This month we focus on the new student-run publishing house based on our Penryn campus, Penryn Press Ltd. Digital Director and second year English Literature student, Alexandra Simon-Lewis explains the initiative and tells us about their plans for the next academic year…
Penryn Press Ltd was founded in September 2013, developed and run by students of the University of Exeter. We started off as a fairly small initiative, with five company directors and a number of volunteers dedicated to transforming the vision of a writer-orientated publishing house into a reality. We are supported by the University of Exeter’s Annual Fund and this helped us develop the resources we needed to reach out into the local community and engage with our prospective readers and writers. Our aim is to publish exciting new literature that represents the fresh authorial voices of the South West region. As a student run publishing house, we are a unique initiative, with an entirely different voice. The first year was a strenuous but highly worthwhile proce
Our aim is to expand both in terms of community engagement and also the diversity of our published work. The South West and Cornwall in particular are areas rich in natural beauty and mythology, perfect environments to inspire a wealth of imaginative stories. It’s an interesting place to live and work and as such we want to engage with local communities in the hopes of not only keeping a love of literature alive, but also a strong sense of heritage. One of the projects we’re putting together is a ‘Dragon Trail’, an interactive exploration of the environment, incorporating stories from our latest book. We are also very interested in expanding to digital platforms, so as to provide the opportunity to read these stories on a variety of devices.ss and it’s clear from the recent publication of our book ‘Did You Know There Are Dragons In Cornwall?’ that there are many talented new voices that encapsulate the unique environment and cultural history of the local area. Recently, leadership has been passed onto a new board of directors and we are very motivated to follow on from the outstanding work accomplished by our predecessors.
As the Digital Director for Penryn Press, I work to develop the company to showcase the new opportunities for literature in a digital age. My aims are to produce interactive eBooks that bring to life the stories our writers create and to produce media that connects with a new generation of readers. The development within the publishing industry to incorporate new technologies has been astounding in recent years and it is my belief this trend will continue. My hope is to create eBooks with multimedia integration, so that the stories we create have the potential to include music and animation to capture your attention on every level. We are dedicated to the work we produce and hope to publish work that the reader will enjoy as much, if not more than we do.
Next year we want to develop some of the ideas we’ve been brainstorming, working to help promote the voices of a new generation. It’s going to be very exciting and challenging, but I know that everyone involved is committed to developing Penryn Press into a sustainable, long-term business venture.