A Day in the Life of a Literary Agent

The day starts with a jubilant welcoming from Clouseau, the wonder dog. After a morning cup of tea to banish the chilly winter air, I’m ready to start my day.

The morning is taken up with the submissions I’ve already had a look through and made notes on, sorting out which ones I enjoyed and didn’t, and pitching them to the group with my reasons why.

This leads on to the rejection letters and finding the right one to suit the submission. I’ll spend another hour or so working through my notes and writing up a paragraph that will hopefully encourage the writer to keep writing whilst gently turning them down.

Then it’s off to lunch!

After I return (and receive another jubilant welcoming) I get straight back to work, finishing off the submissions and letters and working on the website. Finding out just what exactly needs fixing and what needs changing; writing up new information; looking at different sites; how the authors social network and how I can promote the agency’s online presence. An ongoing and arduous process that, nevertheless, needs to be done.

Soon enough it’s five o’clock and I’m wondering just where exactly the day has gone – it feels like just an hour ago I sat down with my morning cup of tea.

A quick check that everything that I set out to accomplish this morning has been completed and I’m done!

…As soon as I collect more submissions to take home and make notes on, of course.


Congratulations to new MSc Publishing Graduates, 2010!

Thanks to Clare for the photograph

The Publishing programme team extend their warm congratulations to Stephanie, Clare and Katrin (pictured here, left to right), three of our newest MSc Publishing graduates!

The graduation ceremony took place in Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre, with a champagne reception at the University’s historic Craighouse Campus. An appropriate and stunning location, where much of the teaching for MSc Publishing takes place.

The whole Publishing team wish Stephanie, Clare, Katrin and ALL this year’s postgraduates the very best in your future careers and professions – congratulations once again and keep in touch!

Welcome to our new MSc Publishing students!

We were very pleased to welcome our new Postgraduate Publishing students last week! Many exciting Induction Week events took place to introduce them to Edinburgh Napier University, the programme and the staff – including a session in the pub!

At Thursday’s ‘Welcome to the Industry’ event we were privileged to hear from Marion Sinclair, CE of Publishing Scotland and Kathy Crawford, Business Manager of PPA Scotland.

We were also delighted to have Dayspring MacLeod and Leila Cruickshank from the SYP (Society of Young Publishers, Scotland branch) come and speak. After the insights into the book and magazine publishing industry provided by Marion and Kathy, the SYP representatives inspired our postgrads with ways in which they could actually become involved in the publishing industry from week 1! Edinburgh is the centre of publishing in Scotland and, as it is also the first UNESCO City of Literature, there are lots of events and networking opportunities which are open to our Publishing students.

We wish them all the very best as they embark on this important stage of their publishing career!

Prof advises Guardian Careers Blog

Photo of Prof McCleery smilingYesterday, Professor McCleery was invited to contribute to the Guardian Careers Blog on Publishing studies.

The live Blog offered anyone the chance to put questions about a career in publishing to a small panel of experts drawn from companies such as Penguin and agencies such as Skillset. Professor McCleery, from Edinburgh Napier University, was the only representative from Higher Education.

Publishing is the UK’s largest creative industry. It is a popular career choice for many graduates, and is incredibly hard to get into without appropriate work experience, or a relevant undergraduate or Postgraduate qualification.

The blog can be viewed on the Guardian website: http://careers.guardian.co.uk/forums

Publishing Graduate Scoops Industry Award

A dedicated publishing student who travelled 120 miles each day to attend classes has won a major national award for her research work.

Recent Edinburgh Napier graduate Laura Kincaid has scooped the UK APE Dissertation first prize for her in-depth research into the relationship between Amazon and UK consumer trade publishers.

Laura, who beat off students from across the UK to land the award, excelled in her undergraduate studies despite having to commute to university from her home in Dundee each day.

The 25 year old has now landed a job with Edinburgh-based publishing house Canongate after graduating with a 1st Class Honours degree. This prestigious annual award, run by the UK Association for Publishing Education (UK APE) and the Sue Thomson Foundation, selects the best Publishing dissertation in the whole of the UK.

Laura said “Receiving this award was both a surprise and a delight.  I’m thrilled to have my work recognised in this way.”

Professor Alistair McCleery, Subject Group Leader of Publishing at Edinburgh Napier, and Director of the Scottish Centre for the Book, said:  “This award, in competition against all the other UK universities, reflects the strength and depth with which Edinburgh Napier equips its publishing students.”

Congratulations to new graduates 2010

Fond farewells

Drinks Reception

After 4 years of being together as a cohort and lot of very hard work covering all aspects of publishing education, BA (Hons) Publishing graduates met for the last time as students to pick up their degrees.

A big congratulations to you all on behalf of the whole Publishing team – we wish you all the best in your future careers and professions.

Scottish novelist Christopher Brookmyre Honorary Graduate

Edinburgh Napier welcomes Christopher Brookmyre to the family as Honorary Graduate.

Scottish novelist Christopher Brookmyre is among figures from the arts, academia and business worlds who were awarded an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier today.

The Barrhead-bred author, whose award-winning books include All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye, Quite Ugly One Morning and Boiling a Frog, received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters at our graduation ceremony this morning. He joined around 1,700 Edinburgh Napier students who will graduate at ceremonies held at the Usher Hall on 17-18 June.

“I am surprised, flattered and humbled by this honour,” said the the author, whose recent book, Pandaemonium, marks his thirteenth published novel to date. “As someone who always sought to write the kind of literature students might save as a less demanding treat for when their exams were over, rather than works that might appear on anyone’s curriculum, it gives me quite a glow to receive this kind of academic recognition.”