Work Placement: Think Publishing


Think Publishing is a content and publishing agency, meaning they create, design and publish online and print content on behalf of other companies. Their work includes The RPS Journal for the Royal Photographic Society, Explorer for National Museums Scotland, Historic Scotland magazine, and many more.

In June and July of last summer I was given the opportunity to complete a work placement at the company’s Glasgow office. The drive through from Edinburgh was just long enough to ensure I was wildly nervous before my first day but everybody I met there was really warm and welcoming. I recognised John Innes, the Associate Director, from his previous visit to the university as a guest speaker for the publishing students. There were even two Napier MSc Publishing alumni working in the office; it seems that publishing in Scotland is a small world and it was nice to know that there were people around who had previously been in my shoes.

I was hoping to work primarily on design during my placement, but timing dictated that this wasn’t going to be possible; this was a time for creating content for magazines to be published later in the year. I worked on some page layout and image sourcing but mainly gained experience in editorial work, which I hadn’t done before outwith the MSc Publishing course. This included writing short pieces for Historic Scotland magazine and researching the history of Halloween for Scotland in Trust, the National Trust Scotland magazine. I also did some work transcribing interviews from tape for various publications and this helped me get a handle on interviewing skills to use in the future. Once I had completed any given piece of work, the person who had assigned it to me read it through and provided me with useful feedback, which really made the placement a significant learning process.

Overall, I loved my experience at Think. Being in such a warm and supportive environment totally put me at ease and made me feel comfortable to ask questions, which allowed me to learn a great deal. The huge diversity of their output means that two days were never the same and I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity. When I began the MSc Publishing course, I didn’t anticipate developing such interest in and excitement about magazines as I have. However, I can now confirm that I am a full convert and to work with multiple magazines during the course of each day now represents the ideal job for me.

To top it all off, by my last day I was even able to drive from Edinburgh to the office and back without getting lost. A feat in itself.


Inspiring Women: 404 Ink

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404 Ink is a Scottish based publisher and the brainchild of Heather McDaid and Laura Jones. As well as publishing a literary magazine, the pair have had great success with Nasty Women, their book of essays on modern womanhood. Published on International Women’s Day 2017, the title sticks it to Donald Trump after his branding of Hillary Clinton as a ‘nasty woman’ during a presidential election debate.

404 Ink has been funded partly by Patreon, a crowdfunding website which allows patrons to donate money in exchange for exclusive content. The publication of Nasty Women was supported by a Kickstarter which has raised almost four times its original goal of £6000.

This fresh approach to publishing smacks of DIY punk and zine culture but also draws on the traditional importance of community in the business. 404 Ink have struck a balance between online and offline networks for their ventures. As newcomers to the industry, it’s evident to publishing students that networking is an integral, but daunting, aspect of the business. I spoke to Heather McDaid about this to get some insight into how newbies to the publishing industry can take inspiration from 404 Ink.

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Julia Margaret Crawford

I am an MSc Publishing student at Edinburgh Napier University. After spending a year after my MA (Hons) Philosophy reading books and looking for a purpose, discovering this degree seemed like a calling!11952832_10153232048518074_7972856989458771272_o

Since embarking on the course, I’ve found myself to be much more enthusiastic about magazines and design than I had ever considered myself to be – these were not interests that I nurtured during my undergrad. Taking on the role of Production Manager for Buzz magazine was therefore a real step out of my comfort zone and I love it.

Outside of university hours, I am trying to get myself along to as many magazine and publishing related events as possible, recently including the Delayed Gratification Infographics Workshop organised by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). The rest of my time I tend to use practising yoga, reading books, listening to Radio 4 and sleeping.

Let’s chat! Here’s a link to my Twitter.