Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford

The famous Sherry Hour in Exeter College's Fellows Garden with Radcliffe Camera in the background.

An intensive, four-week introduction to all aspects of book publishing

An institution in American publishing since 1947, the Columbia Publishing Course is known for launching the careers of thousands of publishing professionals, including many top editors and executives like Morgan Entrekin (Grove/Atlantic) and Jordan Pavlin (Knopf).

In 2016, the Publishing Course in New York proudly announced the creation of a four-week sister program at Exeter College in Oxford, United Kingdom, which has continued the tradition of launching successful publishing careers.

What You'll Learn

The Program

The Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford does not have a digital media and magazine component like the New York program. It is solely concentrated on all aspects of book publishing through a rigorous schedule of lectures, seminars and workshops. You also learn about different types of publishing houses, strategies and career paths.

You spend time with industry professionals and instructors after classes, during meals and at evening discussions. For four weeks, you live with like-minded colleagues; the friendships formed – many participants say, “I found my people at the CPC” – are often life-long and impact their career just as much as the curriculum.

You are given an intensive editorial assignment in the form of a reader’s report that involves evaluating an original to-be-published from an active editor or literary agent and then discuss your work with that publishing professional in a small group.

The cornerstone of the course, without question, is the week-long book workshop. The class divides into small groups of 10 and each group creates 7 books from the ground up. You simulate tasks undertaken by each department in a real-life publisher and are guided by 15+ industry veterans for the entire workshop. 

Students gain hands-on, in-depth experience that will serve you well in deciding which aspect of publishing you wish to go into.

At the end of the workshop, top publishing professionals read and evaluate each group’s work, giving constructive criticism based on their real-world work experience.

Many students have gone on to share their work in interviews to illustrate everything they learned during the course.

Career Guidance

The publishing course’s all-encompassing nature allows students to compare the many career options they have within book publishing and helps them determine their professional goals.

The course’s emphasis on practical work skills prepares students to take on jobs in publishing right away. Every effort is made to prepare students for entry into the job market.

  • Students participate in small-group workshops on resumes and cover-letter writing as well as meet with the course director to discuss career plans, interests, and goals.
  • New job listings in publishing are shared with students during the program and long after they have graduated.

Upon graduating, students become part of a global alumni community that stretches across the globe.

  • This wide-ranging network provides students with access to individual companies and publications as well as information about specific opportunities.

While students cannot be guaranteed job placement, the Columbia Publishing Course places 95% of its graduates in publishing jobs.

What Students Say

I'm so grateful for everything the publishing course taught me and all of the doors it opened during my job search. I wish you and the rest of the CPC team all the best, and I'm excited to continue my journey in publishing!

Madeline Alsup, ‘22 CPC NY, Editorial Assistant, St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan


I wanted to write to you to express both my gratitude and how much the course meant to me. Thank you so much for organizing such a wonderful program, with informative speakers, fabulous mentors, and a truly amazing group of peers. I feel incredibly lucky not only to have learned everything I did the last six weeks (my notebook is completely full!), but to have met such an incredible group of people. These connections and new friends have genuinely changed my life.

Ellie Wells, '23 CPC NY, Publishing Assistant, PublicAffairs


I’m so grateful that you and CPC were a part of my discovering this career path. It’s a fantastic job, it’s with fantastic people, it’s absolutely my calling, and unless something drastically changes, I’m staying right here until I retire.

Kathryn Kenney Peterson, '16 CPC Oxford, Designer, Simon & Schuster


Thank you for working so hard to ensure the CPC maintains its high standards throughout the pandemic. I am grateful that you and the staff were still able to present an inspiring and informative array of speakers. I’ve learned so much about the inner workings of the publishing world, and I have never been more excited to start my career.

Louise Strange, '21 Virtual CPC, Assistant Literary Scout, Maria B. Campbell Associates


The CPC experience is unmatched, and I am wholeheartedly inspired by all of the advice, expertise, and support I gained during this past month. I couldn’t be more grateful to have been a part of such an intelligent, book-loving group of people. This has been an incredible experience that makes me feel more prepared for my future than ever and I will remember the advice that I’ve learned at CPC throughout the rest of my life.

Corissa Hollenbeck, '21 Virtual CPC, Editorial Assistant, Wiley, UK


It was such an honor to be accepted to the program, and the experience was even more fulfilling and enriching than I could have possibly imagined. The success of the Columbia Publishing Course is a testament to your tireless dedication, organization, and care for everyone involved. Thank you again for your leadership and guidance throughout my time at CPC Oxford. I truly cannot express enough how grateful I am for the experience.

Juliette LaMarr, ‘23 CPC Oxford, Editorial Assistant, J&J Editorial, Wiley


Your dedication to the course and the well-being of its students is so comforting to see! Entering publishing can be intimidating, but I know everyone agrees that you have made this journey so much easier to navigate.

Ally Purcell, '21 Virtual CPC, Editorial Intern, Pegasus Books


The sales team I’m working with at PYR has me feeling as though I’ve won the publishing lottery! The entire experience has been a dream, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with not just an amazing core team, but with publishers, editors, publicity and marketing people who really care about what they’re putting into the world and want to make things better.

I wouldn’t have gotten to this place in my life without your support, and I cannot thank you enough for that. I’m eternally grateful for the CPC course, the connections and memories I made there, and your guidance post-course that encouraged me to stretch what I thought I could do.

