module specification

SJ7110 - Routes into Publishing (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Routes into Publishing
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
161 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 25%   10 minute oral presentation on a select aspect of the publishing industry
Coursework 75%   4000 word essay
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This is a semester-long module that will introduce students to the major forms, formats, platforms and processes of publishing and dissemination of writing in a range of genres and media. Students will learn about contemporary UK and international publishing markets, identify key factors guiding the industry and find ways to place their writing within it. 

Given London’s location as the hub of UK publishing as well as its location as a key node for the multi-directional, global flow of literature, students will investigate a range of challenges, opportunities and innovations in the sector. They will research the technical, legal, and cultural aspects of publishing a range of long and short form fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, digital texts and other materials.

Through a series of seminars and workshops students will be introduced to a range of contextual knowledge as well as practical aspects of publishing including submissions, queries, elevator pitches, and book proposals, providing students with an understanding of the wide spectrum of publishing activities and markets. They will research and discuss historical developments of publishing and dissemination processes, familiarise themselves with contemporary technical, cultural, and economic innovations in the field and learn to situate their own creative practice in context of contemporary globalised publishing industry. Students will also develop transferable professional skills emphasising research, editing and marketing in contemporary globalised publishing industry.  

The work done on the module will be presented orally in class and with a written report on an aspect of the industry.


The syllabus will typically include:

• a series of seminars and workshops that relate to the contemporary publishing industry and practices, students will understand conventional, digital and multi-media publishing processes, practices and industry structures, in the UK and abroad; LO1,LO3,LO5

• exploration of the challenges posed by a lack of diversity in UK publishing as well as the full range of industry-specific innovations intended to address this, including aspects of publishing including commissioning, editing and marketing,  reviewing, grants, prizes, as well as equality initiatives for employment in the sector; LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

• a series of workshops that investigate and develop a professional and international approach to publishing a range of genres with regard to potential audiences, commissioning editors, markets, publication, digital opportunities and how to access them. LO1,LO3,LO5

• a range of professional and specific writing skills required by the industry in the full range of activities including but not limited to query and submission letters, elevator pitches and book proposals; LO2,LO4,LO5

• research of the UK and global cultural, social, economic and creative contexts for disseminating and publishing writing in different genres and media, including poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and scripts. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
LO1: examine and appraise current and future trends impacting the publishing industry in order to engage constructively with the full range of professional activities;

LO2: develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the publishing industry in the UK, including the challenges posed by technology, economic shifts and transformations in demographics ;

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO3: research and analyse contemporary UK and global publishing, in terms of terms of historical trends, challenges, interests and participants;

Transferable skills
LO4:  incorporate research and knowledge of the industry in writing practices;

Subject specific skills
LO5: identify the range of publishing venues and outlets for writing in a range of genres, critically appraise their suitability, and acquire knowledge and skills for submission of creative writing to appropriate outlets.


Assessment strategy

Through a variety of assessment items, students will be assessed on their creative, critical, analytical and reflective learning processes. The writing portfolio will assess the student’s competency in creative and critical processes and commentary will assess their analytical and reflective learning.  
Formative assessment will be set weekly throughout the module through writing workshops and will be used to provide students with feedback on their performance and on how it can be improved and maintained. Workshops by their very nature will include tutor and peer feedback. This will address different aspects of the syllabus and enable students to prepare material for their final submission. 

Students are continuously assessed in this module, with their assessment referencing their continuous creative production and practice with writing workshops and seminars. Together with their creative and critical skills, process is also evaluated in terms of professionalism, engagement, progress, ability to integrate feedback, attendance and punctuality.

Formative assessment will comprise weekly oral and written exercises demonstrating research, contribution to seminars and discussions as well as one oral presentation.
Summative assessment will comprise of a final written presentation demonstrating   knowledge and understanding of contemporary publishing
Oral presentation: 25%
A 10-minute oral presentation on a selected aspect of the publishing industry which should demonstrate research, engagement with set tasks, seminar notes and formative feedback.

Creative Writing submission: 75%
A 4000-word essay on a selected aspect of the industry, or a book proposal, film pitch, print or digital magazine proposal or another professionally relevant document agreed upon with the tutor. This will be developed and refined with formative feedback in workshops and seminar.


Core texts
Clark, G. and Phillips, A. (2014) Inside Book Publishing, London: Routledge
Directory of Publishing: United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (2014), London: Continuum
Get Published: A First Time Writer’s Guide to Publishing (2011), Oxford: Infinite Ideas
Richardson, P. and Taylor, G. (2008) A Guide to the UK Publishing Industry, London: The Publishers' Association
Smith, K. (2012) The Publishing Business: From P-books to E-books, Lausanne: Ava Publishing
Thompson, J. B. (2013) Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge: Policy Press
Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2017, London: Yearbooks

Additional texts
Baverstock, A., Bowen, S. and Carey, S. ( 2008) How to Get a Job in Publishing: A Really Practical Guide to Careers in Books and Magazines, London: A&C Black
Epstein, J. ( 2002) Book Business Publishing: Past, Present and Future, New York: W.W. Norton
Galton, D. (2008) How to write and sell short stories. Abercynon: Accent
Germano, W. (2016) Getting it Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious About Serious Books, Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Goatly, A. and Hiradhar, P. (2016) Critical Reading and Writing in a Digital Age: An Introductory Coursebook. London: Routledge
Greco, A.N., Rodriguez, C.E. and Wharton, R.M. (2006) The Culture and Commerce of Publishing in the 21st Century, Stanford: Stanford University Press
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
King, C. (2015) Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors: How to Prepare, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Ebooks and Print Books, San Diego: CA: Misadventures Media
Morgan, N. (2011) Write to Be Published, London: Snowbooks
Stam, D. and Scott, A. (2014) Inside Magazine Publishing, London: Routledge

The Bookseller:

Byte the Book:
Book Brunch:
Penguin Random House Creative Responsibility Programme:
Royal Literary Fund:
Society of Authors:
Spread the word, Writing the Future: Black and Asian writers and Publishers in the UK Market place:
The Royal Society of Literature: