When I graduated from my first master’s degree back in 2015, I had little hope of finding a job that would be directly related to my degree. I mean, I did do a whole degree on Medieval Art History, and as much as I loved the subject, I guess it is a little niche… Fast forward to 2022 and I now realise that somehow, it has been nearly seven years, and I’ve found myself distracted by a rather different industry. During this time, I’ve been working in Scottish Tourism, and believe me, there is no easier and more enjoyable product to sell than this beautiful country! But I miss art. More than anything, I miss writing and reading about art, and looking at beautiful facsimiles and picture books—with large glossy pages and heavy leather covers. The thought of it makes my fingertips tingle. I want to get back into my niche.
As with many other people, lockdown in 2020 gave me the time to think and re-assess what I wanted to do with my life. I loved my time in university and I wanted to return to writing; I always found university the best motivator for getting my writing out there. I applied for a PhD project working with the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust (not the first time I’d completed a PhD application…), and sadly, it didn’t lead anywhere. Funding is tricky in the arts. If academia was not looking to be the road for me, I then decided that there are other options. Maybe a more vocational and hands-on degree would help me more than the very enjoyable, yet perhaps rather impractical, theoretical subjects I was so used to studying. I enrolled at Edinburgh Napier University in 2021, and I am now studying towards another master’s degree—this time, in Publishing.
So, I am now 31 years old and studying for my third degree… And I couldn’t be more thrilled! Learning about the publishing industry has been a delightful surprise—it sounds like a competitive environment (I mean, what isn’t?), but also a supportive and stimulating one. Nearly halfway through the course, I can’t help but want to give myself a pat in the back—I have made a great decision. I am excited about the future and grateful for the chance to maybe, just maybe, get back into my artsy niche.
I am working with The Book Whisperers as part of my course. What another lovely surprise to find such a motivated and enthusiastic group of people who share my passion for books! I will be working with Lea on an exciting anthology entitled Wonderland, which will be launched in partnership with a new book festival of the same name in summer 2022. My internship will consolidate the training I’ve had at Napier, as it involves managing a publishing project from start to finish (i.e. collating submissions for the anthology, overseeing the marketing of the title, editing and designing the layout & design of the manuscript, and planning the book launch).
What I hope this project will give me is both confidence and a sense of achievement. I am hoping to get into editorial, so this project will provide valuable experience that may be later needed, when it comes to transitioning into the world of publishing. Perhaps in 5 years’ time I will be able to show other books that I have edited and reflect on my time at The Book Whisperers. Perhaps I might still be involved with The Book Whisperers, and I’ll be eager to welcome new members to this supportive community. Who knows, I might have written a book? Whether I end up working with fiction, academic, magazines, travel guides, or art books (keep your fingers crossed for me…), I am looking forward to a future in publishing, as I will be working with either my own, or other authors’ writing. And what a privilege to be able to read raw words that no one else has read before! It makes me incredible motivated and thankful to be part of this industry.
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