The Business: Futures in Publishing 2017

The Business: Futures in Publishing 2017

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to attend the fiction panel of Edinburgh University’s annual publishing conference, The Business: Futures in Publishing. The conference addresses developments in the book publishing industries of Scotland, the UK, and the wider world. This year’s event featured panels on translation, poetry, and fiction.

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Edinburgh, Scotland

I found many topics discussed by the panelists and audience members this year insightful and inspiring. I thought I’d create a series unpacking some of those ideas for others with a passion for publishing who — for geographical or temporal reasons — could not attend the conference.

So here’s the agenda:

Friday Series: Futures in Publishing*

  • May 26: The Changing Landscape of Contemporary Fiction
  • Jun 02: Is YA Making Us Dumber?
  • June 09: Poaching Authors
  • June 16: Is Publishing Literary Fiction a Viable Business?
  • June 23: Top Tips for Entering the Publishing Industry

While I will draw from audience questions and my interpretation/research of the topics discussed, each post will primarily be based on the expert experiences of the panelists. Their information can be found below:

The Panelists

Jo Dingley – Fiction Editor at Canongate Books

“Dingley is a commissioning editor at Canongate Books. Brought up in the north of England, she has lived in Scotland for the past twelve years. Her authors include the recently Bailey’s-shortlisted Ayobami Adebayo, Margaret Drabble, Tim Clare, Malachy Tallack and Anne Donovan, and she has worked with many of Canongate’s bestselling and prizewinning novelists over the years.” (x)

Anne Meadows

Anne Meadows – Commissioning Editor of Fiction at Granta Books

“Meadows is a commissioning editor at Granta. She acquires literary fiction, fiction in translation and non-fiction for both Granta and Portobello Books lists. Her authors include Catherine Lacey, Frances Larson, John Darnielle, Katrine Marçal, Margo Jefferson, Donald Antrim, Alejandro Zambra, Chinelo Okparanta, and Rachel B. Glaser.” (x)

Allan Cameron

Allan Cameron – Editorial Director at Vagabond Voices

“Cameron is an author and translator who grew up in Nigeria and Bangladesh. He has written two novels and two collections of short stories. He has also translated over twenty books. He lives in Glasgow, and is editor of Vagabond Voices (founded in 2008), an independent publisher that is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages.” (x)

Robbie Guillory

Robbie Guillory – Production Editor at Freight Books

“Guillory is an honours graduate of Glasgow University and worked in further education before joining Freight Books in 2013. Robbie oversees the production process for the vast majority of Freight Books’ titles, alongside maintaining trade relationships. Robbie is also a successful published author of humour books, his titles including In Rude Health, which to date has sold 80,000 copies, Cyclists: a spotter’s guide and Dog Owners: a spotter’s guide. He currently serves on Publishing Scotland’s Trade Liaison Committee.” (x)


*Do you have experience with or a strong opinion on any of the topics that will be discussed in this series? I would love to hear your thoughts and perhaps include them in the posts. Please reach out to me either in the comments or by email at thehungrylittlebookworm@gmail.com. Thank you! 

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