Where are they now? YSJ alumni Philip Price on Literature at Work: Publishing

In order to begin explaining my life after the three years studying at York St. John University (2015-18), I first need to highlight some events which occurred over my three years as a YSJ undergraduate.

I chose English Literature as my BA subject at YSJ for only one reason: my passion for books. I knew from a young age a University degree was going to be almost mandatory for future success. I chose to study at YSJ for one simple reason: it felt like home. I travelled from my hometown a few miles outside of Norwich up to York and instantly fell in love with the campus. Besides the stunning architecture, I instantly believed that the tutors at YSJ cared for me as an individual rather than merely a student on the course.

In the second semester of my final year, the University offered a module, ‘Literature at Work,’ which allowed students to explore the many avenues of employment after taking an English Literature degree. Within this module, most weeks consisted of a lecture and Q&A from people working in employment from journalism to publishing. Prior to my final year at YSJ, I had very little idea as to where my academic career was leading me. Again, I knew I wanted to work with books; however, my in-depth knowledge of specific book-related sectors was almost non-existent.

David Barker, who worked with Continuum publishing, later to be purchased by publishing behemoth Bloomsbury, offered an extremely insightful lecture on life in the publishing world. I instantly fell in love with every element of the industry and truly believed I had finally worked out the next step of my academic career.

I spoke to David after the lecture and discovered he was a lecturer at the University of Derby, offering a Publishing MA. After visiting an open day at Derby, I was offered an unconditional offer on the course.  All of the events, from my initial conversation with David to the offer on the Publishing MA happened within a few months over early to late Spring 2018.

September 2018 saw the beginning of my MA at Derby. Throughout the first semester, I came to understand that without choosing YSJ, this opportunity may have never been offered to me. I have fallen in love with academia once again and now wish to pursue a career in Publishing after this semester. The MA offers students to create and engage with a ‘Major Project’ of their choice, where you must find and publish work of your choice (specifically written for the project). I decided to work with YSJ and their alumni in order to create a short anthology of work which can then be distributed to current and future YSJ students.

This piece has touched mostly on my academic life during and after my time at YSJ, but it would be unfair to leave without acknowledging the friendship and community which I have become a part of.  I have made friends with students who I now see as friends for life, alongside creating bonds with tutors who I know are always willing to help with anything I need, even after my transition from student to alumni.

LGBT History Month Event: Trans and Non-Binary History and Acceptance, 13 February, York St John University

It’s LGBT History Month in February and we have some great events. How about coming along to this:

Trans and Non-Binary History and Acceptance, 13 February, York St John University

A talk with Kit Heyam. Former co-ordinator of the York LGBT History Month, and experienced trans-awareness trainer, Kit will return to York St John to share stories of trans and non-binary history and acceptance. Kit identifies as a non-binary transgender man and co-ordinates the Rainbow Plaques project.

This event is free and is open to all. The talk will be 45 minutes, followed by a 15 minute Q+A.

Book via Eventbrite here.

‘Et in Arcadia ego’ – Reflections on Visiting Castle Howard

By Charlotte Stevenson

Each year, to accompany reading Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, third year students studying our Twentieth-Century Writing module visit the Brideshead of the screen, Castle Howard. Here Charlotte Stevenson reflects on her thoughts of the 2018 trip and her experience of reading Waugh’s novel.

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YSJU Graduate and Work Placement Fair, 17 October 2018

The Graduate and Work Placement Fair is on Wednesday 17 October – 11.00am – 3.00pm at York St John University in Temple Hall. We have a range of employer attending offering Graduate and Year in Industry opportunities and Summer Internships/Placements, a list of the organisations attending can be found here [https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/careers-placements–opportunities/careers-events/employers-and-organisations-on-campus/#d.en.44720] and below. The Fair is an opportunity for students to not only find out about a range of careers but to gain confidence in speaking to employers and start to build networks.

Graduate and Work Placement Fair, 17 October 2018

11.00am – 3.00pm in Temple Hall

Don’t miss this great opportunity to talk to employers, discover what career prospects are out there and where you fit in!

