Publishing and the university
A nervous morning today, braving the public for the first time at the London Book Fair. Every year there are dozens of fascinating talks, panels and seminars. Last year, I noticed that although the place was swarming with lecturers and students, there didn’t seem to be any talks specifically about the university and its place in publishing. So I proposed one – it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The workshop panel will introduce some examples of innovation in this field, and put it into context. Then participants will have a chance to talk together and respond to the question, ‘How could a university help you?’; and for those already based at a university, ‘What would you want to offer?’ to outside organisations, either by way of research or practice. We were also curious what people thought about the new generation of university imprints, and how they might distinguish themselves. We will collate the responses and disseminate them. The hashtags are #HEpublish and of course, #lbf13.
The panel includes a colleague who is starting up a new imprint, Fincham Press, at the University of Roehampton Department of English and Creative Writing, a colleague from UCL’s MA Publishing programme, and a researcher at UCL who is running the open access Ubiquity Press. The workshop is supported by the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE).
My own short presentation considers the invisible support that universities provide to publishing and peer networks; recaps on the role of universities in book history; and takes some examples from the classroom that illustrate how a writing degree can help look at a manuscript from the inside out.