Cadence’s story: Publishing graduate at Massey University Press

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Publishing graduate Cadence was one of the three recipients of the Creative New Zealand Publishing Internships Initiative. Cadence was awarded the internship at Massey University Press in Auckland, and in the several months they’ve been there, they’ve loved being exposed to the extensive world of work in publishing. We spoke to Cadence about how the internship has been so far, their experience studying, and what drew them to dive into the world of publishing.

A passion for all things words 

Cadence had always been an avid reader and writer, writing short fiction in their spare time. After high school, they went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at Victoria University but had never been sure of how to get into the writing or publishing industry.  

After graduating, Cadence found work in hospitality, and then at Transpower in Facilities management. It was work they enjoyed, but they wanted something they could really love, something creative. 

Discovering Publishing 

One of Cadence’s favourite things is editing, so after they did a quick Google search, the Graduate Diploma in Publishing (Applied) at Whitireia and WelTec popped up, and Cadence enrolled. 

“Writing and editing have always been interests that have run underneath everything else, and I didn’t think you could do it for a living until I started the publishing course.” 

Diving into study 

“The publishing process itself was a big surprise to me! Being such a big reader, I thought I knew a lot, but there’s so much that goes on behind-the-scenes. The tutors really took us through the process from the ground up and gave us so much knowledge." 

The full-time Publishing programme has students work on real books with real publishing clients. It’s an intensive programme that introduces ākonga to the full process.  

“An author and a publisher will come to the course with an unedited manuscript, and you’ll take it through the whole process: editing, typesetting, proofreading, market research, costing, design, marketing, everything! Physically seeing the final product the first time one of our books arrived was incredible.” 

Making connections 

One of Cadence’s highlights was making good friends who shared their interests. Students often work in groups, so getting familiar is inevitable.  

“I still talk to the friends I made in the programme; we check in to share how work is going – with the most common answer being ‘busy’.” 

Throughout the programme, guest speakers frequently visit class to share their experience in the publishing industry. This includes publishers, print and web editors, eBook creators, designers, publicists, booksellers, and authors, allowing students to make industry connections early. 

Joining Massey University Press 

Cadence first started with Massey University Press at the end of January, after finishing the programme. They’re loving being in a small team of people with years of experience. “It’s really great to be around them all, absorbing all their wisdom and knowledge about the publishing industry.” 

In Cadence’s role, they’re doing a “little bit of everything” – social media, marketing, media releases, author Q&As, assisting with launches, managing the editorial inbox, posting copies of finished books, and more.  

“The industry is so small – you get to do a bit of everything. You get to try all sorts of things out. It’s not a place you can get bored.” 

Next steps 

Cadence has only been at Massey University Press for a few months, but at the pace they’re being introduced to new things, they’re already starting to find other areas to focus on. One of the team has introduced Cadence into the project management space, allowing them to co-manage projects with her. 

They’ve also invited Cadence to help with one of their favourite parts of the process: the final proofread. “It’s crazy to think that I get paid to do this because I’m having so much fun. It doesn’t feel like a job.” 

Study Publishing at Whitireia 

Learn the publishing process by working on real books with real publishing clients. Work as a publishing team as you gain skills in editing, project management, typesetting, and publicity for print and digital media. Benefit from regular industry speakers and complete two work placements in publishing companies. 

Learn more about our Publishing programme  

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