Publishing@SFU Announcements

‘The Gift of Never Landing’: A Conversation with Poet Otoniya Juliane Okot Bitek

The confluence of voices, languages, and poetic traditions in Otoniya Juliane Okot Bitek’s poetry reflects her sense of belonging and migration across many places. In this wide-ranging conversation, Acholi Canadian poet Okot Bitek will talk about her writing process as a poet, her experiences with publishing in Canada, her collaborative projects with poets and visual artists, and her practice of listening across histories, identities, continents.


How to Make a Thriller

On Tuesday, February 9 at 2 pm, join psychological thriller authors Samantha Bailey (Woman on the Edge), Amy Stuart (Still Mine, Still Water, Still Here ), and Catherine McKenzie (I’ll Never Tell, Six Weeks to Live) with their editor, Nita Pronovost, for a spine-tingling panel discussion about their writing process.

Sponsored by Simon&Schuster Canada

 


Interview with Current MPub Student, Olivia Johnson

As the Master of Publication application deadline fast approaches, we had the chance to interview Olivia Johnson, who is part of this year’s 2020/2021 cohort. Learn more about Olivia Johnson’s publishing experience and don’t forget to apply by February 1! 

1) What was your background before applying to SFU’s Master of Publishing Program?

Before I was a student of SFU’s Master of Publishing Program, I majored in English literature at UBC. After graduating, I thought I was going to go into journalism and got accepted into the Ryerson School of Journalism. After one class, I realized that journalism was not a good fit for me. Instead, I switched to the publishing program at Ryerson because I was more interested in the editorial and marketing aspects of publishing. After completing the publishing program at Ryerson, I applied to the Master of Publishing Program at SFU.

2) Why did you choose to apply to SFU’s Master of Publishing Program? 

I chose to apply to SFU’s Master of Publishing Program because it is Canada’s only master’s program for publishing. The publishing program at Ryerson was highly informative and interesting, but I wanted a more hands-on publishing experience. SFU’s Master of Publishing Program offers exactly that, where you get the opportunity to go more in-depth and have the chance to do an internship and more collaborative work. Also, SFU’s Master of Publishing Program was back in Vancouver, my home city.

3) What is the most valuable experience from SFU’s Master of Publishing Program so far?

I think the group projects are valuable because you get to take everything you learned in class and create something from start to finish. For example, in one of our projects, we created a business from scratch and learned about all the steps to develop and make the idea tangible.

One of the projects that Olivia worked on with her group was a catalogue for the Fall 2020 Book Project. Olivia’s group was an imprint company of Greystone Books, calling themselves Judith Press. Their catalogue includes all non-fiction titles they came up with and had to sell for their project.

Click here to see their full project: http://ow.ly/yF3050DgaIf 

 

4) What are some skills you have learned from SFU’s Master of Publishing Program so far?

I learned a lot about hands-on design and working with different software such as Adobe to create those designs. I also learned a lot about the different stages such as editing, designing, and business to create the final publication. For each of these stages, it is very in-depth, so you get a chance to figure out what you like. I also find that you can really have your own input in the program. You are definitely not lectured at but taught how to do things and be hands-on. The more effort you put in, the more you learn and take from the program.

5) Upon obtaining your Master’s in publishing, what do you aspire your future career to look like?

SFU’s Master of Publishing Program does a great job at allowing everyone to explore lots of different categories, so you know where your interests lie. For me, since completing the publishing program at Ryerson, I knew that I wanted to work in publishing.  Upon obtaining my Master’s in publishing, I can see myself pursuing a career in a marketing or publicity position in literary fiction or nonfiction books.

6) Who do you think should apply to the Master of Publishing Program program?

People who are looking to learn more and become more hands-on in publishing should definitely apply. Publishing is not just about books all the time. You get to learn so many skills that you take onto different careers such as marketing, freelance, editing, and more. If this is something that you want to do, I highly recommend applying.

7) What is your advice for people who are applying to the Master of Publishing Program or considering applying?

I think this is a valuable program because you get to interact with so many industry professionals and receive advice or feedback from them. As well it is such a small cohort, so you get to always work closely with the same people who share the same passion as you. I highly recommend reaching out to the publishing team to ask any questions or concerns you may have because they are super helpful and kind.

