Publishing Scholarly Monographs in the Humanities and

Monday 22nd February, 10am to 5pm, taking place remotely over Zoom.

The present climate is notoriously difficult for scholarly publishing, and making a first approach to academic presses with the fruits of your doctoral research in a book proposal can be a daunting and uncertain business. This workshop is designed to demystify the task, shedding light on the decision-making process and helping researchers considering book publication to present their work to publishers in the best way. It encourages participants to view their research as others will see it, along the line that stretches from commissioning editors and peer-reviewers all the way down the supply chain to booksellers, librarians, review editors, and the prospective readership. This involves thinking about the market, choosing and approaching a publisher, and working out how to represent your work to best advantage. In addition the workshop deals with how to negotiate the particular problems surrounding interdisciplinary work and essay collections. Discussion and exercises ensure that the material remains practically based throughout. Handouts and recommended reading are supplied.
The workshop is preceded by a lecture with questions and discussion (in the online version this is a video presentation) on the current state of the academic publishing industry, designed to give an understanding of the market and conditions in which publishers operate. It includes discussion of issues raised by digital publishing, the profound changes now underway with the rise of open access, and how this climate affects the reception of publishing proposals.

  • The workshop coverage includes:
  • From PhD to Publication – understanding the transition
  • Who are you writing for? Who needs it?
  • Broadening the appeal of specialised projects
  • Interdisciplinary work
  • Choosing the right publisher and making your approach
  • Choosing a title

Workshop tutor: Josie Dixon was Publishing Director for the Academic Division at Palgrave Macmillan and spent 11 years in commissioning and managerial roles at Cambridge University Press. She now works as a publishing consultant with a special interest in training, and has given workshops and lectures in over 100 universities in Europe and the USA. More details at

Please note that this workshop will is aimed at final year students. Final year students will therefore be prioritised for spaces, however all students can still apply.

Bookings will open on this page in January 2021

Reviews for this workshop:

University of Cambridge ‘This workshop should be made mandatory by the University.’

‘By far the most useful workshop that I have participated in at either Cambridge or Oxford’

‘Comprehensive information on publishing, highly relevant to career development and not found anywhere else.’

‘Thank you for getting such an experienced, first-class professional to give the course.’

‘The publishing industry is one of the most daunting aspects of the post-dissertation future, so it was wonderful to have it explained and to be given strategies by an expert in the field.’ University of Durham

‘the whole day was simply brilliant, and inspirational.’ University of Leicester

‘I cannot remember the last time I learned so much in a day!’ University of Oxford

‘Josie was a wonderful teacher and helped us to reconceptualise our thesis research for a wider audience/application. I came away from the session full of new ideas and energy. I especially liked the fact that she read through our thesis abstracts and suggested new titles – this kind of individual attention was fantastic.’

‘Don’t miss it. This workshop is a must.’ University College London

‘by far the most effective course that I have been on over the past three years. It was directly applicable, informed by someone who had good experience in the industry.’ University of East Anglia

‘what a wonderful event. I took about 20 pages of notes on the day, plus she distributed handouts in the workshop. She is a great resource.’ University of Pennsylvania

‘Fantastic. It was incredibly useful and has given me new hope in this difficult publishing environment.’ Stanford University, California

‘enormously helpful and productive. It was terrifically organized, and conceived, and helped me think very much from the publisher’s perspective. Every piece of information she offered was golden!’

University of Antwerp ‘Absolutely brilliant. Very inspiring and honest speaker. Eye-opening.’ Goethe University, Frankfurt

‘I learned so much and the atmosphere was fantastic. Clear articulation, very good focus and structure, with vivid illustration.’

‘Elegant, entertaining and inspiring. Josie is very professional and experienced and could answer any question.’

‘Perfect.’ ‘I enjoyed every minute.’ ‘Awesome.’ Gothenburg University ‘Very much needed. Professional, entertaining, inspiring.’

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