1st October 2015
Sarah Webster reports on the creation of her Publishing Project:
For the Publishing Project module I produced a complete and finished Children’s Fiction title, aimed at 7-9 year olds, called Samson The Super Dog. To give a brief synopsis of my book, it is about an Italian Newfoundland lifeguard dog called Samson who works on the Cornish beaches, rescues a casualty and is awarded a medal for bravery by the Queen. It’s designed to educate children about open water safety, especially about the different beach flags and the risks of currents and tides all of which is something really close to my heart as an ex pool-lifeguard and TA in lifesaving. It is also a tribute to the real dogs who do this job year in year out in Italy and Spain, and is a particular tribute to Bilbo, the Cornish lifeguard dog, who is my personal hero and pin-up Newfie. In fact, Bilbo is so famous with his own website, social media, news and press coverage, and BBC footage, he even has his own published biography, and I was therefore obliged to seek copyright permissions from the author and his wonderful owner, Mr Jamieson. My dialogue with him not only fuelled my enthusiasm for this project but was also another invaluable opportunity of understanding and practically going about seeking rights and permissions, one of many real-world tasks involved in producing a new title for publication, and one of many new things I can now say I have accomplished because of the publishing project.
Indeed, prior to this course I had never used InDesign or Photoshop or had to engage with professional printers or devise a marketing plan. And although I have illustrated my project from cover to cover, I have no official art qualifications. But this short book in my hand has involved all of these different skills and tasks, of which I felt previously deficient, but now feel I’m equipped with to pursue my career in the industry.
One of the things that most attracted me to this particular University programme was the combination of practical and academic application, teaching and assessment that was on offer. The idea of producing a physical publishing product that I could literally hold in my hands and show to future employers as a demonstration of my practical skill set across a wide range of areas really appealed to me. I think it’s fair to say that the publishing project process has satisfied the desires and expectations I had and has been hugely rewarding.
I feel really satisfied that I’ve been able to carry out every stage of the process myself from concept to creation. It is something that prior to this course I couldn’t have done on my own, but thanks to the teaching and support provided here at Stirling, I have accomplished.
I think each and everyone of us on the course at Stirling are proud of our projects and what we have achieved. Thus, it leaves me to simply reiterate how much I, personally, have enjoyed creating this little book.
Sarah's post was originally featured on the University of Stirling blog.