Society of Young Publishers: The Editor Uncovered

10/03/2014 01:06:00 pm

I'm a few days late reporting back about the first Society of Young Publishers event I attended on Tuesday night but, to my credit, it's been a very busy week of classes and I now finally have time to sit down and write about it.

Tuesday night I attended the Society of Young Publishers event: The Editor Uncovered at Turl Street Kitchen in Oxford. I initially wasn't planning on going because by the end of the day I'm absolutely exhausted and just want to catch a train and go back to my apartment to sleep but I'm really glad I convinced myself to go (mostly for the free wine and nibbles at that point, to be honest). I'm also not 100% sure I want to go into editorial at this point. Most of my classmates think I'm crazy for saying that but I digress.

The event featured three speakers who all do different aspects of editorial work and all offered unique insights to breaking into the field as well as what their typical workload looks like as well as showcasing some of the projects they'd worked on.

The first speaker was Holly Bathie, Development Editor for Oxford University Press whose work focuses on educational texts for students in primary school. I enjoyed her insights into educational publishing since it's definitely one of my soft spots after working as a tutor and doing work for a great literacy platform based in the US. She showed us several of the textbooks she'd worked on throughout her career in Scholastic as well as the Oxford Owl website she'd played a part in developing. Her best advice for breaking into a career in editorial is to take any opportunity offered, no matter what it is. Her own career is a testament to that advice as she managed to find herself at several fantastic publishing companies before landing her current position at OUP. I know a lot of people in my program are very interested in following in her footsteps.

The second speaker was Rachel Turner who is currently an Assistant Editor for Hart Publishing in Oxford, a company owned by Bloomsbury. Rachel has spent her entire editorial career at Hart and began as an Assistant to the Editor, helping to keep manage his workload and perform administrative tasks. She stayed at this position for several years until Hart was bought by Bloomsbury and the Assistant Editor position opened up. Since she was so familiar with the company workings, it was an obvious fit for her, which goes to show that sometimes when it comes to Editorial, staying somewhere you enjoy working really pays off.

The third and final speaker was Nikul Patel who is the Publishing Editor for Cogent OA, owned by Taylor and Francis. I was really interested in what Nikul had to say because Cogent OA is an Open Access Academic Journal publisher, meaning that the authors pay their company to publish their peer reviewed research in their journals which are accessible for free by anyone. There are no pay walls and no subscription payments to make and I think that is absolutely fantastic (especially since I was told this week that if  you want to know the future of publishing, always look at journals). I'm really interested to see how Open Access affects the industry so it's definitely something to consider when it comes time to get down to ye olde job hunt.

All in all, it was a fantastic time. There was a HUGE turnout with most of the publishing program and Oxford Brookes attending so getting to speak with the editors afterwards was tough and I ended up just heading out but I did get to ask a few questions during the presentation so I felt it was worth the time to go see. 

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