MA Publishing student Caitlin Kirkman reports on this year’s Publishing Innovation Conference – New Frontiers: How Stories Are Told Today.
On Thursday 19 March, MA Publishing students at London College of Communication hosted the 11th annual Publishing Innovation Conference.
Each year this event is organised and run by a team of students with the aim of bringing together publishing industry professionals, students and alumni to debate and discuss current issues and new ideas.
In ten short weeks the team conceptualised the event’s theme, wrote editorial copy, invited speakers, designed print and online materials, marketed, publicised, and finally staged the conference with the generous support of LCC and Macmillan.
This year’s conference theme was New Frontiers. The conference focused on the core value of publishing – storytelling – in all its contemporary forms. It included traditional book and magazine publishers, but also speakers from journalism, art, tech, and academic backgrounds.
The evening explored everything from pushing the boundaries of digital apps and putting long-form journalism in a galaxy of .gifs, to robots tweeting and magazines clamouring for social change.
A trio of introductory speakers was followed by four seminars – for techies, the young at heart, collaborators and busy people.
Louise Rice, Executive Producer at Touchpress, shared award-winning apps reaching for new horizons. Seb Emina, Editor-in-chief of The Happy Reader, spoke about collaborating across borders. Tech journalist Adam Banks talked about content, platforms and the creativity needed to blend them. Ed Lake, Deputy Editor of Aeon.co, spoke about what makes a story share-worthy. A final panel discussed the interplay between a story’s medium and message.
Attendees gave positive feedback during the networking reception, on Twitter and in a follow-up survey.
— John Brown Media (@johnbrownmedia) March 20, 2015
— Suzanne Collier (@SuzanneCollier) March 20, 2015
— Bea Pantoja (@beepeewrites) March 19, 2015
#PublishingNOW really enjoyed the New Frontiers conference at LCC yesterday, such engaging speakers, lots to think about.
— L Ford (@ford_illo) March 20, 2015
Another attendee said:
“The story theme was a great way to get back to the basics of publishing, and it was refreshing that new innovations and methods were discussed without being so much about business models and technical tools and programmes.
“The publishing industry is always so hyper-aware of what threats it needs to face, that it sometimes forgets that it’s in a very creative, cultural industry.”
Words by Caitlin Kirkman
On Twitter: @PICNewFrontiers and #PublishingNOW