One week at Canongate Books

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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.

Laura Borrelli

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Hi there!

I’m Laura, a 24-year-old Italian human with a penchant for languages and staring intensely at pizza.

During my undergraduate studies in Modern Languages and Cultures for Business (a peculiar mix of languages, literature, linguistics, and law), I landed a stable position in legal translations and social services, which gave me the opportunity to work on publishing projects and to start dipping my toes into the processes of editing and formatting.

After taking a fascinating minor in art, literature, and how cultural heritage can shape and integrate urban landscape, I went on to write my thesis on Bloomsday celebrations, James Joyce’s Ulysses, and its various Italian editions. This resulted in me embarking in the fabulous world of publishing, where I hope to eventually become a Rights Department wizard and InDesign user extraordinaire.

Within the MSc Publishing programme, I work on my InDesign skills by being in the production team for Innovations in Learning and Teaching, and acting as a digital designer and contributor for Publishers Inc, while handling the rights department for both projects.

When I’m not hyping over GREP functions or being very picky about the best verb to use in a contract, I can be found looming around inside art galleries, hiking, or planning my next travelling adventure.

Feel free to contact me, have a look at my LinkedIn, or stalk me on Twitter.