Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Sophie Rowson on her work experience with the Emma Press

After recently completing my MA in Professional Creative Writing at Coventry University, The Emma Press gave me an insight into the publishing industry from a new perspective.

The work experience started off by getting a feel for day-to-day processes. I used my thoughts as a reader coupled with my experience as an editor to write a report on a short-listed pamphlet. The collection of prose used emotive ups and downs in a rollercoaster fashion. In order to maintain the flow, I suggested a tweak in its arrangement. This task got me thinking about what makes a piece the best it can be before it is published.

Publishing relies on publicity, the marketing of upcoming projects. I began considering appropriate places to gain supporters for the anthology of poems about Britain. During my research, the database became populated with names and contact details of possible buyers. A similar requirement meant considering the call for gothic poetry and places where it would be of interest.

Blog posts help gain followers and inspire writers. I considered what people would want to know about the call for gothic poetry submissions and interviewed the editors of the anthology. Thoughts on genre, writing tips and imagination fuelled my interview questions sent to them by email.

Everyone’s the Smartest, a new fantastical collection of poems for children, was to be published. This meant contacting a long list of bookshops with the AI (Advance Information, not Artificial Intelligence!). This is another form of marketing, and it meant ensuring that the bookshops have as many details about the book as possible in the hope that they will be willing to stock it on their shelves. Once we had received answers, I replied back with thanks, offering them the opportunity to ask any questions if required.
With an AI sheet about The Dog Who Found Sorrow and the book itself, I wrote my first press release. This gives a sense of the book in a creative and promotional way. This type of writing requires research skills and an understanding of structure; I enjoyed familiarising myself with it. I continued in this area, gaining more experience and feedback.

I then began my own blog post on the Gothic in order to let writers know what it means to me and why I love it. This will hopefully inspire them to write their own take on the genre and express their ideas through submitted poetry. Blogging in this way is something I definitely want to continue.

My time at The Emma Press has provided me with a strong starting point in my career after university. I’m extremely grateful for the support and the experience, it will be invaluable for my future in this field.

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