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Second year for Publishing MA by Hachette UK, New Writing North and Northumbria University

23 November – Following the first-year success of Hachette UK and New Writing North’s partnership with Northumbria University to deliver an innovative new publishing degree, teaching has commenced with the second year of students, who will all receive a guaranteed work placement with Hachette UK. Once again there is a £2,000 scholarship for one highly gifted student from an underrepresented background.

Northumbria University’s one-year MA Publishing programme has been designed to respond to recognised skills gaps within the contemporary publishing industry, preparing students to enter the trade by covering all stages of the publishing process, from commissioning and editing through to marketing, sales, data and production. It aims to make a change within the industry with a particular focus on talent from the North of England.

Students on the MA will benefit from industry insight, including talks by Lennie Goodings, Virago; Anna Bond, Octopus and Richard Kitson, deputy CEO of Hachette UK, as well as visiting London Book Fair.

Hachette UK has recently recruited a student from the 2022/2023 class into their audio department and has offered recruitment support to the remaining alumni. The first-year student’s final projects included topics such as BookTok, Manga, Self-Help publishing, launching a YA imprint, and the relationship between publishing and celebrity influencers.

Every MA student takes part in a work placement to apply their learning in a real-life context, gain work experience and enhance their knowledge of publishing and wider writing industries. Hachette UK’s All Together staff network, which promotes the recruitment, retention and development of people from low socio-economic and regional backgrounds, leads on creating and delivering Hachette UK’s contribution to the placement module with their network members providing guidance and mentoring as key contacts.

Students are taught by expert academics along with specialists and staff from both Hachette UK and New Writing North. Author, Faber Academy lecturer and former Faber editor Richard T. Kelly joined the teaching staff in September 2023 and will be the academic lead of the MA from January 2024. Originally from the North-East, Kelly brings his wealth of experience as a published writer to his teaching.

Richard T. Kelly, programme leader, MA Publishing at Northumbria University, said: “This MA is a bold, unique innovation, and a truly outstanding opportunity for students to benefit from the professional acumen and experiential learning offered by one of the world’s great publishers in Hachette, coupled with the terrific expertise of New Writing North. I am totally thrilled to be part of this great initiative in my hometown, and by the success the programme has already enjoyed. I look forward to welcoming future students to Northumbria and helping them to realise their creative ambitions.”

Will Mackie, programme leader, MA Publishing at New Writing North, said: “We are delighted be partnering with Hachette UK and Northumbria University on this exciting and creatively inventive MA. This course seeks to both prepare students for careers in contemporary publishing and empower them to enter the trade with the tools to be change-makers and innovators in the years to come. The presence of Hachette’s dedicated and specialist staff alongside Northumbria University’s academic expertise makes for a unique and rewarding learning environment that we are thrilled to be part of. New Writing North curate and deliver an original module where we have the opportunity to share the benefits of more than two decades of our own expertise. Every element of this course aligns with New Writing North’s long-term commitment to developing, diversifying, and nurturing talent in our region and more widely in the UK’s publishing and writing sectors.”

The £2,000 scholarship is awarded jointly by Northumbria University and Hachette UK as part of the University’s Higher Education Without Barriers fund. The fund provides a range of support, including financial initiatives, to make participation and progression in Higher Education more achievable for academically talented students, regardless of their social or economic circumstances. 

Richard Kitson, deputy group c.e.o. at Hachette UK, said: “We are immensely proud of this partnership, which speaks directly to our desire to create opportunities to attract a diverse range of talent to our industry. New Writing North and Northumbria University’s objectives chime closely with ours, so they are the perfect collaborators. We are also very proud of our staff, especially the members of the All Together network, who have committed their time and energy to deliver the placements and sessions.”

Teaching on the new MA Publishing degree began in September 2023 and the placements at Hachette UK will commence in January 2024. The course is delivered over one year on a full-time basis. Further information can be found here

Northumbria University’s course overview can be seen here. Alumni student, Jessica Moore, talks about her experience of the course here.