Today I’m talking to Emma Scattergood, Editorial Director of Fresher Press. Emma is an author and a senior lecturer at Bournemouth University, where she leads the Writing, Editing and Publishing Unit. A former magazine journalist, she has written seven non-fiction books and one novel to date and has an MA in Creative & Critical Writing. She is now embarking on a phd. Emma particularly enjoys women’s fiction and spotting new talent – when she is not out walking her border terrier on the beach.
Can you tell me a little bit about the Fresher Prize. When was it founded and why?
We founded it last year, a year after we launched Fresher Publishing. The idea of the publishing company is to give our students a chance to get experience of publishing and working on real ‘live’ projects. We are launching an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing in Sept 2017 at Bournemouth University too, so Fresher Publishing will be core to that.
As, then, our ethos is about launching and supporting new talent, it felt appropriate to run a competition for emerging writers, and offer prizes that helped to get them a foot up on the ladder.ed and why?We founded it last year, a year after we launched Fresher Publishing. The idea of the publishing company is to give our students a chance to get experience of publishing and working on real ‘live’ project
As we ll as the Anthology of winning entries do you foresee that Fresher Publishing will start to publish other books in years to come?
When the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing starts, I can see that there may well be scope for publishing more, as we will have more dedicated hands on deck. At the moment, we are a very small team – although we are fortunate to be supported by a great industry board including Francesca Main from Picador, Gemma Rostill from Penguin, Random House, the literary agent Madeleine Milburn and award winning author Jeremy Page.
Will the judges change each year or will they remain the same?
I don’t anticipate the core publishing judges changing, but I quite like the idea of changing the author each year to keep things fresh. Last year we had Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days, who went on to win the Desmond Elliott prize and is now out in paperback and has just been selected by WH Smith and the Richard and Judy Book Club. This year we have the lovely Jeremy Page, as he is such a supporter of new talent, and I have a really interesting new voice up my sleeve for next year too!
You have a great range of categories, something for everyone – short story, creative non-fiction, script, poetry and first 500 words of a novel. Who is involved in the short listing of entries?
The Fresher Publishing team, lecturers in creative writing and selected third year English and Writing, Editing and Publishing students put together the shortlist, then we bring in our industry judges to make the difficult final decisions!
I wish the Writing Witches were around when I was at school. It sounds like a lot of fun. How do schools get in touch to host a workshop at their school?
Anyone interested in the witches visiting can email me. There are more details on the Schools page of the website.
You have some fabulous hints and tips for writers on the website . Do you have any personal tips to share?
Just write – and enter! You never know, it could be you who wins!
Emma is so right. You have to be in it to win it. So stop procrastinating. There are some fabulous prizes on offer including one to ones with literary agent Madeleine Milburn and publishing expert Ed Peppitt. The deadline is 31st January so you need to get those pens and computers working to your advantage – no time to lose.