Study Publishing . . . in Calcutta

Jeff Waxman brought the Seagull School of Publishing to my attention yesterday, and now I’m wishing I was still 23 (I always wish I was still 23, and taller, with better eyesight and a lower body mass index), and could fly off to this . . .

For three decades now, Seagull Books has been crafting books with an eye to both exceptional content and radical design. What began as an instinctive, often improvised, deeply personal and highly risky business of publishing books—books on theatre, visual arts, alternative cinema, philosophy, culture, books on all facets of ‘the human condition’—was perhaps not ‘business’ at all. Definitely not in the sense in which a large market-driven conglomerate would understand business. It was, and continues to be, rather, a passionately felt need of the hour: manuscripts that need to see the light of day, to be out there, to reach a readership, to stimulate minds, to change outlooks. This enterprise—performed by like-minded devotees of the craft, zealously guarding their autonomy, fiercely independent, sensitive to the needs of their authors as well as their readers—has broadened over the decades, enriched itself tirelessly and reached across the world.

The Seagull Foundation for the Arts, in association with Seagull Books and generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, and Norwegian Embassy of New Delhi, has decided to establish the Seagull School of Publishing and share its skills and philosophy with those who may wish to take up a career in publishing as well as with those who may be part of the industry already. The curriculum is intensive and classes will be conducted not only by a permanent faculty of experienced publishers, editors and designers, coupled with visiting faculty from some of the world’s most respected presses—both mainstream and independent—as well as Ivy League universities but also by an array of writers and artists who bring unique insights into the creative practice. Through a rigorous process of lectures, seminars, workshops, weekend master-classes, regular field visits to publishing houses and printing presses, and by completing professionally evaluated assignments, the Seagull School aims to provide its students with as real and as diverse an experience as possible of the entire process of creating books.

It’s a 4-month program, with the first month consisting of a general overview, and the last 3-months offering students a chance to specialize in editing or design/production. And, yes, the school is based in Calcutta.

The application process begins on January 1st, but in the meantime, you can contact contact[at]seagullschool.org for more information. Sounds really interesting for anyone looking to break into the field . . . .

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