Tucked away at the top of Queen’s building is an office that is home to a little known creative gem. Riptide Journal was founded in 2006 by Dr Sally Flint and Dr Ginny Baily who were, at the time, completing their MA degrees. Originally created to fill a gap in the publishing opportunities for short story writers, Riptide is now accepting submissions for its tenth volume, and has also become increasingly involved in collaborations with other local creative ventures.
As a student looking to gain entry into the elusive world of publishing, however, what Riptide offers is that all important industry experience. After a second year creative writing lecture last year given by Dr Flint, I took a chance and stopped behind afterwards to ask her about volunteering with the journal. A couple of weeks and one informal meeting later, and I was officially a volunteer intern, although I still didn’t really know what to expect.
I was thrown in at the deep end, as the Riptide team were in the midst of publishing the eighth and ninth volumes of the journal, for the first time publishing short stories and poetry simultaneously. Luckily, the existing interns were lovely and I was able to learn from their guidance and experiences whilst finding my feet. One of my first tasks was to assist with the planning and running of an activity at the Children in Need event at the university last year, and I quickly discovered just how much work goes into such an event.
I’ve been volunteering with Riptide for just over a year now, and I have had the opportunity to get involved with all sorts of tasks; from proofreading to ebook conversion, creating publicity materials to playing welcome committee for guest authors and speakers at numerous events. I have had the unique experience of seeing what goes on behind the scenes of a small independent publication from both an editorial and marketing perspective. By the time I leave I will have seen every stage of the publication process, an insight that I would never have gained from a couple of weeks work experience.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this experience that stands above all else, however, it’s that it’s always worth asking for what you want, because sometimes people might just say yes.
Canto Poetry Online Launch:
Canto is an online poetry sister journal of Riptide being launched next term at 19:30 on 31st of January. We are having a Google Hangout with a panel of professional writers as well as the editors of Canto. We want as many people as possible to tune in because we believe this is what the future of publishing looks like (I know – just go with it). There will also be an opportunity to win a 1:1 workshop with either Sally Flint or Ginny Bailey, both published authors which is an invaluable resource for any budding writer/poet.