Edge Hill student Harriet Hirshman wearing her cap and gown on her graduation day
Harriet Hirshman on her graduation day

A Creative Writing and Film Studies graduate from Edge Hill University is continuing to write her own future, landing a dream job at a Liverpool publishing company.

Harriet Hirshman, who gained a first-class BA (Hons) degree in Creative Writing and Film Studies and an MA in Creative Writing, has started a new job with fantasy fiction and sci-fi publishers, Heroic Books.

Her new role as Editorial and Production Manager sees her working with a host of authors, guiding them through the various stages of publishing, which allows her “countless opportunities for creativity”.

She said: “It’s incredible to have found a publishing job in Liverpool. The industry is painfully London-centric and trying to find a job outside of the capital can be quite disheartening. I lost my last publishing job because of the Covid pandemic, so finding a job at an exciting new start-up was an absolute dream.”

Harriet has been invited onto the University’s Creative Industries Symposium on the 15th February and will join an eclectic mix of writers and publishers talking to students about her career journey and giving advice to others hoping to get into the sector. 

She says her time at Edge Hill equipped with the skills and know-how to land her dream job and she embraced everything the University had to offer. 

Harriet said: “Before I’d even decided on a career in publishing, studying Creative Writing allowed me to develop my editorial skills massively. I took advantage of as many opportunities as I could at Edge Hill. I flew to Michigan to complete a short internship with the Ann Arbor Film Festival, I had an internship with Edge Hill University Press and also The Edge Hill Short Story Prize. I also worked on the university’s literary journal, the Black Market Re-View, initially as the short story editor, and then as the editor-in-chief.” 

As an intern, Harriet gained hands-on experience of working with an established publishing company to produce Head Land: 10 years of The Edge Hill Short Story Prize, a collection of short fictions by highly sought-after fiction writers. The project culminated in a series of a high-profile events around the country including the Edinburgh Book Festival, leading her to pursue a career in the publishing industry.

Speaking about her experiences, Harriet said: “I fell in love with publishing when I first experienced the process of nurturing something from just an idea to a published book. Seeking out further opportunities gave me an invaluable view of the industry. Having worked with authors, publishers, agents and journalists, they became people that I was able to reach out to. Having all of this on my CV also made me desirable to employers and I’m sure played a huge part in securing my first publishing job.”

Offering her advice to others who are considering their next steps or a career in publishing, Harriet said: “Don’t underestimate the value of simply putting yourself out there. So many opportunities that I’ve had have sprung from conversations that I had with people at book events, or casual exchanges with people on Twitter. Applying for work experience and internships is great for learning new skills, but the most valuable thing you’ll gain is contacts. You also need to be quite resilient to work in publishing. It’s incredibly competitive, and if you are fortunate enough to secure a role it’s a lot of hard work – but so rewarding.”

If you’re interested in studying Creative Writing at Edge Hill, you will learn from a world-class community of writers and gain insights into publishing, broadcasting and professional production on a degree brought to life by guest writers, visiting professionals, readings and workshops. Visit the website to find out more about Creative Writing courses.