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Upskilling Tips: Publishing in Scotland

By Meghan Capper and Misha Manani

Scotland has a rich and diverse literary scene with an extensive global and international reach. It’s a country that celebrates arts and culture, something which is showcased through huge events such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We round up the best of Scottish publishing, including work experience at independent publishing houses, organisations and festivals to get involved with, and top tips to make your mark on Scotland’s publishing scene. Scotland is a powerhouse for publishing and a great place to inspire your career.

Work Experience and Internship Opportunities

  • Ringwood Publishing: Based in Glasgow, this virtual internship provides experience across different departments from editorial to marketing. It is unpaid but the working hours are flexible as you can dedicate a specific number of hours per week. This is great for people at university or those starting out.

  • Prepress Projects: Based in Perth, this small company supports publishers throughout Europe. This role involves editing, proofreading and project management. They are currently looking for one or two publishing interns for the summer.

  • Luath Press: This small independent publisher is based in Edinburgh. It offers candidates broad experience that covers all aspects of the publishing process, such as rights and sales. They take on home and international students from one week to six months. Enquire here.

  • Publishing Scotland Jobs: Advertised jobs with a location in Scotland are displayed here. These tend to be full-time permanent or temporary roles across trade and academic publishers with closing dates. Stay up to date on this webpage.

  • 404 Ink: This independent publisher is currently closed for internships this year, but they do usually hold competitive opportunities for those wishing to learn about the industry, develop key skills and gain experience. Keep an eye out for later this year or next year.

Companies and Organisations

  • Scottish Books International: This initiative works on behalf of the literature sector in Scotland to promote books, publishers, writers, festivals and organisations internationally. It was launched at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair with the aim of championing Scotland’s book talent overseas. It is a great learning resource to explore literature emerging from Scotland.

  • Edinburgh International Book Festival: This brings together emerging local and global literary talent to celebrate literature and ideas with a programme of public events. Held every August, the festival brings the “joy of books” to Edinburgh. They recruit temporary staff to help support the festival over the summer. In turn, volunteers get valuable experience and contacts.

  • Society of Young Publishers (SYP) Scotland: This regional branch of the SYP hosts monthly in-person and online events, book clubs and socials for local publishing newbies. In April, their upcoming hybrid conference SkillSeekers will feature workshops and talks from industry professionals and writers. Stay up to date on social media and subscribe to their newsletter.

  • Edinburgh Napier University: Offers a vocational and industry-specific postgraduate publishing degree that provides specialist training and experience. With a work placement module, the programme promises to open doors into the industry.

  • The Scottish Universities International Summer School (SUISS): This school offers three courses on literature, theatre performance and creative writing, bringing together both students and academics to share their love of the arts. It is the oldest and most prestigious summer school in Britain that is affiliated with seven Scottish universities. Applications are open until the end of April and scholarship applicants are welcome.

Top Tips

  • Volunteer at Scottish literary festivals: The Ullapool Book Festival, Wee Mac Arran Book Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Wigtown Book Festival and Borders Book Festival. A chance to develop your transferable skills and commercial awareness of the industry, and build connections. Find an extensive list for 2023 here.

  • Understand the publishing landscape in Scotland: Explore the webpages and social media accounts of various publishers in Scotland to understand how they function differently to other regions in the UK, and to consolidate your knowledge of the bookish scene. This is useful for applications and interviews!

  • Apply for the SYP Scotland Mentorship Scheme: This is not currently open, but it does open every year for mentor and mentee applications. It is six months of one-to-one mentoring, virtually or in person, with an individual who works in the publishing industry. This is useful for figuring out your career goals, acquiring application advice and demystifying the sector.

  • There are options for Master’s degrees in publishing: A degree publishing is by no means a requirement for publishing jobs, nor is an applicant favoured if they have one. But if you are interested in studying further, there is a Publishing Studies degree at the University of Stirling, a MSc in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University and a degree in Comics & Graphic Novels at the University of Dundee.

Thank you for reading issue sixty-seven! Join us again for issue sixty-eight, where we will cover Upskilling Tips: Publishing in Northern Ireland.



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