Careers in Publishing
Hannah Hawes, Music publishing (graduated 2007)
I went straight from my graduation ceremony to London to start a job with the Young Concert Artists Trust, a classical music charity looking after supremely talented musicians graduating from music school and amongst others the BBC Young Musician of the Year Finalists. It was an extremely rewarding job and within a year I was headhunted by a music management company and agency that looked after some high profile, classical, pop and folk artists. I ran the agency for two years before leaving and moving in to music publishing. Whilst my profession does not relate to history directly, the keys skills I learnt at university have stood me in good stead for the complex, stressful but thoroughly rewarding world of music. The reason I studied history in the first place wasn't so I could find a job, it was because it was and still is my passion and my interest. I am lucky to live and work in one of the historic capitals of the world and every day my knowledge of history enriches my life somehow.
Roland Tanner, History publishing (graduated 2001)
I briefly worked for Waterstones before returning to university at St Andrews where I started out studying for an MLitt, before continuing on to a Ph.D. in the Scottish History department. In total I spent 10 years at St Andrews as a postgraduate and then postdoctoral researcher, working as one of the editors on the project that produced the new Records of the Parliaments of Scotland (www.rps.ac.uk). I specialised in the medieval part and did most of the Latin translation for the project. My thesis was published in 2001 by Tuckwell Press and the Scottish Historical Review Monograph Series, as "The Late Medieval Scottish Parliament". In 2003 I became a publisher, co-founding TannerRitchie Publishing (www.tannerritchie.com), which specialises in digitising historical texts, and produces the online resource Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online, subscribed to by universities around the world.
John Freeman, Writer, editor and designer (graduated 1982)
I'm very grateful to have studied history at Lancaster University in the 1980s. It was a very formative time for me, in many ways. Today, I work in publishing as both writer and editor, of both comics and magazines. My magazine credits include Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5, among others. I've also edited plenty of comics including the launch issues of the UK's Simpsons Comics, Star Wars Comic, and was a group editor at Marvel UK in the 1990s. I helped establish Titan Magazines; ran a virtual avatar-based community; and currently manage a mobile comics service alongside freelance editing comic collections and new comic stories.
These days, you might think that having a history degree was pretty odd for someone working in publishing. After all, don't all journalists do media studies and such like? Well, I didn't - my time in publishing has been self-taught, armed with the research skills I learnt studying at Lancaster University. Strangely enough, life seems to have come full circle, as two of the book series I'm editing, Charley's War, set in the First World War, and Johnny Red, set in the Second, have meant I've had to call on my University-learnt skills to check and further research the periods in which they're set. Another reason to be grateful towards those much put upon but patient tutors...