Employers Attending:

The Distance

Postgraduate Study at York St John

Yorkshire Education

Wolsely UK

Clinical Selection Ltd

TransPerfect

HMRC

Anaplan

Technology in Play

Placer

NFU Mutual

ExP

The Grand Hotel and Spa

Civil Service Fast Stream

Royal Air Force

Step

Magical Maths

GradIntelligence

Stroud Resourcing

Mandarin Consulting

XCM

IDEXX Ltd

SimplyBiz

PureNet

Teach First

Yorkshire Graduates

Mitrefinch

Enterprise Rent a Car

a showcase of talent

By Tia Byer

On Wednesday 7th February 2018, English Literature students at York St John University were treated to a Literature Research Showcase. English Literature Faculty members presented their research and gave the low-down on what they are working on. Third-year student and Sub-Editor Tia Byer reports.

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‘beyond all imagination’. holocaust memorial day and writing the incomprehensible

By Charlotte Stevenson

Current student Charlotte Stevenson reflects on the recent screening of Night and Fog for Holocaust Memorial Day and on her reading of Rena’s Promise for the module Conflicting Words, commenting on the tension between the necessity of commemoration and impossibility of writing about the unimaginable.  Continue reading “‘beyond all imagination’. holocaust memorial day and writing the incomprehensible”

time to leave earth? reflections on the launch of ‘terra 2’

By Zoe Buckton

If you’ve met Liesl King you’ll know she has a very soothing voice, so when she tells a room full of people that we need to evacuate the earth, the result is surprisingly calm acceptance. Terra 2 aims to conserve earth’s culture, curating science fiction inspired works of writing, artwork, music and film to create something akin to the Voyager Golden Record we sent into space back in 1977, but with a little more artistic flare and a little less Chuck Berry.

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leave earth behind at the official launch of terra two

It is a great time to be a fan of Science Fiction. We’re weeks away from the release of a new Blade Runner movie, Channel 4 are about to debut ‘Electric Dreams’ (a new anthology show adapting the short stories of Philip K. Dick), a brand new iteration of Star Trek is about to drop on Netflix and, of course, next week will see the official launch of York St John University’s very own SF project: ‘Terra Two: An Arc(hive) for Off-World Survival.’ 

The project officially launches on Friday 29 September in Quad South Hall from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

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Beyond the Walls: Producing Literature and Creative Writing

By Tom Young

 

I started applying to universities several years after finishing my A Levels, and one of the biggest concerns for my friends and family was that I’d be forking out nine grand a year to be here. If I’d gone straight after college, I’d have paid nine grand for the full three years. For many, the stark contrast in what students pay for their tuition has brought into question what exactly it is we’re paying for. Well, I’ll tell you.

I’m currently wrapping up the second year of my English Literature and Creative Writing course, and one of the modules I’m finishing this semester, Publishing, Production and Performance, is exemplary of the practical skills you can gain from a literature degree. As part of one of the module projects, I’ve spent the last couple of months organising the launch of Beyond the Walls, an anthology of York St John University student writing. The event was a success and completely sold out. Everyone on that module now has a book they can slap on the desk of potential employers, while they proudly say “I helped craft and create that product, and I have the skills to do it again”.

It seems to me that the anxieties surrounding arts degrees are the result of a widespread lack of awareness for the diversity of the creative industries. Using Beyond the Walls as an example, the text would not exist if its production relied solely on the efforts of writers. It needed to be curated, edited and designed, and it needed a showcase event to launch it to the public. The event needed planning; it needed live music, food, booze, projections and lighting. All this was done by creative writing students, and none of it had anything to do with writing; it was done for the sake of the writing.

The English Literature and Creative Writing course, shockingly, is not always about writing, and its student body is not made up of dreamers, hoping to become the next J.K. Rowling. We are members of the literary community, we are merchants of culture, and we understand that the best way to learn how to do something is to do it. My colleagues and I now know how to publish a book because we’ve done it, and we look forward to doing it again. I can tell my family and friends to put their anxieties at ease; creative writing is a commodity, and the industry has never been more exciting than it is in this bewildering modern age.