MA Publishing Graduation: New Starts

The MA Publishing class of 2013/14 has just graduated. At the same time as ARU waves goodbye to some superb students and wishes them well in their new lives, it says hello to a whole new cohort of would-be publishers, who are just starting their journeys. Course leader, Dr Leah Tether, gives Blurbify the lowdown on the highlights of students new and old as the new academic year gets underway.

October is a funny month. The new students have just arrived and are busy settling into their new routines. Meanwhile, it’s also time to welcome back former students who handed in their final pieces of work (their fantastic major projects) within the last academic year as they graduate officially with their MAs firmly in hand.

It’s exciting to see what students have achieved in the meantime, and I must confess sometimes to feeling quite jealous of the wonderful life experiences that they’re having in the world of publishing and the wider book-trade. The diversity of destinations is astonishing, and the rate of progression even moreso.

I always feel such a surge of pride when I see them all togged up in their gowns and mortarboards – and when they ask if they can introduce me to their parents as if I’ve had a great deal to do with their achievements. I should clarify: it’s definitely all them – my job is really just about directing them towards opportunities. They are the ones who make it happen!

In the graduating cohort this year, we also had 4 prizes from our publishing partners awarded at Graduation, as was previously reported on Blurbify.

Gladys Famoriyo received the Lutterworth Prize for the best overall grade; Laurida Harrington-Poireau won the Cambridge University Press Prize for best dissertation; Shelley Hale was awarded the James Clarke Prize for greatest contribution to the MA; Victoria Love received the inaugural Book Production Consultants Prize for Innovation (awarded for establishing Blurbify, as it happens!) All are extremely worthy winners, and all are steadily making their way in the book trade, holding posts at the likes of Pearson, Wiley-Capstone and Huntingdon Library.

Meanwhile, there are already prizes being awarded to that cohort of new students – which shows just how much potential they have! Lucy Roberson received the postgraduate scholarship from the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, while in the Cambridge University Press bursary competition, in which entrants had to create a publishing-related blog, Jessica Aston produced a first-place winning effort, with Sarah-Jane Wilson’s creation being judged as runner-up.

So, whilst we’re saying goodbye to some fantastic people (though we hope they come back to visit – many often do!), we know they’re setting off for very happy futures, and the promise shown by the new intake at such an early stage is definitely motivation enough to start the process of delivering an MA in Publishing all over again. Perhaps this happy time of new starts is why I was captured looking rather jolly at the Graduation after-party!

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Course Leader of the MA Publishing at Anglia Ruskin University; researcher of medieval literature, publishing history and reading cultures.