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11 December 2019

English Department hosts Careers in Literature event

The annual ‘Careers in Literature’ event organised jointly by the English department and the Royal Society of Literature has become a firm fixture in the academic calendar.

Careers in Literature event

This year 150 attendees included KCL English students, RSL members and students from across the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. On 18 November four speakers led a lively discussion exploring the range of available ‘careers in literature’. Professor Alison Baverstock, Dr Edmund Gordon, Matt Beavers and Alia Bano each discussed their own careers to date which have include publishing, academia, journalism, playwriting, writing for TV, teaching, and events programming and wider work within the arts sector.

Alia Bano is a British playwright and teacher. Her debut play Shades was staged at the Royal Court in early 2009. The play won her the award for Most Promising Playwright in the 2009 Evening Standard Awards. Matt Beavers Literature Programme Manager at the British Council. Professor Alison Baverstock Associate Professor of Publishing at Kingston University. Dr Edmund Gordon who Chaired the session is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at King’s College London.

During the evening topics covered in the discussion and the Q&A which followed included: the most innovative ways of supporting a writing career with other paid work, the pitfalls and joys of job searching and networking, and the most exciting cities around the world to work in to pursue a ‘career in literature’. The discussion also covered the merits of postgraduate study or other courses and diplomas. Professor Baverstock and Dr Gordon offered some useful tips for breaking into the notoriously difficult sectors of publishing and journalism.

Careers in Literature 2

The joint King's/RSL Careers in Literature event, which I've chaired for the past few years, is a fascinating opportunity to hear professionals from across the literary world speak about their work, and for students to gain straightforward, honest and dependable advice on breaking into the worlds of publishing, journalism, arts administration, events programming and more. I'm always impressed by the variety of talents and perspectives on display, as well as by the passion for books evinced by the panellists; it's wonderful that our students can receive the benefit of their insights before embarking on their own careers.

Dr Edmund Gordon, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing