The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) publishing house has received national recognition by winning a top industry award.
UCLan Publishing, the only student-led publishing house in the world, was handed the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award at the 2019 IPG Independent Publishing Awards, which celebrate the achievements of independent publishers during the previous year. It is the most prestigious award an independent publisher can win.
The award comes on the back of two successful projects with New York Times best-selling author AJ Hartley where students first edited, designed, project-managed and produced Preston-based thriller Cold Bath Street, which was subsequently nominated for prestigious children’s literature award the Carnegie Medal, and then worked on his latest children’s book, Monsters in the Mirror.
Associate Professor of Publishing and Head of UCLan Publishing Debbie Williams said: “This award means everything to us and we are absolutely delighted to receive it. UCLan Publishing has only been running it its current capacity for less than a year and in that time we’ve achieved so much.”
IPG Judges said: “UCLan Publishing has quickly established itself with an innovative approach to publishing, drawing on resources of the University of Central Lancashire while publishing with great independence across children’s, fiction and non-fiction. Its experienced team has already published some big names and worked hard on diversity of output.
“There’s a distinctive different to UCLan’s approach – a disruptive spirit and an infectious enthusiasm.”
The win comes on the back of recognition at two other recent award ceremonies, which saw UCLan Publishing named runner-up in the Employability and Entrepreneurship category at the Guardian University Awards and shortlisted for the Innovation Award at the Education North Awards.
Students on the undergraduate and postgraduate publishing courses work in a way that mirrors the publishing industry; by commissioning, editing, publishing and promoting UCLan Publishing’s entire portfolio. This means students come into contact with well-respected authors and industry professionals.
Debbie, who herself won Bookseller of the Year 17 years ago, added: “The set-up at UCLan is really special and offers our students a unique training experience that prepares them to hit the ground running in a very competitive industry.
“We’ve had an amazing year, by first winning the Excellence and Innovation in the Arts prize at the Times Higher Education (THE) awards in November last year and now being recognised at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards. Our award wins and nominations are testament to all we have achieved in a relatively short space of time.”
More exciting projects are already in motion for UCLan Publishing, with 12 new books set to be published in the coming months and an audiobook studio.
A sequel to Cold Bath Street, Written Stone Lane, will be published in October and a factual children’s book, entitled Blast off to the Moon!, will launch in June. This is particularly special as it includes exclusive, never seen before documents and images from the NASA archive as well as quotes from astronaut Tim Peak and an introduction from Helen Sharman who was Britain’s first ever astronaut.