Flora Muirhead – STUDENT’. Fraser seemed interested in my enthusiasm towards the wonderful world of mags and gave me his business card and subsequently, after following up with a meeting, an internship.

Fast forward 7 months from meeting Fraser and gaining my first work experience in publishing, I have now had several internships and from this had several of my articles published. Coming from a place where I felt I couldn’t crack into the industry I so longed to be a part of to being offered non-stop incredible opportunities, I can now say that I am glad to be back in Scotland and part of the dynamic, fast paced and ever-changing landscape of publishing – even if the weather still hurts my ears.

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