Adrienne Jansen is the author or editor of three books that students have put together this year on the publishing programme in Wellington: her novel The Score (Escalator Press), the cookbook Abdel’s Favourites, and The Curioseum, a book of stories for children published by Te Papa Press. We asked her how she’d found working with the students.
Sometimes this year I’ve felt like an honorary student of the publishing course! In 2013 I’ve worked with students on three books. For each book my role has been different. If you ask me to comment on my experience in working with these groups on these very diverse projects, I would say it was one of uniformity. Uniformly high standards. And it’s been fun. I’ve worked with quite a lot of publishers, who I really respect, but this has been a different experience. It’s been very hands on. That’s partly because I work on the Whitireia creative writing programme, so I’m physically around the building quite a lot. But also because these students have involved me in every step of the process.
If I were to pull out two things that particularly impressed me, one would be the very entrepreneurial approach to marketing. The other would be the way the students have on the whole negotiated that tricky territory between editor and author – when do you back your own judgement, and when don’t you? They’ve all been great teams and I’ve been lucky to work with all of them.