UCLan’s pride in published word

Some of the MA Publishing students and Head of UCLan Publishing Debbie Williams, in the centre, with their Pillars of Light book.
Some of the MA Publishing students and Head of UCLan Publishing Debbie Williams, in the centre, with their Pillars of Light book.
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Students in Preston have 
written a new chapter in the history books.

The MA publishing students from the University of Central Lancashire worked with best-selling historical fiction author Jane Johnson –in a world first deal of its kind.

They edited and typeset the copy for Pillars of Light, worked with artist Noel Betowski to design the cover and liaised with a printing company to arrange for 800 hardback copies to be printed on textured paper.

Debbie Williams, head of UCLan Publishing, said: “We are the only student-led, student-run publishing house in the world and this is the first time that such a high profile author has ever been published by a university.

“To get someone like Jane to come to UCLan Publishing and for her to trust us to deliver a wonderful novel is amazing.”

Jane has worked as a bookseller, publisher and wrote The Tenth Gift, The Salt Road, The Sultan’s Wife, and Court of Lions.

She was responsible for publishing the works of Tolkien during the 1980s and 90s and worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, is also editor for Game of Thrones and editorial director for Harper Collins.

She knows Debbie, who also leads the BA publishing course, through professional connections.

She said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the MA Publishing students and team to get Pillars of Light out into the UK market.

“The response to the book, and the level of care and attention to every aspect of the publishing, has restored something of my faith in the power of the written word.”