In her second guest post for Kingston Publishing, Frankie Jones reflects on the highs and lows of editing our very own RiPPLE 2011.
I was delighted when I was chosen, last December alongside Allison Hall, as one of the two project managers for Kingston University Press’ RiPPLE magazine. RiPPLE is an annual anthology of creative writing from the talented student body of Kingston and is created by a team of publishing students. The previous issues have all been of such high quality that the pressure was instantly on for our team to create something professional, and I was eager to put into practice everything that I was learning on the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing.
We received around 250 submissions across the genres of poetry, short story, flash fiction, life writing and even a script. It may sound corny but the hardest job was whittling this number down to the 35 pieces which appear in RiPPLE 2011. Tough decisions had to be made but I feel that the pieces which appear in this year’s issue cover diverse themes and forms to prove for an interesting and thought provoking read.
Then came the lengthy processes of editing, typesetting, layout and design, which is where our various publishing modules really helped. We discovered that editorial is a rough path to tread, especially when it comes to poetry, and that a good editor must always keep in mind the intentions and the personal style of the author AND the intentions and style of the publication.
The layout and design owes a big thank you to my co-editor Allison, Jeni Calnan and particularly Maria Lucien who used her InDesign prowess (perfected through her module in Design and Production in Periodical Publishing) to create a luxurious and accessible page design whilst teaching me the basics of the program!
We had our pieces laid out beautifully, we had a gorgeous cover designed by illustrator Holly Blackman and we were ready (and excited!) to submit our book to the printers. Unfortunately, as we have learnt, nothing is ever this simple in publishing. Due to the unprecedented amount of bank holidays, hurricanes in America and some discrepancies with page sizing (training wheels off – I had to tinker with this on InDesign unsupervised) we had to postpone our launch. After a frantic few days we were finally able to submit RiPPLE to the printers and within a week it was, to our complete relief, in our hands.
Despite the difficulties we faced, I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire process of creating RiPPLE. I’ve learnt a lot as a budding publisher, I’ve been able to put into practice lessons taught on the Publishing MA and we have a clean, crisp, exciting publication to show for it. I believe that Team RiPPLE and the contributors should be incredibly proud of their hard work.
We launched the book during Awards and Achievements week at Kingston University, culminating with an official launch of the book on the 16th of May – with readings from some of the authors to celebrate.
Frankie Jones is a student on the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at Kingston University. She edited RiPPLE 2011 in partnership with Allison Hall. Frankie has also blogged about the pleasure of publishing picture books.