SYP conference at Oxford Brookes
Sophie Hall, studying for the MA Publishing at Oxford Brookes, writes about the conference of the Society of Young Publishers held on Saturday 19 November 2011. The conference title was Press Forward: Updating an Outdated Industry – the programme was put together by Aaron O’Dowling Keane, who graduated from the master’s at Brookes in 2010.
‘The 2011 SYP event, hosted by Oxford Brookes, brought together graduates, professionals and all manner of publishing enthusiasts to debate and discuss some of the latest issues facing publishers today. For me, the opening debate made the day. Three expert publishers looked into their crystal balls to predict the state of publishing in the future. Challenged by the self-confessed futurist publishers on the panel, our very own Oxford Brookes alumna, Kay Peddle, shared her confidence in the longevity of the publisher’s role as a curator of content, adding value with editorial quality. Interestingly for young publishers, it was agreed that the debate over the future of the book wasn’t as important as the demand for publishers to defend great story-writing and creative literature, which will mark the publisher’s survival into an ever-changing, digital world.
The seminars themselves, which touched on rights, publicity, design and social media, provided the opportunity to gain insight from some of the top names in publishing. Notably, the digital devices seminar showed some of the latest digital innovations from children’s nursery rhymes to the periodic table. Overall, the day provided a valuable opportunity to meet individuals who are pushing the boundaries of the book and the traditional role of publishers. The conference closed with a feeling of optimism for the future of young publishers, whose role as deliverers of creativity, innovation and cultural value is perhaps even more important in a world of tightened budgets and unfamiliar platforms.’