“She was a hardy woman now,” Violet Jacob writes in her story “Thievie,” describing the character Janet: a woman “unremarkable in feature, yet remarkable in presence,” determined to take her future in her own hands. As part of my Publishing Production project, I decided to collect seven short stories and a novella by this wonderful – and largely forgotten – twentieth-century Scottish author, all featuring her most unconventional and fascinating female characters. Titled A Hardy Woman, this collection will include fiction from The Fortune-Hunters and Other Stories (1910), Tales of My Own Country (1922) and The Lum Hat (published posthumously in 1982).
At the beginning of this trimester, all Publishing students were offered the opportunity to participate in the Big Read initiative.
The Big Read was launched in 2015 at Kingston University, as a scheme that aimed at increasing student engagement and initiating conversations through a shared reading experience. Every arriving student received a free copy of Nick Hornby’s About a Boy, and the project sparked very positive reactions from both the staff and students. Edinburgh Napier University joined the Big Read initiative last year, promoting Matt Haig’s The Humans.
For this year’s Big Read, we decided to do something a little different to Kingston, and our project puts students at the centre. We are using Detective McLevy’s Casebook, a collection of short stories by a 19th-century Edinburgh detective James McLevy, said to be the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The Publishing staff and students at Edinburgh Napier University produced this special edition back in 2012, tying it in with the 125th Sherlock Holmes Anniversary and launching it at the first ever Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival. So, even from the choice of the book, #NapierBigRead is truly student focussed.
I knew immediately that I wanted to participate in the Big Read project. As a fan of Sherlock Holmes and detective fiction in general, I was fascinated by the book itself, and delighted at the prospect of being involved in a real-life promotional campaign. As part of the events team I still have a lot to organise before the book’s official launch, but last Monday I had the opportunity to participate in an off-campus event which proved to be a brilliant hands-on marketing experience. Continue reading “Napier Big Read: Participating in a Promotional Event”