We were halfway through the intensive Emerging Leaders in Publishing Summit before we realized that we, the Master of Publishing cohort, were the Emerging Leaders.
It was also around this time that our conversations with industry leaders, which took the form of keynote lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and one-on-one mentorship sessions, began to change. At the beginning of the week we talked data, marketing, trends, and growth. But as we began to talk diversity, inclusion, and responsibility, we discussed not just the problems in publishing, but what we can do to make a positive difference.
Discussions centered around how to create space for marginalized groups, the importance of mentorship and support, and ways in which we can make our industry more representative and balanced—both in terms of who works in the industry and what is published. These things matter so much.
“It was intense…it was daunting and overwhelming at times,” said MPub student Jesse Savage. “It was great to have everyone come out and hear everyone’s stories, and gain some perspectives and start conversations. I think after hearing everyone talk, I’m really interested and excited to see how things are going to change…it’s pretty clear that things have to change.”
Industry leaders from a variety of publishing backgrounds (including Simon & Schuster Canada, Penguin Random House Canada, Indigo Books and Music, Rakuten Kobo, Theytus Books, Orca Book Publishers, and a variety of smaller publishing houses), along with academics and authors, also noted the impact the week of listening, discussing, and learning had on them. The deeper conversations have inspired MPub students, external participants, and professionals alike to get back to their important work with a renewed sense of fidelity and responsibility.
As Digital Broadcaster Ryan McMahon said, “We’ve made this connection, and now we’re all going to continue to work together on this conversation, and that’s a really amazing offer by everyone who participated.” McMahon also gave a special public talk on the Wednesday evening, where he problematized Canada’s recent race to Indigenize everything, and challenged people to really think about how thoughtless actions and platitudes will only further harm Indigenous Peoples. He also talked about how we need to be aware of who is in spaces—and who is missing; why the conversation about colonization needs to happen before we talk Indigenization; and why building relationships needs to be at the centre of all we do if change is going to happen.
Much of what he and other guest faculty shared led to the MPub cohort looking at publishing with fresh eyes. We leave with the language to have these hard conversations, a better understanding of what needs to change, and ideas on how we personally can affect change. I hope that moving forward from this week we will continue to not be afraid to ask hard questions, push for better representation in the industry no matter our positions, and break down barriers within the publishing industry.
As promised, the week was one of transformative change and learning.
Faculty guests included: Dave Anderson (Rakuten Kobo), Kristin Cochrane (Penguin Random House), Gregory Younging (Theytus Books), Hazel Millar (Book*hug), Will Ferguson (award-winning author), Noah Genner (BookNet Canada), Kevin Hanson (Simon & Schuster Canada), Robyn Harding(bestselling author), Rania Husseini (Indigo), Jónı́na Kirton (Indigenous author), Ruth Linka (Orca Book Publishers), Janice Lynn Mather (Bahamian author), Nita Pronovost (Simon & Schuster Canada), Felicia Quon (Simon & Schuster Canada).
Next year Emerging Leaders in Publishing will be held February 4-8, 2019 and is open to everyone interested in learning more about the publishing industry in Canada.
If you are considering applying to the Master of Publishing (MPub) program at SFU (and you should), then you have probably come across the Admissions to the MPub Program webpage which details everything you need to include in your application. Admission to the MPub program is highly competitive, and so in this post we’ll share some tips on how you can take your application from good to great.
Statement of Aims and Objectives.
This is perhaps the most intimidating step of the application process, especially if you are uncertain about what you want to do with your degree when you are finished. No matter where you are in your career, you should highlight why you want to apply to the program and what you will bring to it. Also, what brought you here? How does the MPub program fit into your career path? What have you already done, both professionally and academically? What areas of publishing are you interested in? This is the area where you can showcase your passions and personality.
What courses did you take in your undergraduate degree? Get syllabuses from past marketing, accounting, publishing, and Adobe CS courses and to highlight what you have previously learned. Note that the while you should have a basic background in these areas, if you don’t have the exact courses or their equivalents there are other ways to meet the prerequisites before the course begins. You can describe your professional experience in these areas, and just like in a job interview you should expand on your answers with examples of different times you have used different skills and what the result was.
Contact people well in advance of the application deadline, and make sure you provide them with background information on the program as well as your future goals so they are able to tailor their answers accordingly. While three references are required, contact a few extra people in case the first people you approach are unavailable. You can also include reference letters in your portfolio.
The portfolio should be a clear demonstration of the skills and abilities you will bring to the Master of Publishing program. Many applicants submit a cover sheet listing the contents of the portfolio and noting how they created or contributed to the creation of the contents. Portfolios can include, but are certainly not limited to: examples of design work, desktop publishing samples, newsletter and/or brochure samples, articles or books (for those who have experience in editing), samples of photography and examples of academic writing. Go for breadth, and show the range of things you’re capable of. If you don’t have many portfolio pieces, you could complete mock projects to submit. Portfolios are to be uploaded to the graduate online application unless previous arrangements have been made with the Program Advisor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Make your application really stand out by branding yourself and using the same design treatment throughout each section. Of course, your application should also be well written and free of errors.
Best of luck, and if you have any further questions that aren’t answered in our FAQs, please contact:
Jo-Anne Ray, Program Advisor
Phone: (778) 782-5242
Fax: (778) 782-5239
Address: Program Advisor
Master of Publishing Program
Simon Fraser University Vancouver
515 West Hastings Street, Room 3576
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6B 3K3
WEDNESDAY, February 8, 2017
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Room 1800 (SFU Harbour Centre)
Fee: Free (to reserve a seat, please email email@example.com)
“Generative art” is a blanket term for any creative work produced in part through programmatic or algorithmic means. “Playful generative art” makes use of highly technical disciplines—computer programming, statistics, graphic design, and artificial intelligence—to produce chat bots, digital poetry, visual art, and even computer-generated “novels.” These pieces may be motivated by serious social or political issues, but the expressions are decidedly unserious, often short-lived or quickly composed. Creators working in this medium are rarely artists first—as programmers, designers, game developers, and linguists, they use the tools of their trade in unexpected and delightful ways. Generative art also has much to teach us about issues at the intersection of ethics and technology: what is the role of the artist in a human/machine collaboration; what is our responsibility when we design programs that talk with real people; how do we curate and study ephemeral digital works? Digital artists, writers, technologists, and anyone interested in media studies are invited to attend.
Liza Daly is a software engineer and occasional corporate executive who lives in Boston. She is currently focusing on providing technical assistance to non-profits that work to uphold civil rights and protect vulnerable populations. Her personal projects revolve around digital art, interactive narrative, and digital publishing. Formerly she was CTO at Safari and prior to that, founded a digital publishing company called Threepress, which Safari acquired. Her new company is World Writable. She has been quoted about “Digital Detox” and the effects of the iPad on reading (NYT, 2010), ebooks in the cloud (Wired, 2011), and on strategies to help introverts network (FastCompany, 2015). Liza has presented about great engineering teams and digital publishing. She wrote a short book on Next-Generation Web Frameworks in Python (O’Reilly, 2007), which, she says, is “out of date so please don’t read it”.