Four-month programme on publishing is a mix of hands-on training and theory
The Seagull School of Publishing introduces aspiring publishers to the art and craft of the industry. A collaboration between Seagull Books and the Royal Norwegian Embassy, this one-of-its-kind school is about hands-on training as much as it's about theory.
With 30-odd years in the publishing business, Seagull Books wanted to share its knowledge of the industry to aspiring publishers.
“It was started a couple of years ago. There is a need for a school to impart knowledge about this industry and we decided to start this four-month course. Our first batch began in February,” says Naveen Kishore, publisher, Seagull Books.
The course offers a holistic approach to the subject with training, master classes and regular field trips to publishing houses and printing presses. It will impart the fundamentals of both the art and science of quality publishing. “During the first month, the students are exposed to an overview of the publishing business, the trends — we'll have people involved in this industry share their stories. It will look at everything from e-commerce and handling authors to the making of a book. From the second month, they will choose a specialisation in either design or editing and continue with that the rest of the course,” he says.
The admission process for this course is quite unlike other courses and its students are from a variety of backgrounds — such as sound engineering, social anthropology, English, Sanskrit, journalism and Culture Studies. “We had about 90 applicants this year and shortlisted 29. We ended up with a class strength of 25 students. They're an interesting mix from all over the world — South Africa, Mexico, London, Kerala, West Bengal and Japan, aged between 23 and 49,” he says.
The course is subsidised (fee is Rs. 20,000) and is open only to the ‘most committed' students. “It's a challenging course for a challenging industry, and we want people who are very serious about what they want to do,” adds Naveen.
Apart from full-time faculty, the school has visiting faculty the likes of Chiki Sarkar (Penguin India), Alan G. Thomas (University of Chicago Press), Urvashi Butalia (Zubaan) and Manas Saikia (Cambridge University Press). “A lot of our teaching comes from experiences of prominent publishers, authors and the like. But we do have our in-house staff who will be around to mentor our students.”
(For details, visit www.seagullschool.org)
Keywords: Seagull Books