Aug. 10, 2023

‘You can't help but feel pride’


NDSU’s certificate in publishing for undergraduate and graduate students provides hands on experience in the publishing industry.

Students learn about the history of publishing, the business of small press and university presses and get involved in the publishing process from start to finish.

To earn a certificate in publishing, students take an intro to publishing class, a practicum in publishing class and field experience to learn about the book publishing process.

Levi Gilbertson, a senior English major, said he wanted to get involved with the NDSU Press because he wants to become an author.

“Before I fully dedicate myself to the field, I want to gather as much knowledge as I can regarding the publishing process so that I can be better prepared for working with publishers when my own work is being published,” said Gilbertson, who is from Kindred, North Dakota.

Students from a variety of disciplines are able to gain valuable experience from the certificate to apply to their future careers. Suzzanne Kelley, the editor-in-chief of the press, said previous certificate in publishing students have gone into marketing and distribution, among other careers.

“It really adapts to a lot of fields in publishing, but also to fields that are not in publishing,” Kelley said.

Mike Huynh, graduate assistant with the press, said there are a variety of skills students can gain from the certificate.

“Even if you think publishing is not right for you, you can still apply these skills to a lot of fields,” Huynh said. “Skills like team work, how to work under pressure, being manipulated and being detail oriented.”

Around six to 10 books are published from the NDSU Press each year. Kelley estimates about four books are worked on by students annually.  

Gilbertson recently worked in a team of three to help copyedit “The Fifteenth Commandment,” a young adult fiction novel by Steve Sieberson. The book is set to be published by the end of August.

Gilbertson recommends the certificate in publishing to students interested in learning more about the industry.

“The work that the press does can be daunting, but it is rewarding. If you like literature, books and the written word, working with the press will give you a way to get closer to writing than you likely thought possible,” Gilbertson said. “And when the manuscript you worked on editing for months gets to the review copy stage, you can't help but feel pride in seeing what you helped refine into the best product it could be.”

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