The Students

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Students & Staff with author A.J Hartley & illustrator Janet Pickering.

UCLan Publishing is a truly unique, innovative publisher. We are the only student-led, student-run publishing house in the world. We fully immerse students enrolled on the BA and MA programmes in the publishing process;  from the start with an annual acquisitions meeting to decide what titles will go forward for the following year; to the actual retailing of the books. The students are mentored through the whole process by top experts in the field. We have grown significantly from our early experimental days and now work with international bestselling authors.

Our not-for-profit venture produces books for sale on the open market (mainly through Waterstones and Amazon). They are often produced collaboratively working with students from many disciplines and organisations, global communities, charities, authors and artists. The titles produced have been shortlisted for and won significant awards as well as being profiled in the national and international press. The quality of the books speak for themselves.

Our list has grown to include significant non-fiction titles such as Letters to Africa, our bestseller, now in its fourth print run and which was long listed for the People’s Book Award; Life Beneath the Northern Lights, which was featured in a two-page spread in the Daily Telegraph; Cornwall which won the Best Publishing Project Award at the London Book Fair last year and Cold Bath Street which was shortlisted for an International Excellence Award and whose illustrations have won the student artist the national award “Undiscovered Voices” (voted for by top industry players).

Cold Bath Street has become a bestseller with the first printing selling out in four days, four hour signing events and is now attracting the attention of the national press.

Not bad for a plucky little indie with a very different approach!

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Cold Bath Street Case Study

Graduate Sam Johnson worked on the project during his MA and has been nominated for a London Book Fair prize as a result.  He said: “Getting regular feedback from a professional author was amazing. His, and my lecturer’s comments, helped pinpoint my areas for improvement as a designer and I learned a lot about using industry standard software.”

In total, four publishing students and one illustration student worked on Cold Bath Street with AJ, who is also an Honorary Fellow of the University.

AJ commented: “It has been a great experience, especially since so much of the editorial work and layout has been done by students, which is really exciting. It received a level of attention few books get with major publishers so I feel very fortunate.

“The illustrations capture the mood of the book very nicely. We looked at a number of different artists early on and I immediately took to Janet’s work because it had a real atmosphere to it. The book is quiet and eerie, so I wanted illustrations which would capture that, but would also be both dramatic and evocative. They do that really well.  It’s a beautifully made book.”

MA Fine Art student Janet Pickering illustrated Cold Bath Street and has since won the Undiscovered Voices Award for illustrators and writers.

cropped-cbs-final-cover.jpgShe said: “AJ asked me to draw a menacing scene suggesting something sinister without actually showing it. It was a great experience to try a different style and ultimately inspired the piece I submitted for the award.”

AJ returned to his home city for Cold Bath Street’s official launch event at UCLan along with the five students; Laura Collie, Brionee Fenlon, Sam Johnson, Josh Moorby and Janet Pickering.

UCLan Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of the Publishing House Debbie Williams said: “This has been a really exciting collaborative venture. I’m really proud of the students for working so professionally with AJ to produce such a beautiful book which has its heart firmly set in Preston.”

The book was also launched at Foyles in London as part of AJ Hartley’s book tour.  AJ is a bestselling writer of mystery, thriller, fantasy, historical fiction, and young adult novels and is currently the Robinson Professor of Shakespeare studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.