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Loughborough University launches publishing company

Enterprising students and staff from Loughborough University have launched Lamplight Press, a brand new publishing company.

Lamplight Press is a not-for-profit general trade and academic publishing company dedicated to promoting new fiction, non-fiction and academic writing by students, academics and authors from around the UK.  They will publish across a broad range of genres and are on the look-out for interesting manuscripts. 

The company will be driven by students that specialise in Publishing, English and Creative Writing who will work closely with Illustration and Art students.    It will be run on a formal basis with an editorial board comprised of academic staff and students, with students operating in key functions such as editorial, marketing and design.  Books will be traditionally printed and/or produced in digital form.

The venture will complement the formal teaching the students receive, giving them the opportunity to put into practice what they learn.  It will provide students with significant employability and enterprise skills, while increasing publishing opportunities for new, aspiring or established authors.

There are plans for the publication of two books in 2014. The first will be an anthology of short-stories and narrative poetry from authors across the UK, based on the theme ‘Transition and Change’.  The second book will be a university guide by Sophie Hyde, The Student Wordsmith.  Sophie is a PhD student of the University who is currently based in The Studio at the University, which supports creative graduates develop their ideas into commercially viable products, services or social enterprises.  Two further projects are in the pipeline for publication in 2015.

Rebecca Wheeler is one of the students involved.  She said: "Lamplight Press is an amazing opportunity for students to gain an insight into the publishing trade and learn valuable skills that could be applied in most media and project management jobs. Practical experience is very hard to find and it offers all students the same opportunity to expand and learn. I am incredibly excited to be working with both the students and lecturers."

The students have been encouraged and mentored in their venture by Lecturer in Publishing Studies and Director of Lamplight Press, Melanie Ramdarshan Bold.  Melanie secured funding for the project following successful bids to the University’s Teaching Innovation Award and Enterprise Awards.

Melanie comments: “I have had an interest in developing a truly student led publishing company for some time.  Students get a good insight into the world of publishing through their degree courses but it is a significant step to take this further and establish a company in this way.  I am grateful to the University for the funding that has helped get this off the ground and I look forward to supporting the students as they take this exciting venture forward.”

Lamplight Press currently accepts unsolicited manuscripts from both unpublished and established authors.  Questions or queries can be sent via e-mail: info@lamplightpress.co.uk

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