Apply to the MPub Program

Contact
To request more information on the Master of Publishing program, please contact:

 Jo-Anne Ray, Program Advisor

Phone: (778) 782-5242
Fax: (778) 782-5239
Email: pub-info@sfu.ca

Address: Program Advisor
Master of Publishing Program
Simon Fraser University Vancouver
515 West Hastings Street, Room 3576
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6B 5K3



Adobe InDesign: The Essentials – Feb 29/Mar 1

Indesign workshop

As the industry standard for layout design, InDesign is tightly integrated with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat. Starting with an overview of the InDesign workspace and its relationship to the rest of Adobe’s Creative Suite, students will use instructor-led projects to learn how to set up publications, import graphics and text, and build pages and tables. At the conclusion of this two-day workshop, students will know the benefits of master pages, type style management and type-fitting techniques, and the use many time-saving shortcuts. Read more and to register.

Apply to the MPub Program


Introducing Dr. Amanda Lastoria, the First Publishing PhD in North America

Dr. Amanda Lastoria’s PhD Defence at SFU Vancouver Harbour Centre on The Material Evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: How Book Design and Production Values Impact the Markets for and the Meanings of the Text

Amanda Lastoria has earned North America’s first Ph.D. in Publishing (Simon Fraser University). She also holds an MA in Publishing (Oxford Brookes University), a BA in French/Arts and Culture (SFU) and a Diploma in Arts Management (University of London). Amanda’s research is critically informed by more than a decade of professional experience in the publishing industry. She has worked as an in-house employee and freelance contractor in a variety of roles, from production editor and production controller to copyeditor and proofreader to business manager and associate publisher. Amanda has worked on, for example, academic books, an online educational platform, an arts magazine, general interest ebooks and high-end trade books for companies in England, America and Canada. Her employers and clients have included both independent and multi-national houses like The Folio Society, Taylor & Francis/Routledge, Macmillan, and Random House, as well as self-publishers, a start-up imprint and a non-profit organization. Amanda is also former Editor of Lewis Carroll Review, and she has developed the standard list of titles for John Tenniel’s iconic Alice illustrations. Amanda is currently the Regional Liaison Officer to Canada for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP).

On November 13, 2019, Dr. Amanda Lastoria successfully defended her interdisciplinary doctoral research, which explores the materiality of the book and the “material evolution” of the title. Lastoria uses multiple editions of a single title – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – as a case study through which she develops a critical understanding of the title’s positions in the market on the one hand, and the ways in which design and production values contribute to the creation of meaning on the other hand.

Addressing what she sees as a “lack of scholarship that rigorously investigates the look and feel of the book,” Lastoria analyzes 46 editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, tracing 150 years of the title’s “material evolution” through Anglo-American markets.

Using a combination of methods and tools – bibliography, book history, publishing history and literary theory – Lastoria documents, historicizes and interrogates the book’s power as a commodity. Lastoria takes us on a journey as we follow Alice through the title’s many incarnations and learn of the ways in which the design and production values are at once an echo and an aberration of Lewis Carroll’s original art direction. Lastoria concludes, “Alice, like all books, ought to be judged by its cover – and its paper, typography, ink, bind, endpapers, dustjacket and so forth” so that we can better understand “how the book targets a market and encodes a meaning.”

With gratitude, acknowledgements for this esteemed accomplishment go to Lastoria’s supervisors:  Prof. John Maxwell, Publishing; Prof. Michael Everton, English; and Prof. Stuart Poyntz, Communication; and to her examiners: Prof. Teal Triggs, Graphic Design, Royal College of Art; Prof. Michelle Levy, English.

–    –    –

If you’re interested in getting the kind of education in publishing that allows you to dive deep into the history of publishing, or develop a scholarship that is as playful as it is rigorous, consider applying for the Master of Publishing Program at Simon Fraser University before February 1st.


Biking to Publishing School

Bikes at SFU Harbour Centre

There are a lot of good reasons to cycle: it’s good for the planet, it’s good for cities and their congestion problems, and it’s good for you. We thought to take a look at cycling in the MPub program: why we do it and how we do it, and maybe we’ll encourage you to do it too!

Half the Publishing faculty are regular cycle commuters, and a good (though variable) number of students are too. Those of us who do ride know that it’s the best way to get around, for a number of reasons.

Why cycle?

Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure has developed hugely over the past half-dozen years,1 and there are good cycle routes through most of the city. The number of cyclists has grown accordingly, which is good not just for the planet, but also because more cyclists on the road makes cycling safer, as the people in Copenhagen and Amsterdam know well.

