SU Finds Niche with Columbia Publishing Course

SU Finds Niche with Columbia Publishing Course

October 11, 2019

Graduates from Susquehanna’s publishing & editing major have participated in significant numbers in the esteemed Columbia Publishing Course (CPC) in the School of Journalism at Columbia University.

An intensive, six-week introduction to all aspects of book, magazine and digital publishing, the Columbia Publishing Course prepares students for entry-level jobs in all aspects of book, magazine and digital publishing through daily lectures and workshops.

“The Columbia Publishing Course is the most prestigious program of its kind in the country,” said Laurence Roth, Degenstein professor of English and co-head of the Department of English and Creative Writing. “The fact that we’ve had so many students accepted into this program speaks to the high caliber of students we have at Susquehanna and the outstanding education they get through our publishing & editing major.”

More than a dozen students have attended the course since SU launched the publishing & editing major in 2015. And in 2017 and 2019 Columbia accepted all the SU students who applied to the course. Other students have attended the New York University Summer Publishing Institute and the University of Denver Publishing Institute.

Sarah French ’19 landed a job opportunity after attending CPC thanks to her SU connections. She is now working as a literary assistant for Jennifer Weis, senior literary agent at Ross Yoon Agency and former executive editor and manager of content development at St. Martin’s Press, who delivered SU’s Publishing & Editing Lecture in 2018. The connection came to light after the CPC program director passed along French’s resume to Weis after the CPC had concluded its session.

“I didn’t appreciate exactly how much the industry depends on ‘who you know’ until I interviewed at my current job,” French said. “Without both my Susquehanna and CPC connections, I would never have known my position was even an option.”

Grad Completes Columbia Program at Oxford

Alison Cerri ’19 attended Columbia’s sister program at Oxford University, which is primarily focused on all aspects of book publishing and is also instrumental in helping students get jobs in the field, both in the United States and in the U.K.

During her course she participated in a book workshop that required her and her team to develop books that would sell in the current market. She said it was the most rewarding experience of the program.

“I was the publicity manager, but I worked very closely with our marketing manager, and had to coordinate a lot with everyone else in the group,” Cerri said. “We all knew how important it was to be professional and do the best we could to get the most out of the workshop.”

Cerri said the course built on skills she’d already developed at Susquehanna and on internships she’d completed while a student at SU. She also offered some advice for current students wanting to pursue a career in publishing.

“Take the marketing and publicity classes seriously and try to squeeze in a business class or two, maybe even a minor, since publishing is a business,” she said. “The second thing I'd like to stress is a word that came up in almost every lecture: luck. Luck had a lot to do with the way a lot of the lecturers got into the industry. Make sure you are trying to create those opportunities for luck to strike.”

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