• The Publishing Post

Locked Down, Logged On: Publishing Events Take a Virtual Turn

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced the publishing industry to become more creative with the way that events are hosted, with many of these now taking place virtually. Bringing these events online has had crucial benefits in terms of accessibility. It has meant that publishing events are becoming increasingly accessible to new audiences who may not have previously been able to attend them in person. In this issue’s events round-up, we have compiled some of our top picks of the virtual events taking place in the coming week.


Newark Book Festival


This year, the Newark Book Festival goes virtual! Chapter One of the programme comes to our screens on the 10th – 12th July, featuring a wide range of different talents, including Kate Mosse, Jess Kidd and Frances Brody. Below is a selection of what is on offer. The full programme and where to buy tickets can be found here.


Saturday 11th July


Crime Through the Ages: 10am – 11am: Nick Quantrill, Mick Finlay, Frances Brody and Rod Reynolds will be discussing how crime fiction has evolved over time.

The Burning Chambers – Kate Mosse: 1:30pm – 2:30pm: Kate Mosse, author of the Languedoc Trilogy, will be interviewed by Tim Rideout on her second novel in the The City of Tears series, which will be published in 2021.


Sunday 12th July


Memory Making Writing Workshop: 10:15am – 12:15pm: Ideal for anyone wanting to tell their life story through the power of words. This creative workshop aims to turn memories into compelling pieces of writing through imaginative thought-provoking activities, hosted by poet Leanne Moden.


Gothic Fiction with Jess Kidd, Francine Toon and Rhiannon Ward: 11:30am – 12:30pm: Jess, Francine, and Rhiannon will be divulging their love of all things gothic and what they believe is the perfect recipe for a gripping gothic novel.






An Introduction to Editorial for Publishing (18 July 2020) and Book Production Masterclass (8 August 2020)


Lizzie Dawson interviews Heather O’Connell who has launched ‘An Introduction to Editorial for Publishing’ and ‘Book Production Masterclass’ aimed at those new to publishing.

What is your background in publishing?

My first job was at Marvel Comics, as an office junior, when I was eighteen. After a year, I went to college to study print and publishing. Since then, I have worked in magazines, adult trade and children’s books. I ran teams at both large and small publishers, including PRH and Harper Collins. I work freelance now and provide production services, consultancy and training to publishers and authors.


What made you start ‘Get into Book Publishing’ and other courses?

I am from a working-class background and I don’t have a degree. I felt that the opportunities I had had were no longer available to people like me. That felt wrong and so I decided to do something about it. Since ‘Get into Book Publishing’ started in 2017, I have run the introductory course and added more specialist courses each year.


What will your upcoming courses offer?

Both courses discuss what the roles in production and editorial actually involve, look at the skills required and give the candidates some knowledge to help them get that first job or internship. The other speaker and I still work within the industry and can provide real-world advice, training and the benefit of our experience.


What is your advice for publishing hopefuls?

Immerse yourself in the industry: subscribe to the industry presses and follow publishing folk online. Join organisations like SYP. Read widely. Learn useful admin skills, such as Excel. Get some work experience in an office environment or as a bookseller. And, most importantly, don’t give up!


Find the courses at http://getintobookpublishing.co.uk/




Events Round-up


6th- 9th July - Marketing and Publicity Conference 2020 - The Bookseller’s Marketing and Publicity Conference will run from the 6th- 9th of July. The experienced panel will discuss a huge range of topics, including media consumption and copywriting. The talks will be available online to watch as your schedule allows.


Tuesday 7th July- Virtual Event with Marian Keyes - On Tuesday 7th July tune in to a virtual talk with award-winning Irish novelist and author of Grown Ups, Marian Keyes, organised by Copperfish Books. The talk will be hosted over Zoom, with registration required via Eventbrite.


HarperFiction Presents, Launching End of June - HarperFiction Presents, a new YouTube channel by HarperCollins, will showcase online and physical events, both live and pre-recorded. The channel will feature author interviews and behind-the-scenes work of its publishing teams, as well as insights from industry experts.


Thursday 9th July, 2pm- Penguin Virtual Talks: How To Get Into Publishing - Penguin Talks is a programme designed to target young people to discuss the issues that matter most to them. On 9th July they will be hosting a ‘How to get into publishing, with Penguin colleagues’ talk. The virtual talk will be streamed live to Penguin Platform’s Youtube channel.