Last Tuesday Publishing@SFU welcomed the 20th cohort of MPubbers to the Master of Publishing program. Not only are the students new, so are some of the faculty. Indeed, a whole bunch of things are new.
This fall, the Publishing Program at SFU enters a phase of major renewal. We have a new faculty complement—John Maxwell, Roberto Dosil, Monique Sherrett, Juan Pablo Alperin, Scott Steedman and Shannon Emmerson—some of whom are new to the Masters Program, others new to SFU, and that brings a lot of new energy to the program.
Industry members and MPub alumni may notice that this year is the first year the Publishing Program will be running without its founding director, Rowland Lorimer. Rowly, who founded this program back in the late 80s, early 90s, designed it to strike a balance between rigorous research-based graduate study and hands-on, industry-engaged practice. The success of the program over the past two decades is very much due to his vision, and that balance. Rowly is on sabbatical this year, leading to his official retirement in 2015.
John Maxwell is the new Program Director. He has been with the program for a dozen years and is actually a product of the MPub program. John was a graduate of the very first cohort way back in 1995.
In his welcome message to students, John said the following:
“Publishing was a different beast back then. Much has changed.
“The world today, in 2014, is a much more exciting and interesting time to be studying publishing.
“What we are witnessing today is nothing less than the very infrastructure of modern democratic culture in tumultuous evolution, on its way to its next phase.
“If you ask me, there is no more interesting place to be in the world than right here. No more interesting time to be here. The world of publishing is in revolution; we will shortly witness which parts of it are destroyed, and which parts remain.
“Better, you are positioned to have a hand in it.
“Congratulations on a good choice! Congratulations on being here!”
The new faculty and students are all eager to get underway. For those readers unfamiliar with MPub, students spend two classroom terms at SFU—September to December, and January to April—doing a combination of practical, lab-based courses; seminars, and project courses in which they create things; make things. It’s a heavy workload, and each cohort goes through it all together.
The following summer, students participate in an internship at an industry placement. During the internship term, each student must define and conduct a research project on, and on behalf of, the internship host. Students conduct original research: a piece of description and analysis of how things actually work. Or perhaps how they should.
In the fall following the internship, students draw the research up into a formal project report. It’s like a masters thesis but a little shorter, more practical, and there is no thesis defense. There is, however, a supervisory committee of 3: two from the Publishing@SFU faculty, and one industry supervisor.
If all goes well, by next Christmas, this year’s cohort will have completed all the requirements and be able to put those sought-after little letters after their names: MPub
More important, the program will change them and challenge them in unique ways. They will know vastly more than they do now. They will have experienced things, and accomplished things that are not even dreamed of today. They will have met a lot of fantastic industry professionals, and they will have a practical, working sense of what publishing is really about, and what matters.
By the end of the program, this year’s cohort will know enough, and know enough people, that each can forge a career in the field of publishing—whether that’s by landing a job in an existing publishing company, or by starting their own, or by doing something else that nobody’s thought of yet.
As John eloquently put it in his welcome message to the students:
“You will become—you are already, really, by virtue of sitting here this morning—part of a network of MPub people, who are shot through the publishing industries in Canada and even around the world. More than two hundred alumni, you will find them in every corner of the publishing world.
“Those people are your family now; they have been through what you are about to undertake. There’s a certain rite of passage element to this (and you’ll understand especially when you get into the Book Publishing Project towards Christmas) that binds all MPubbers together.”
One of the program’s many strengths is its ability to introduce students to alumni and industry guests over the eight months of in situ time, as well as the core faculty it draws. Briefly:
- Roberto Dosil (MPub 1998 and multi-award winning book designer) is and has been one of the core faculty for 7 or 8 years.
- Monique Sherrett (MPub 1997 and leading marketing consultant to Canadian publishers) has taught in the program before and is joining the core faculty this year.
- Juan Pablo Alperin (fresh out of doctoral work at Stanford) is a new member of the core faculty this year.
- Scott Steedman (professional editor) has taught in the undergraduate program, and joins the faculty to take over the editorial course from Mary Schendlinger, who retires this fall.
- Shannon Emmerson (who runs Forge & Spark Media) is back for another year to teach the periodical publishing project.
- Jo-Anne Ray (program manager) is the extraordinary woman who has the last word.
So, with this faculty—and with the MPub cohort of 2014—Publishing@SFU begins a new chapter in this program’s history.
Biblioasis, a literary press based in Windsor, Ontario, is in the market for a dynamic full-time in-house publicist.
- plan and implement national and international publicity strategies for 16-20 books annually, including electronic pitches, review copy mailings, and related follow-up
- build and manage relations with key media throughout North America
- write and tailor catalogue copy for different markets
- write and update press releases and pitches
- manage and update bibliodata and other electronic feeds to keep information about our books current
- liaise with bookstores to promote our books, arrange author signings, and secure event coverage in area media
- use social media to promote press, authors and books
- submit books for appropriate awards programs
- create and implement special promotions and co-op for key titles
- help plan author receptions, book launches, and trade show appearances
- write funding applications and grants which pertain to marketing, sales and author travel
- oversee updates on the Press’s website
- serve as a spokesperson for the press
- liaise with sales forces in Canada and the United States
- field author queries and help handle author relations
- solicit blurbs and endorsements
- solicit direct sales
- other duties as assigned
- excellent verbal and written communication skills
- highly organized with exceptional attention to detail under tight deadlines
- strong knowledge of Microsoft Office and social media outlets/technology
- strong interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills are essential
- the ability to prioritize and work on numerous tasks simultaneously and the ability to work with minimal supervision is required.
