module specification

SJ6054 - Publishing and the Industry (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Publishing and the Industry
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 30%   Presentation on portfolio or project work.
Seminar 20%   Seminar report & performance-attendance,prep,presentation of ideas,reports on roles & progress of individual & grp tasks
Coursework 50%   Publishing portfolio OR collaborative book publishing project.
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module explores the processes of publishing and dissemination of creative writing in a range of genres and media. The students will learn about contemporary UK and international publishing markets, research the same to identify key factors guiding the industry and find ways to place their writing as well as writing related skills within the same.  The module will focus on practical issues of publishing including submissions, queries and book proposals, providing students with an understanding of the wide spectrum of publishing activities and markets. With a clear employability focus, the module will provide students with transferable skills emphasising research, editing and marketing in contemporary globalised publishing industry.

Module aims

  • To identify and understand publishing processes, practices and industry structures.
  • To develop a range of professional practical skills required by the industry in the full range of activities.
  • To develop an understanding of the range of global publishing including digital publishing and translations.
  • To develop an informed sense of writer’s own opportunities for disseminating and publishing creative writing in different genres, including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and scripts.


Through lectures, discussions, guided reading, external visits and guest lecturers, students will be introduced to the contemporary publishing sector to understand how the processes and industry are evolving.  Students will learn about and research markets, commissioning, editorial, agencies, marketing and publicity, prize and festival calendars, trade fairs and material and digital publishing and distribution forms. Students will also produce portfolio and project work that engages with these aspects of the sector in a range of ways. Attention will be paid to different markets and outlets for a range of creative writing including poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction. In addition, students will be expected to research, discuss and present their own plans for publication, future professional engagement with the industry and collaborate on a publishing project that reproduces the equivalents of various professional sector roles.  Specific practical guidance will also be provided including researching and identifying markets and market trends, writing submission and query letters, developing book proposals and C.V.s.


Learning and teaching

This module will be taught by a programme of weekly sessions over the course of 15 weeks. The sessions will combine lectures, seminar discussion, blended learning, research tasks, and small group activities. The module will incorporate guest speakers when appropriate and may include guided visits to publishing houses, the Free the Word PEN centre, specific libraries and/or publishing related events. Independent learning will include guided reading, weekly research and writing tasks, set texts and preparation for seminars. The module will be supported by a web-learn site containing lecture notes, bibliographies, web links and set texts.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify the range of publishing venues and outlets for creative writing in a range of genres.
  • Develop the professional skills for submission of creative writing to appropriate outlets as well as an understanding of the range and criteria of the same. 
  • Appraise current and future trends impacting the publishing industry in order to engage constructively with the full range of professional activities. 
  • Demonstrate transferable skills required to pursue a professional engagement with the publishing industry at UK and international levels. 
  • Incorporate research and knowledge of the industry in writing practices.

Assessment strategy

  • Formative assessment will comprise scheduled oral and written exercises, including research reports, creative and critical tasks, and contribution to seminars and discussions.
  • Contributory, formative and summative assessment will comprise of written and oral presentation: an oral presentation on research findings on set questions about the publishing industry; and written presentation of a portfolio demonstrating knowledge of research tools and methods, query and submission letters, industry focussed C.V., and a book proposal and/or a proposed plan of action for publishing or applications employment in the industry.


Indicative Bibliography:

Creative Writing
Bingham, H. (2010) The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook Guide to Getting Published,  London: A&C Black
Evans, H. (2000) Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers, London: Pimlico
Herman, J. and Herman, D. (2001) Write the Perfect Book Proposal, New York: John Whiley
Lyon, E. (2003) Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write, New York: G.P Putnam's Sons
Morgan, N. (2011) Write to Be Published, Snowbooks
Strunk, W. (2000) The Elements of Style, London: Longman

English Literature
Bhaskar, Michael (2016) Curation: the power of selection in a world of excess, Piatkus
Bhaskar, Michael (2013) The Content Machine: Towards a Theory of Publishing from the Printing Press to the Digital Network, Anthem
Baverstock, Alison (2015) How to Market Books, Routledge, 2015
Bullock, Adrian (2012) Book Production, Routledge
Clark, G. and Phillips, A. (2008) Inside Book Publishing, London: Routledge
Davies, Gill (2004) Book Commissioning and Acquisition, Routledge
Hall, Frania (2013) The Business of Digital Publishing, Routledge
Smith, Kelvin (2012) The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books, AVA Publishing
Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2017 (2016) Bloomsbury