Ooligan Press is a publishing house staffed by students in the graduate program in Book Publishing. Publishing three books a year and selling them in bookstores across the nation as well as online, Ooligan Press provides a hands-on experience that is not replicated in any other graduate program. Students participate in every step of the publishing process—from manuscript acquisition to editing, from design and production to marketing and sales—with guidance and supervision provided by expert faculty. Students take lessons from the classroom and apply them to real-world publishing challenges, resulting in numerous award-winning and bestselling books that span every genre.
Publishing Studio (WR 474/574) and Publishing Lab (WR 475/575)
In Publishing Studio and Publishing Lab, you perform the work of a real publishing house, from acquiring manuscripts to selling books. You gain publishing experience by participating in the various departments of a student-staffed publishing house, Ooligan Press. Departments include Acquisitions, Editorial, Design, Digital, Marketing and Sales, and Social Media.
Students in the graduate program in Book Publishing are required to take 8 credits of Ooligan Press–related coursework, which can be completed through any combination of Publishing Studio and Publishing Lab. Publishing Studio is a 4-credit course, while Publishing Lab is a 1-credit course; the two courses are identical in all ways, with the exception of the number of credits and, thus, the number of hours per week of Ooligan Press–related work that is required. For graduate students looking to enroll in WR 575: Publishing Lab, there is no prerequisite. For undergraduate students looking to enroll in WR 475: Publishing Lab, the only prerequisite is any 300-level Writing class. However, Publishing Lab is a prerequisite for Publishing Studio for all students.
Working at Ooligan Press
Many students find working at Ooligan Press to be one of the most rewarding aspects of the graduate program in Book Publishing. While working at Ooligan Press, you’ll apply classroom knowledge to real-world projects, utilizing both collaborative and independent work processes to build your resume, professional portfolio, and network of connections to the greater publishing community.
What is it like to be part of the student staff of Ooligan Press?
- Your voice is heard. The structure of Ooligan Press is different from larger publishing houses. In addition to being staffed by students, most major decisions are made democratically.
- You apply your skills to real projects. Ooligan Press publishes three books per year (with national distribution provided by Ingram) and also hosts at least two major events: Write to Publish and Transmit Culture. The success of the publishing house is dependent on student participation as editors, designers, marketers, and so forth.
- You participate in Project Teams and Departments. Students who work at Ooligan Press are screened by the Publisher (a faculty member in the graduate program in Book Publishing) and placed in Project Teams where they are involved in all aspects of a project, which is usually a forthcoming book (though sometimes it’s an event such as Write to Publish). Students are also participating in the work of Departments (such as Editorial or Design) according to their skill set, interests, and educational focus. These Departments exist so that students can discuss technical issues related to book projects or events and hone their skills in a supportive environment.
- You have the opportunity to gain management experience. There are two types of managers that work at Ooligan Press, and both are year-long positions.
- Project Managers: Students chosen to be Project Managers have the opportunity to supervise a diverse group of peers, leading and guiding a project through to its completion. Project Teams are created for each book Ooligan Press plans to publish. A Project Team includes one Project Manager and as many students (from a variety of Departments) as needed during each phase of a book’s publication. Project Teams working on a book project see that particular book through all the steps in the publishing process, from editorial to marketing and sales. Project Teams focused on events work from concept to execution. Managers for Project Teams are chosen by the Publisher from applications submitted by second-year students. Examples of responsibilities include creating a production schedule, assigning tasks to Project Team members, evaluating task completion, and budget management.
- Department Leads: This is a great opportunity to put your skills to work in a supervisory capacity, aiding other students working in Project Teams with their specialized project concerns. The Publisher selects Department Leads from the pool of interested second-year applicants. Department Leads have a proven skill set in a relevant area (e.g. editorial, design, marketing and sales) as well as the desire to supervise others. Department Leads operate similar to Teaching Assistants (TAs). They lead weekly meetings, help organize workflow systems, communicate with other Departments, maintain professional standards, and support the learning of fellow students.
Want to know more about Ooligan Press? Visit the publishing house website, where we present a professional face to the world, including to readers, writers, and book industry professionals.