Postgraduate Publishing studies at Edinburgh Napier University. INDUSTRY APPROVED Publishing degrees (accredited by the Professional Publishers Association and Creative Skillset). MSc Publishing was the first Publishing programme in the UK to be accredited by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA). It is now accredited by Creative Skillset (only one of two courses to hold this award). MSc Magazine Publishing is the only course of its kind in Scotland and is the only publishing course in the UK to be accredited by the PPA. The PPA is the lead body for best practice in training, development and people management for the magazine and business media industry.
Since January, I have been part of a wonderful group who have been working hard over the last few months to get Turadh, an ethical and well-being magazine based in Edinburgh, ready for publication. This experience has been incredibly worthwhile and not only will we soon have the first issue as a physical copy, but it has also helped open my eyes to another side of publishing.
At the beginning of the Publishing MSc at Edinburgh Napier University, when I thought of a career in publishing: I thought of books. Magazines weren’t something I had ever considered, despite spending a small fortune on them every month. However, within the first day of the course we had already been given the opportunity to attend MagFest, the international magazine festival held in Edinburgh, later in the month. Fast forward a few months to where we were given a choice in modules, and I immediately chose the newly structured Magazine Publishing option. So, why the change in heart?
This year I have taken part in the Magazine Publishing module as part of my MSc in Publishing. For this trimester, the Magazine Publishing module has been revamped at Edinburgh Napier University.
Instead of the whole class working on one magazine project together, as they did previously, we were told we could pick our own production teams of between four and five people. These small groups would lead the design, project management and editing of a whole magazine each. Every Thursday, our class sat in the Edinburgh Napier publishing computer labs which functioned in a way akin to a little magazine publishing house for the day.
While this may sound terrifying, my personal experience was quite the opposite as I had the opportunity to work with three fantastic and charismatic classmates. Jackie, Ann and Hannah were my dream team in many ways. We worked very well together because though we are all very different, we are also good friends who are very much on the same page, excuse the publishing pun.
There was nothing but good spirit and determination in our team throughout the project, as we decided to be strong-willed, level-headed women with a dream of creating a magazine that would inspire other women’s voices through its content. Thus, Siren Magazine was born!
Creating a magazine from scratch is something that very few people ever have the opportunity to do. Even those who have worked in magazine publishing for years will usually find themselves working with publications that already exist in some form, and while working in this way can often be just as incredible, there is something very special about seeing your own idea go from concept to creation right before your eyes.
At the beginning of the trimester, our little team had a lot of fun spending a day sitting in a coffee shop thinking of names and concepts for our magazine. In a year as stressful as one spent pursuing a Masters’ degree, that is a day that sticks out as one full of team spirit, ideas and probably a little too much laughter…which soon became the coping mechanism for our team of witty women.
We decided that day that it would mean a lot to us to create most of the content by ourselves. As a result, we put a lot of ourselves and our individual personal interests into the magazine. This can be seen in the tone of the design and content, as well as in Hannah’s talent for photography, which was put to good use!
It was an extremely unique and challenging experience to put together a real publication with three inspiring classmates, and have it end up as a professional publication and viable publishing portfolio piece. I really like the way our resulting magazine shows how people of different backgrounds and interests can create a coherent publication together in the way that we did. I am especially proud of Siren’s cover, which is an empowering photograph our team took in relation to an article we wrote about the laws surrounding online facilitated sexual violence in Scotland.
Working on spreads and designs for the magazine really improved our technical skills, and through several copy editing sessions and “urgent” moments of changing proofs, we really got to experience the demands and high pressure environment of magazine publishing.
During the project I also had the opportunity to design the magazine’s website and manage several social media accounts to promote it. While our main focus was on print, an online presence is something we knew our magazine would really benefit from. This experience provided me with skills transferable to many other publishing areas too.
At the point of writing this, Siren has been sent off to the printers and our team are waiting the infamous wait that all publishers must at some point experience.
To find out more about our magazine you can catch all our content in the coming weeks over at sirenpublication.wordpress.com.
