I arrived at Pearson Publishing on Monday morning, fresh from a rapid uphill cycle. My expectations? Making tea and tidying the stationery cupboard. How wrong I was. From my first day, I was kept busy: developing content for new apps; creating marketing material and updating the YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter accounts.
As editor for Cambridge poetry magazine Notes, I thought I was pretty familiar with all things literary. However, working on English language and literature apps I soon discovered that teaching poetry to teenagers comes with its own challenges, especially in nimbl’s interactive format. How do you turn Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ into a multiple-choice quiz? As well as learning the markup language to create and display resources on the screen, I had to edit the content into an app-friendly form. Thanks to my supervisor’s patience, however, I eventually got the hang of the new format.
Highlights of my placement included having a product demo I created sent to Oxford University Press; discovering the quirks of Viking place names (whilst proofreading a history resource) and introducing #MondayMotivation to the company’s Twitter feed.
Having worked as a maths and English mentor, I was also particularly interested in Pearson Publishing’s work with virtual schools and care leavers. As part of Pearson Publishing’s upcoming Care Leavers app, I spent time researching services to guide disadvantaged young people into employment. I also produced a press release for the launch of the Creative Voices anthology: a collaboration between Pearson Publishing and national youth advocacy charity Coram Voice. I loved seeing how nimbl is used to showcase the work of Children in Care and support care leavers on the way to adulthood.
Working at Pearson Publishing has dispelled my illusion that publishing is only books and manuscripts. I’m leaving the company with a sense of excitement about what digital publishing can achieve, a lot of new and unexpected experiences – and a greatly enriched knowledge of Twitter hashtags.