- must be able to travel via any means necessary and must have a valid driver’s license and passport; overnight and occasional weekend and week-long travel will be required.
If you are interested in the above position, please forward a copy of your resume by September 15, 2014 to:
Technical Operations Officer, Hansard Services, Legislative Assembly of BC
The key parts of the job are tech support for the editors and publication of transcripts in In Design and XML for print and Web.
Under the direction of the Publishing Supervisor, the Technical Operations Officer prepares the official report of the debates of the Legislative Assembly and related proceedings for publication. The Technical Operations Officer supports the achievement of production goals in a deadline-driven environment and provides first- and second-tier technical support to Hansard Services through consultation with users to understand, resolve or escalate incidents according to established protocols. The Officer initiates and supports systems-related projects and serves as a Hansard Services webmaster. The Officer also provides technical training and systems documentation and supports technical skills assessments for recruitment initiatives.
For more information:
Believe it or not, the SFU Master of Publishing program is 20 years old. And with 200 graduates calling the shots in publishing all over the world, we’ve got a lot to celebrate.
The inaugural MPub Alumni Event was held in Toronto and Vancouver this June, and more than 50 attendees celebrated in style.
5 cash prizes were also awarded to alumni to recognize excellence and innovation in publishing.
Winners of this year’s MPub Awards for Excellence and/or Innovation in Publishing included:
- Meghan Macdonald
- Xiaoyan Huang
- Heather Sanderson
- Craig Riggs and Kiley Turner
- Monique Sherrett
July 7-August 22, 2014; $11 per hour; 30 hours per week.
Applicants should send cover letters and resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 16th
The New Quarterly is an award-winning Canadian literary journal published out of St. Jerome’s University. The student hired will serve as an assistant to The New Quarterly’s Managing Editor.
Work includes daily administrative tasks, including, but not limited to:
- Tracking submissions & contest entries; correspondence with writers re acceptance and contracts.
- Subscription management and customer service
- Support towards the magazine’s events, website and social media maintenance (including writing occasional blog posts), as well as assisting in preparation for the Wild Writers Literary Festival
- Support towards marketing and donations campaigns.
The student will receive training to conduct a marketing initiative.
- excellent customer service and problem solving skills
- excellent organizational skills, attention to detail
- the ability to take initiative and work independently
- excellent communications skills both written an oral
- ability to work well with others in a small and often busy space
- familiarity with MS Office programs
Eligible Student Participants (from Service Canada Guidelines)
To be eligible to participate in the CSJ initiative, individuals must:
- Be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment
- Have been registers as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
- Be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.
Our friends at Toronto’s Coach House Books write:
Coach House Books is an independent literary press in Toronto. We publish fiction, poetry, drama and some nonfiction, and we print all our books in house. Our four-person ship is one crew member short; we’re looking for an enthusiastic quartermaster to come aboard!
For more details, see the careers page at the Coach House Books site.
Appetite, the boutique lifestyle imprint of Random House with headquarters in Vancouver, is looking for an intern for summer 2014.
Email your CV and brief cover note to Robert McCullough, Publisher: email@example.com
When I was younger, and keen as hell about XML as the solution to everything, and working on my PhD, I wrote a bibliographic reference management system. This was circa 2002 or so, and I badly needed to procrastinate from working on my dissertation. There’s nothing like being productive on another project to make you feel good about putting something off. At the time, I was juggling a couple of hundred references, plus notes. I looked at the available options at the time (EndNote, RefWorks) and was not impressed with them, or any off-the-shelf reference manager. So I wrote my own. I looked at how some of the other systems worked, and made one that was ‘better.’
On May 7th, John MacFarlane released Pandoc v1.12.4 – a significant update that includes many enhancements across the wide range of its reader and writer modules. For publishers, the key enhancement is the integration of a writer module for Adobe’s ICML. This allows Pandoc to effectively export to Adobe InDesign.
Pandoc is a free, multi-purpose document conversion toolkit with an extensible design and some very sophisticated features. It presents itself most straightforwardly as a markdown engine: it reads text files prepared in markdown format and converts them to HTML. But Pandoc can do much, much more than that. It reads and parses no less than 10 different structured formats, and can then output to about 35 formats. It does so by parsing to a neat internal format, then re-generating outputs as needed.
Its useful outputs include HTML and HTML5, EPUB and EPUB3, ODT and DOCX, LaTeX, DocBook XML, and several HTML-based slideslow formats. As of v1.12.4, it can also output ICML, which is the open file format for Adobe’s InCopy software, which is directly usable in Adobe InDesign. If you look at that list, you’ll see that Pandoc can form the basis of a single-source publishing workflow: a single editorial file can instantly go to print/PDF, ebook, and web outputs.
We’ve been experimenting with this at SFU. This spring in the MPub Tech Project course, our “Flying Narwhal” group developed a prototype content- and workflow-management strategy based on Pandoc, targeting web magazines, tablet editions, and print editions. Earlier in the year, I delivered a set of workshops for EBound Canada demonstrating Pandoc’s use in EPUB production. This is a tool that can do it all. Did I mention it’s free software?
Beyond file conversion, Pandoc has numerous well-thought out features for managing document metadata, citations and bibliographies, footnotes (possibly the nicest footnoting system ever), math and equation support, images, and page templates. See the Pandoc user guide for details.
If you’re producing books, stories, journals, articles that are primarily text-driven, and you’re managing multiple tools and processes to produce digital and print editions, you really need to take a good look at Pandoc. It makes most document preparation, conversion, and production tasks trivially easy, so you can spend your time on writing, design, and reach instead.