The poet Wilfred Owen was killed on 4 November 1918 at Ors in the north of France, seven days before the Armistice was announced. His parents received the news on Armistice Day itself.
His house has now been turned into an ‘imaginary building’ – a work of art by Simon Pattinson – leaving untouched the cellar in which Owen wrote his last letter home to his mother. ‘There is no danger down here - or if any, it will be well over before you read these lines.’ In a recent R4 programme, Bleached Bone and Living Wood, Jane Potter, Senior Lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, was interviewed about the conversion of the house. She was also interviewed in the Oxford Times.
On 3rd and 4th November a conference was held in Bucharest, Romania, with the title ‘Ebook revolution – challenges and perspectives’. Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University, gave two presentations, ‘The Digital Tide in the UK’ and ‘Digital Currents: Issues and opportunities’.
He talked about the pace of change in the UK, with growing sales of ebooks, and the corresponding changes around workflow and the skills required of publishing professionals. Other speakers included Miha KovaÄ, publisher at the Mladinska knjiga Group in charge of the company’s digital strategy and Professor at the Department of Information Science at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; and Rüdiger Wischenbart of Wischenbart Consulting and lecturer at the University of Vienna.
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The British Book Design and Production Awards 2011 were celebrated at a glittering gala evening, held at the Lancaster London Hotel on Tuesday 8 November, with the great and the good of the publishing industry in attendance. The awards took the theme of Once Upon a Time whilst the celebrity host for the event was Tony Hawks, TV and radio comedian and bestselling author. He is the author of Round Ireland with a Fridge - the story of his quest to hitch round the circumference of Ireland within a month ... with a fridge.
The awards are designed to represent everything that is best in British book design and are seen as the flagship event in the industry’s year. A Book of Britain was selected to win the Book of the Year prize out of the winners of 16 other categories at the awards, supported by the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), Oxford Brookes University, and the Publishers Association. Published by HarperCollins, the book is written by countryside campaigner Sir Johnny Scott. The judging panel, made up of industry experts, said it won for its ‘glorious feel-good factor’ and ‘great choice of materials and images’.
The MA Publishing programme has high rates of employability on completion, and many publishers actively look out for our graduates. There are some companies which take a large number of our students each year, and a good example is Taylor & Francis, a leading academic publisher. From the class of 2010 they took 13 students, who all met up recently for lunch.
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On 26 September, Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University, gave the invited Whitcombe Lecture at the annual conference of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). The conference was held at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. The lecture, entitled ‘Sitting by Nellie: The rise of publishing education’, covered the growth of publishing education, its industry links, and how publishing studies is developing as an academic discipline. The topic of the lecture fitted in with the overall conference theme of Skills, Freelancing, Education, Practice – a range of workshops took place over the two days of the conference.
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Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes, spoke last weekend at the London Design Festival. He was on a panel which examined the question, ‘What is to become of books?’ He argued that we have now gone past the discussion about the death of the book – readers are actively reading books on screen. We should now be looking at the possibilities for innovation, either in digital form or in print. He talked of the new terminology in publishing, from pbooks to ebooks, from vanilla ebooks to born digital projects.
In partnership with Peking University, the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) recently held a forum on the copyright trade between the UK and China. Held on the 29 August at Peking University in Beijing, the forum brought together a range of speakers and participants from both industry and academia.
From OICPS Angus Phillips and Adrian Bullock both gave presentations. Adrian Bullock presented the results of his recent research into the copyright trade, and showed that the trade gap is narrowing with more Chinese titles being sold into the UK. In 2003-04 the ratio of Chinese imports of copyrights to exports was 15:1; In 2010 it was nearer to 5:1. Overall UK publishers are still disappointed by the size of the Chinese market, in terms of the often modest print runs and low local prices. Although STM, ELT, and children’s publishing are all doing well, China is still outside the top twenty markets for British publishers, and accounts for less than 2 per cent of export revenues.
Amongst the speakers at the forum were Professor Xiao Dongfa from Peking University, Nie Zhen Ning, President of China Publishing Group, and Jackie Huang, a Brookes alumna now working for the Andrew Nurnberg agency in Beijing. The next forum will be held in Oxford in April 2012
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Each year the publishing programme at Oxford Brookes holds a summer school in Florence, a co-operative event with our European partners in France, Germany and Slovenia. MA student Teresa Ballesteros writes about this year’s Finaly seminar on digital publishing.
Logos, one of the premier publishing journals and now 21 years old, is a forum for opinion and the latest research from the international world of publishing. Published by the Dutch publisher Brill, it provides a platform for communication between publishing professionals, librarians, authors, scholars, and those in allied professions. From this Spring the new editor is Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University. The journal has also been relaunched with a new design using the Brill typeface.
Kay Peddle wins 2011 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize
Kay Peddle, the woman behind Bodley Head’s innovative Brain Shots audiobooks, was last week named the winner of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2011. The accolade, which recognises the professional achievements of women in publishing, was announced by Prize Committee member Kate Jury at a ceremony at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon. Helen Fraser, former Managing Director of Penguin UK, delivered the keynote speech on women and success.
Born and raised in South Africa, Kay Peddle came to Britain in 2006 and studied for an MA in International Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. She graduated with Distinction and started her publishing career as a Marketing Assistant at Random House. In 2008, she moved into editorial and, as Assistant Editor at Vintage, conceived and produced the Bodley Head Brain Shots, which launched to great acclaim in 2009. The success of this industry-first series shows her ability to explore new formats and to respond to the fast-changing market with great agility and flair.
Kay Peddle said, on winning:
'Kim Scott Walwyn's life and memory is such an inspiration and it is a true honour to receive this prize. Meeting Kim's family, friends and colleagues, as well as the award winners from previous years, was so special and moving. In keeping with the spirit of the award, I would like this prize money and the training course to go to a young woman looking to get into publishing but who would not otherwise be able to undertake a work experience placement in London. I hope Kim would approve.'
Kate Jury, Chair of the prize-awarding committee, commented:
'The committee's warmest congratulations go to Kay Peddle on winning the first of the new Kim Scott Walwyn prizes, sponsored by the Society of Young Publishers and the Publishing Training Centre. The judging committee were very impressed by both Kay's achievements, and by her clear-sighted analysis of how she could use her skills and experience to reach out to new and different audiences. We hope her achievements will inspire women from all areas of publishing to apply for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize next year.'
Viv Bird, CEO of Booktrust, added:
'Booktrust is proud to manage a Prize that celebrates exceptional women publishers and helps them to continue developing their careers. We are delighted that Kay Peddle has won this year’s Prize, and applaud her dedication to books, authors and readers alike.
Kay’s past achievements are impressive, particularly the innovative Bodley Head Brain Shots, as is her awareness of the role publishers play in bringing books and people together; we hope winning this Prize will spur her on to further success.'
Kay Peddle receives a cheque for £1000 sponsored by the SYP, as well as a one-day course of her choice, courtesy of the Publishing Training Centre (PTC) in Wandsworth.
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