Storytelling Lecture

Professorial Lecture by Dr Donald Smith, Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival
Event Date: 04 March 2010
Location: Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre, Craiglockhart Campus.
Donald Smith has been Director of the Netherbow Arts Centre and its successor, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, through nearly three decades of dramatic change. He has also been Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival since its inception and a catalyst in the global storytelling renaissance.
In his lecture, “Global Nation? Defining Scotland’s Festive Identities”, Dr Donald Smith, a respected commentator on cultural affairs, teases out some of the inside stories, and peers into a potentially turbulent yet open future for Scotland’s capital city and its Festivals in a period of global crisis.
What is driving Scotland’s twenty-first century identity and self projection? What are the roles of culture, environment, history and politics in this crucible? And where are Edinburgh’s Festivals positioned in the mix? Is there consensus around starting points and objectives, or are Festival programmers part of  wider, partly undeclared, culture wars?
What might it mean for Scotland to be a truly global nation, and are its Festivals crucial to the project – or freeloaders?
The lecture is open to all staff, students and the public, and is followed by a reception.
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Publishing Scotland Conference 2010

MSc Publishing staff with friends Jim MacNeilage (Copyright Licencing Agency) and Kathy Crawford (PPA Scotland) at yesterday’s sold-out Publishing Scotland’s annual conference at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh.

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Scottish Government, delivered the keynote speech. The day-long programme included topical issues affecting the industry today, as well as areas that may impact on publishing in the coming years.

As part of SCOB, Edinburgh Napier University, we were pleased to sponsor the lunch and, as you can see below, the drinks event afterwards was equally enjoyable! As a network member of Publishing Scotland, we are closely engaged with Scotland’s foremost trade association, representing over 80 publishing companies.

It was good to catch up with friends, industry contacts and alumni – our students have a fantastic rate of employment in Scottish publishing, even during this time of recession! In fact, three out of the last four jobs advertised by Edinburgh University Press have been secured by our Publishing students!

A large part of this is due to the Placement module (trimester 2). So as well as catching up with all the major issues affecting the industry, we were also glad to hear glowing reports from our host companies – and, of course, to use the opportunity and our contacts to arrange placements for our current students!

Thanks to Marion (CE of Publishing Scotland and formerly a lecturer on our Publishing programme) and all the team for a really informative and enjoyable day!

Starting at a big name

Beginners
First steps at a well known London publisher
You will probably not be surprised to hear that getting a job at a big London publisher like Harper Collins or Penguin first of all requires getting an internship or work experience. Above all it requires a plan.

 

The following technique has five stages to getting employed in one of these places and has got me to step 4 so far. Bear in mind that no-one seems to be running a formal graduate scheme at the moment so the following approach is not geared to getting onto an all encompassing graduate scheme – merely a job as and when it appears. Continue reading “Starting at a big name”

Publishing students commended by Scottish Parliament

Merchiston Publishing and Publishing students praised in the Scottish Parliament

The following oral question was answered in the Scottish Parliament on 7 January 2010.

Aileen Campbell (South of Scotland) (SNP): Is the cabinet secretary aware of a project that Napier University runs, which allows third-year publishing students to manage the whole process of publishing and printing new editions of Scottish classics that are out of copyright? This year’s project is James Hogg’s “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner”. The books are given free to secondary schools, so that great Scottish literature is made more widely available to pupils. Does the cabinet secretary agree that this virtuous and simple project is worthy of recognition and will he join me in congratulating the Napier students who are doing their bit to keep Scottish literature alive?

Michael Russell: Very much so. I am always keen to see writers’ works being distributed as widely as possible, although given that the project that the member mentioned does that for free, as a working writer I am glad that it deals with works that are out of copyright rather than in copyright.

The “Memoirs and Confessions” is one of the three great unfilmed books in Scotland, the others being “Annals of the Parish” and “The Cone-gatherers”. If it is read by a much wider audience in Scotland, there will be a much better understanding of our dual nature in Scotland.

Confessions Book Launch

The book launch (the progress of which can be found here) is shaping up rather nicely and promises to be a right Scottish shindig, complete with our very own giant Scotsman, Big Rory, in attendance.

On Tuesday 8 December, Big Rory will pipe guests into the launch of our new, contemporary version of James Hogg’s classic book: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Watch this space…!