Commuting by bike is well established by research2 as one of the single best things you can do for your health. It also has the advantage of not taking up extra time in your day. You could take the bus and then take time to go to the gym; or you could just ride your bike!

Regular exercise is good for your heart and lungs of course, but it’s also very good for your head, which is especially helpful for students in the Vancouver winter—which tends to wet and dark as opposed to cold and snowy. Getting into a regular routine of riding every day gets your blood pumping, opens up your sinuses, and gives you an outlet for the stresses that otherwise pile up when we live and work indoors. Additionally, many of us find that commuting by bike gives a sense of agency and control that we miss when we’re dependent on transit schedules and crowds. Emma (MPub 2017) notes, “Have you ever been trapped on an overcrowded bus on a rainy day? Once you get your rain routine down, you will choose cycling over transit no matter the weather.”

Don’t I need special clothing?

You really don’t. While it sometimes seems like cyclists have to invest in a fluorescent lyrca outfit, this isn’t actually the case. You can totally commute in your regular clothes. Of course some clothes are going to be more comfortable than others, but you do not need fancy gear.

In Vancouver, you probably do need some waterproofing, at least if you’re going to ride on rainy days. You’ll need a good raincoat (one with pit-zips help with the internal humidity), a pair of waterproof rain pants, and a pair of gloves–the sum of which make you feel kind of invincible on a rainy day! But that’s about all you really need. And if it isn’t raining, you don’t even need those.

Won’t I get sweaty?

SFU’s Harbour Centre Campus is, as the name suggests, near the water downtown, so it’s downhill from almost everywhere – which means sweat likely isn’t a big problem on your way to school. Some of us like to bring a change of shirt and socks in our bags. Depending on where you live, you may have to go uphill to get home, so you’re more likely to sweat at the end of the day than the beginning. And if you want to get a little sweaty—and ride for the sake of it—SFU Harbour Centre has great access to the Stanley Park Seawall.

Everything inside the circle on this map is probably within a half-hour bike ride from Harbour Centre Campus. Plus, within this circle, you are almost certainly faster than buses and cars, which can’t get through traffic effectively. You can have a look at Vancouver’s cycle routes by turning on that layer on Google Maps, or by checking out the City of Vancouver’s website. We all like to share our tips about the best ways to get around the city: which routes are the flattest, quietest, prettiest… and so on.

I don’t even have a (good) bike!

This is solvable on a number of levels. First, Vancouver has, per capita, the most bike shops in Canada.3 Second, excellent community resources like Our Community Bikes and Kickstand offer really inexpensive, accessible refurbished bikes and repair service. There are also cheap bikes available on Craigslist, online marketplaces, or pawn shops. Vancouver has also implemented the Mobi bike rental system, where you can pickup and drop off bikes at convenient spots all over town. You’re never far from a shop or an available bike, really.

You don’t need a fancy bike; they’re theft targets anyway. What you need is a bike with at least three gears and working brakes. You do need a good lock, because university campuses are always bike theft magnets. At Harbour Centre there is also a bicycle lock-up room to which, with your student card, you can get a key. 

But is it safe?

Yes, but you have to be thoughtful about it, and to know and anticipate the risks.

For starters you need lights! A good front light (white) and a red one for the rear help you see and be seen on the road after dark. Lights are an essential, mandatory bit of safety kit—and which go nicely with reflective strips, panels, and bits of clothing. A reflective safety vest can be had pretty cheaply and may make you feel a good deal more visible on a dark, wet evening. 

By law you need a helmet, which, if nothing else, can also provide some protection from the rain. A ball cap under your helmet helps keep the rain off your glasses.

Vancouver’s bike lanes and paths—the fully separated ones and the painted-on ones—make cycling through the city much safer. But even the streets you share with cars are better now than they used to be, because the number of cyclists has risen, and so bikes are a normal part of everyday traffic in the city. 

Knowing how to ride safely is important too. Using proper hand signals when turning, being visible, and being polite and clear when passing people makes a big difference. This is about co-existing with cars but also about co-existing with other cyclists, especially in the warmer months when bikes almost seem to outnumber cars at certain intersections. 

And if you don’t feel like biking back home because you’re leaving campus really late at night after working on Book Project 😉 the bus or skytrain will allow you to bring your bike on board!

