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From Arthur's Seat - growing a digital platform out of a writing community

Magali Roman, editor-in-chief of this year's Creative Writing anthology, shares her experiences of leading a large student publishing team.

Photo of Magali Roman
Magali Roman

‘From Arthur's Seat’ is an annual anthology of new poetry and prose by Creative Writing MSc students in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC).

Published by Egg Box, the anthology aims 'to capture the spirit of each year of the MSc programme, bringing together a class of international voices and fresh, exciting perspectives into one place’.

In advance of the launch of Volume Five, which will be available to readers in May 2020, we caught up with Volume Four editor-in-chief, Magali Roman.

In this short interview, she tells us what she's learned in her busy role transforming ‘From Arthur’s Seat’ from a printed anthology into a multi-media platform.

Such a good city for writers

"Edinburgh is such a good city for writers”, says Magali, who was born in Buenos Aires, and studied History and English Literature in the United States and Italy before pursuing her masters degree in Creative Writing (Fiction) at LLC.

“If you’re even thinking about writing a short story, or poem, or a book, you have all sorts of support. There’s no place like it, especially if you’re coming to the University and doing the Creative Writing masters programme. You get provided with a lot of opportunities you wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else, one of them being ‘From Arthur’s Seat’."

Video: From Arthur’s Seat - growing a digital platform out of a writing community video
Interview with Magali

A huge project and a huge effort

As editor-in-chief of Volume Four, Magali headed up a team of 18 students, getting involved in everything from editing each piece, to proofreading, looking over designs and organising the launch event. “It’s a huge group of people”, she says. “A huge project and a huge effort.”

“I think one of the best things this project can do is give someone who doesn’t necessarily have a formal education or formal experience in publishing a chance to get their work out, and some editing experience”.  

“This project really grew [from previous years]. We added a website, we have a podcast… It’s really given everybody a chance to try something beyond just writing… to not only learn how to be better writers, but also to apply their own skills and passions [like design and publicity] to a larger publishing project.”

“I would hope this is something you can put on a CV… and, more importantly, make you more confident, not just in your own writing, but in your skills as a professional with a masters degree”.

Part of what I learned is how to talk to people, get feedback and make a team work together… build a community.

Magali Roman, Creative Writing (Fiction) MSc studentEditor-in-chief of 'From Arthur's Seat' Volume Four

'From Arthur's Seat' Volume Four is on its second print run and is available to buy online from EggBox publishing, and locally from Typewronger and Lighthouse Books.

Find out more about Volume Four, and previous volumes, on the 'From Arthur's Seat' website

Are you interested in Creative Writing in LLC?

Based in the first UNESCO World City of Literature, our one-year, full-time taught masters programme is tailored towards your practice in either fiction or poetry. Highlights include our annual industry event, The Business, and lots of opportunities to share your work, including ‘From Arthur’s Seat’ and a range of writing awards.