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Alumnae Beth Wright and Sarah Turner in conversation.

Alumni support the next generation of publishers and authors

After being postponed since 2020 due to COVID-19, we were finally able to hold our much anticipated ‘Working in Publishing and Writing’ event on campus this March. We were joined by three of our esteemed alumni who have all forged extremely successful careers within the Publishing and Writing world.

Oliver Gadsby - Chair of the Zero Carbon Academy and of WTiN, an online information and events business. Having graduated from Exeter with a BA in French and German, Oliver taught English in Casablanca, before embarking on a career in publishing. He was an editor in Germany, a sales and marketing director in Sweden, and a CEO in the UK and the US. He is on the board of the Independent Publishers’ Guild and of the Stationers’ Company.

Sarah Turner – having studied Sociology at Exeter, Sarah then worked in finance and higher education. She started a 'warts and all' parenting blog – the Unmumsy Mum - to let off steam and it gathered unexpected momentum until writing became her full-time job. She has since written four Sunday Times bestsellers, the first of which was shortlisted for Book of the Year (non-fiction, lifestyle) at the 2017 British Book Awards. Sarah’s first novel, Stepping Up came out earlier this year and was an instant best seller.

Beth Wright – Beth graduated in English Literature from Exeter in 2014. Beth joined Grub Street Publishing (a cookery and history independent) as Publishing Assistant and then joined Little, Brown Book Group (a Hachette company) as Publicity Assistant in 2016. She is now Publicity Manager within the same department, working on the press campaigns for a broad range of non-fiction and fiction titles. 

The evening was made up of different elements beginning with Oliver and Beth, along with some Exeter academics, providing CV clinics for students prior to the main event. Director of the new MA in Publishing Dr Kate Wallis hosted a conversation with Oliver Gadsby followed by a Q&A session. This was followed by a networking break with drinks and canapes where our students had the opportunity to talk to the alumni guests and the lecturers in Publishing and Creative Writing. Following this, Beth Wright gave a really insightful talk into how her publishing career has progressed and provided lots of top tips for the students. And finally Sarah Turner joined Beth for a hilarious conversation about how her blog really took off and led her to become a full time writer before the two took audience questions.

The evening finished with further networking over drinks which would have gone on for hours if we hadn’t have pulled the alumni guests away to take them for a well deserved dinner! It was a fantastic evening and we are so grateful to Oliver, Sarah and Beth for generously giving their time to support our current students in their career ambitions.

You can view some photos from the event below.

Date: 14 June 2022

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