Learning more about cycling in Vancouver

There are a number of advocacy groups in the city, such as Hub Cycling, who organize the twice-annual bike-to-work-week events. The City itself is relatively pro-active. And of course every bike shop in town also advocates for cycling more generally.

Here in Publishing@SFU, we have a strong cycling culture of our own, which we like to promote (which is why you’re reading this now). We love to share our ideas about bikes and gear and riding, and our love for People’s Poncho cycling capes, Vessi waterproof footwear, Sidesaddle, a women-focused bike shop, and more. We like to trade info about bike routes and the best ways to get around. And we like to egg each other on to ride in wetter, darker weather each winter 🙂 Get in touch! 

Thanks to Mauve Pagé, Avvai Ketheeswaran, Alice Fleerackers, Emma Walter. and Leanne Johnson for their input into this article!


  1. https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/biking.aspx↩︎
  2. See, for example, this 2016 review article https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01441647.2015.1057877↩︎
  3. https://www.pembina.org/reports/cycle-cities-full-report-rev.pdf↩︎

Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin Delivers Opening Keynote at the UN Library

Dr. Juan Pablo Alperin delivered an opening keynote at the United Nations Library Conference, “Towards Global Open Science: Core Enabler of the UN 2030 Agenda” on November 19, 2019.

Juan is an Assistant Professor in the Publishing Program and Associate Director of Research with the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University. In his work, he uses computational techniques, surveys, and interviews to investigate ways of raising the scientific quality, global impact, and public use of scholarly work. He’s been invited to present on the theme of global open science at the first United Nations Open Science Conference, which is organized by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library in collaboration with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). 

The conference “Towards Global Open Science” brings together representatives of open science initiatives (OpenAIREHindawiLA ReferenciaAfricanLII and others), early career researchers, library directors and policymakers. The intention is to elevate the discussion about open science and open research to the global level and to examine the role of open science in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,

Openness is an essential component of the scientific process. With the fundamental changes technology is bringing to scholarly communication, the principle of openness should be reinforced to become a core element of the research cycle.

From the Conference Concept Note

Watch the live webcast on UN Web TV
Link will be live 15 minutes before the conference starts. Works best in Internet Explorer.

Follow the discussion on Twitter @UNLibrary on Twitter #OpenScienceUN


Dr Teal Triggs on Katy Keene Fandom: Zines and the Politics of Participation – Nov 14th

4pm Thursday, November 14th, at Emily Carr University

Katy Keene Fandom: Zines and the Politics of Participation
Reliance Theatre at Emily Carr University
Thursday, November 14, 4 pm
Followed by a reception at READ Books

Please join us at Emily Carr University in the Reliance Theatre for a talk by Dr Teal Triggs.

This talk will present the comic book world of Katy Keene (1945-1961), a unique American character created by Bill Woggon.

Katy Keene made her debut in 1945, and today forms part of a history of comic strips written about independent career women. Although drawn to reflect the fashionable female image of America’s fifties post-war period – less exotic ‘pin-up’, rather ‘girl-next-door’ – this character exhibited the ambition and drive to make it as a successful career woman. As such, Katy Keene became the focus of a loyal fan club and pen pals, with merchandising to match, and whose clothes, houses, and cars were created by the fans themselves.

Triggs will explore the resurgence of interest in the character in the 1980’s fueled by the creation of the fanzine Katy Keene Fan Magazine by Craig Leavitt and discuss the way in which her creator and the fanzine editor, broke down the barriers between themselves and their fans; a number of whom who went on to become successful illustrators, designers, and writers in their own right.


Teal Triggs is Professor of Graphic Design in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art, London. As a graphic design historian, critic and educator her writings have appeared in numerous edited books and international design publications. Her research focuses primarily on design pedagogy, criticism, self-publishing. She is Associate Editor of Design Issues (MIT Press) and was founding Editor-in-Chief of Communication Design (Taylor & Francis/ico-D). Her recent books include: co-editor of The Graphic Design Reader (Bloomsbury), author of Fanzines (Thames & Hudson)and the children’s book The School of Art (Wide Eyed). She is a Fellow of the International Society of Typographic Designers, Royal College of Art and, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

This event is presented by Publishing @ SFU in partnership with the Vancouver Art Book Fair, Graphic Research Group, READ Books and Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Thanks too for the support of SFU’s Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology.



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