Hannah Newport-Watson

I studied for the Diploma in Publishing in 2011 after a BA in English Literature and Politics and an MA in Creative Writing. Like many students who go on to the diploma directly after their degree, I was in my fifth consecutive year of study, so could easily have felt impatient to finish and graduate. But in fact, the opposite happened, and the year went by in a flash, as it was so immersive and engaging.

The distinguishing and most valuable feature of the course was its strong connections with the real people and organisations within the New Zealand publishing industry. The work placements, guest speakers and opportunities to take part in industry events and discussions were all examples of this. Although carefully organised and orchestrated, the course always felt lively and fresh; open and connected to timely events and trends happening in the wider world of publishing. I suspect it is never exactly the same two years in a row, or even for two students in the same year. There was also the definite sense that you got out what you put in, which is not a bad thing to carry with you into the ‘real world’.

Not too long after graduation, I was thrilled to start working at Te Papa Press as an Editorial and Publishing Assistant. I was with Te Papa Press for 4 years, as an Editor and eventually Senior Editor, and having an amazing time in illustrated non-fiction publishing.

In 2017, I am a Senior Production Editor at Oxford University Press, working in a team dedicated to producing the most complex and demanding of OUP’s academic and trade books. The subjects range from ancient Greek inscriptions to the history of the English language, to popular science. I love that the skills I learned at Whitireia have taken me to such a fascinating job on the other side of the world.

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