Innovations in Learning and Teaching
Edited by Christine Penman and Dr Monika Foster
A pedagogic research publication showing new teaching approaches in higher education. This collection of chapters gives voice to academics from different disciplines across Edinburgh Napier University who have all embarked on a quest to question, challenge, and rethink existing practices. With a focus on student experience, this book tests alternative methods, the recombination of parameters, and the re-organisation of learning environments and curriculum design.
Now available from Blackwell’s Bookshop, Edinburgh, or via our online shop
We’d like to introduce you to our senior editors: Christine Penman and Monika Foster.
Christine Penman: Senior Lecturer, Languages Subject Group Leader.
To learn more about Christine Penman, see her staff profile at Edinburgh Napier University’s webpage.
Dr Monika Foster: Associate Professor and Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy. To learn more about Dr Monika Foster, see her staff profile at Edinburgh Napier University’s webpage.
Monika Foster, Julia Fotheringham, Avril Gray, Kathryn James, Isla Kapasi, Iain Macdonald, Kirsten MacLeod, Myrna MacLeod, Jennifer Murray, Laurence Patterson, Christine Penman, Stephen Robertson, Sarah Sholl, Mabel Victoria, Keith Walker, Brian Webster-Henderson, Richard Whitecross, Rachel Younger
This week has seen the launch of the Innovations in Learning and Teaching book and eBook.
The sell-out event was introduced by our Vice-Principal, Professor Alistair Sambell and included a “Voices Behind the Book” panel discussion, a “Blind Date with a Book” in support of Book Aid International, sales of The Glorious Thing in aid of PoppyScotland, a Student Awards Ceremony, and of course lots of food and wine!
We have already been receiving high praise of both the publication and the launch event itself, which was professionally organised and managed by a group of our current students. Meet the team…
Here are some photos of the event for those of you not able to make it (all images copyright Edinburgh Napier University).
Thanks to everyone who attended, and we hope to see even more of you at our next event!
Blog post #2 for the Innovations in Learning and Teaching Book Launch
The newest project for Edinburgh Napier University MSc Publishing students is to plan, manage, promote, and implement an event that celebrates and launches Merchiston Publishing’s newest book. We want to share our work and our EVENT with you!
To bring you up to speed, Edinburgh Napier University presented the Teaching Fellows Conference of 2016 #TFConf16, in January this year. The most recent conference, and those of prior years, sends academic staff, students and institutions a strong message. That if you’re involved in teaching or learning then you must also “question, challenge and rethink existing practices” (foreword).
ENU prides itself on engagement with its staff and this makes the conference invaluable by giving them a chance to meet, discuss ideas, and present their work. All that work is incredibly important because it means that teachers and lecturers are offering the best possible learning environment to their students, and no more so than at Edinburgh Napier University.
This brilliant book not just a chance to more fully understand the principles that guide leading academic practitioners but is also a symbol of commitment from Edinburgh’s community shaping and awarding winning university in order to encourage peer review and to continue to evaluate itself. It is also a celebration of the hard work and talents of staff and students alike.
The conference became the touch paper for this fantastic project. This project is what allows us, the most recent intake of Publishing students at ENU, to be part of the Innovations Team and to develop what we learn as pupils and to bring it to a wider audience.
We’ll be talking more about the contributors and editors of the book, as well as our event preparation, in the days running up to the launch but for now, let’s introduce the current MSc Publishing team and the tasks they’re responsible for…
Natalie, Claire, and Sarah are the Communications Team – if you’ve had an email about Innovations in Learning and Teaching, it was probably from us! We are in charge of making sure everybody is up to speed with what’s going on with the project, as well as sending out those all-important invitations. It’s a role that requires patience, friendliness, and consummate professionalism.
Highlights of the course so far have been acquiring practical experience with a live project, developing our problem – solving skills, and getting to talk to experienced people in the industry.
Social Media Team
The Social Media Team, made up of Connor, Alistair, and Catherine (your honoured blog poster), are responsible for all content going out on social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We manage the event pages on Facebook and Eventbrite as well as doing other tasks like blog posting on our associated Publishing by Degrees websites. We also support all our lovely classmates in the other teams, including other promotional copy like press releases, email templates and photo editing.
This role has meant that all three of us have immersed ourselves in the world of digital communications and learnt how that affects modern marketing in the publishing sector. It also means that we get to engage on a really personal level with everyone interested in the book and our endeavours. The course’s Creative Toolkit class – using Adobe Creative Suite and learning about book design and production – is brilliant fun and the skills we’re learning are invaluable.
Project Research Team
Kellie, Catriona and Merrily have been busy gathering additional information for the rest of the team to utilise. For the most part, this has involved collating information about the editors and contributors of the volume, researching who might be interested in attending the event, and looking at how we can expand the reach of the book itself.
We are most proud of our beautiful project spreadsheet that incorporates invitees, press, bloggers and other organisations. The aim of this document is to provide an efficient and unified system for the communications and events teams to use in getting the word out about the book and the launch, and in administrating the event itself.
The project’s design team comprises Hannah, Ellen, and Billy. Fascinated by colourful, memorable and effective graphic design, we are responsible for creating and managing all promotional materials and merchandise for the launch of Innovations in Learning and Teaching. We have also undertaken product photography to capture the quality of the physical product for further content to be used by the social media team.
We are enjoying the challenge of the project and the MSc Publishing course in creating striking content and applying our creativity whilst expanding our skill-set.
Events Logistics Team
The Events Team are proud to be managing the logistics and layout of the Innovations in Learning and Teaching book launch. Our team is made up of Amy, April, and Joanna. However, we have also been collaborating closely with members of other teams to make sure our event is smooth sailing. Since booking the venue, Amy and Joanna have been leading hospitality for the event arranging everything from budgets to cheeseboards and wine. Meanwhile, April and Merrily, from the Marketing & Research team, have been programming and organising the event activities.
We are incredibly passionate about this project and cannot wait to see everyone on the night!
Project Management Team
We are Helen, Jackie and Ann, the project managers for the Innovations in Learning and Teaching Launch. We have a fantastic project team, making our roles as project managers less about overseeing the flow of the project and more about making sure our fellow team members have what they need to succeed. We have picked up roles dealing with the financial aspects of the launch as well as handling the audio/visual details for the project.
We have really enjoyed being able to learn and utilise these new-found skills in working with this event as well as the MSc Publishing course as a whole, and look forward to seeing how they’ll benefit us in the future.
Now that you’ve met the team, hang fire for the next update on the ins and outs of what we’ve been up to for the past 12 weeks in order to make this great event happen. We knew instantly that we wanted to honour the efforts of those involving in the writing, editing, production, and publishing of Merchiston Publishing’s Innovations in Teaching and Learning and we look forward to bringing you our event.
If you would like to attend the Innovations in Teaching and Learning book launch then you can access tickets here. The event will be on 30th November, Room B32, Merchiston Campus, Edinburgh. Tickets are free but limited so hurry! Everyone is welcome.
(Photography courtesy of Hannah Killoh & Ellen Desmond)
Merchiston Publishing will be hosting the book launch for Innovations in Learning and Teaching, edited by Christine Penman and Dr Monika Foster.
The event will take place between 5:30pm – 8:00pm on Wednesday 30 November at Edinburgh Napier University, Merchiston Campus (B32). The evening will feature drinks reception, panel discussions and student award ceremony. If you would like to join us, please click on the Innovations in Learning and Teaching RSVP link.
Innovations in Learning and Teaching showcases the latest research and new teaching approaches in higher education. The editors worked closely with MSc Publishing students at Edinburgh Napier University to produce this book that exemplifies real innovation and integrates academic theory with practice. Some photos of the newly published title are below.
The current MSc Publishing students have been continuing the work of last year’s class on the promotion of this unique title, culminating with an exciting launch next week. Working closely with the esteemed contributors and editors, the launch will celebrate the achievements of those involved – past and present.
The process has been a real learning curve for us, some us starting with no practical publishing experience at all, and we feel that doing the project has given us skills we will continue to use throughout our careers. One of the best parts of doing the AVTA project has been the positive feedback we have received time and time again. Continue reading “A Voyage to Arcturus: Team Reflections”