Riley Hubby, '20 Virtual CPC, Sales Assistant, Penguin Young Readers


My expectations for the course were completely blown away. I learned so much from all of the people we got to meet, the assignments and, of course, you.

Daniela Atmadjian, '20 Virtual CPC, Sub-editor, Thomson Reuters, Global Pictures Desk


I cannot begin to express my gratitude for this course. I have never felt so surrounded by people with the same passion and energy that I have for books...Thank you for figuring out a way to hold the course even during a global pandemic...It was everything I dreamed of and more. Every speaker, mentor and adviser was absolutely fantastic. I feel so inspired to begin my career in books and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for all of us.

Grace Garrahan, '20 Virtual CPC, Editorial Intern, Pegasus Books


[This course] was truly life-changing, and I could not be more excited to continue my journey in publishing armed with the knowledge I gained from the course. Every lecture brought something new and exciting to the table, and I loved learning from such a wide variety of people in the industry. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it, for the friends I now have, and the relationships I made with mentors and lecturers and staff alike.

Kitanna Hiromasa, '20 Virtual CPC


I thoroughly enjoyed CPC. What I learned there and the connections I made were invaluable, and I finally feel like my career is on the right track.

Kevin Zambrano, '19 CPC, Executive Assistant to the CEO of Kevin Anderson & Associates


My time at the Columbia Publishing Course was amazing and very informative, but the best thing that came out of it was definitely the awe-inspiring, wonderful people I met, from my fellow students to the excellent faculty members. It's an honor to be able to call myself a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course.

Won Young Seo, '19 CPC, Executive Assistant, Yen Press


I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and would not be an editorial assistant at HarperCollins if it weren’t for the program. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend CPC and am so, so happy at my new job! Every day is different, and working with authors and reading manuscripts is truly a dream come true.

Maddie Pillari, '18 CPC, Editorial Assistant, HarperCollins


Thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Columbia Publishing Course this summer. Words cannot describe how valuable I found this experience to be. Your help with exposing us to the most incredible experts and resources within every aspect of the publishing industry was invaluable.

— Allison Green, '18 CPC, Managing Editorial Assistant, Simon & Schuster, CPC 2018


My acceptance into CPC changed my life and pointed me in the right direction with my career. Thank you so much for your ongoing support and work with not only me, but all of your students…I cannot express my gratitude for the program and the relationships that have been built because of it.

Emily Chertow, '18 CPC, Community Manager, The Washington Post

Who We Are

People in a UK course

The Columbia Publishing Course was originally founded in 1947 at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it thrived as the Radcliffe Publishing Course. In 2001, the course moved to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. New York City is the heart of American publishing, and the course has taken every advantage of its current location while building on its strong legacy.

Students learn from publishers, editors, design directors, advertising experts, publicists, and writers — all leaders in the industry. More than one hundred publishing professionals, many of whom attended the course, come to the course each summer to describe the nature of their work, conduct workshops and seminars and answer questions in both classroom discussions and informal sessions.

For thirty‐one years, Shaye Areheart worked as an editor at Doubleday, now Knopf Doubleday and the Crown Publishing Group, both divisions of Penguin Random House. She began her career as an assistant to the editor and rose through the ranks to editor, senior editor, executive editor, editorial director and publisher. She was given an eponymous fiction imprint in 1999; her authors have included Alice Hoffman, Gillian Flynn, Lisa Unger, Chris Bohjalian, Roland Merullo, Douglas Adams, Ray Bradbury, Barbara Vine and Jeanne Ray.

She was also the publisher of a largely nonfiction imprint whose authors included Deepak Chopra, Carol Burnett, Ben Macintyre, Ram Dass, Tony Curtis, Cesar Millan, David Sanger and many others.

During a portion of her long career, she worked closely with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, co‐editing a variety of books from Michael Jackson’s bestselling memoir, Moonwalk, to Gelsey Kirkland’s bestselling memoir, Dancing on My Grave, to George Plimpton’s Fireworks: A History and Celebration.

Over the years, she also worked with Martin Amis, Diana Vreeland, James Dickey, Thor Heyerdahl, Stevie Nicks, Christopher Isherwood, and Sir Edmund Hillary, among others.

From 1988 to 2009, Areheart was a lecturer at the Course and in 2010 she became a member of the book workshop faculty. She became the CPC’s director, in 2013, when its long-time director, Lindy Hess, succumbed to cancer.

In 2015, Areheart worked to establish the sister version of the course at Oxford University. She feels fortunate to be in a position to help new generations carry on the important work of finding, editing, publicizing, marketing, and publishing books. She found working with authors and words to be a profoundly good way to spend one’s life and, as a lifelong avid reader, being around books made her happy. She feels publishing provides a map of our culture’s progress and interests, and being in publishing enables one to be at the epicenter of what’s important to people who read.

The instructors and lecturers, drawn from all areas of the publishing industry, are recognized as experts in their fields. Many speakers are course regulars; others are invited to speak because they set trends or challenge traditional methods.

Faculty members represent publishing’s diversity: industry executives, successful entrepreneurs, consultants to the industry, and others who have had illustrious careers in all aspects of publishing. Many have taken the course themselves and proudly return to give back to a program that did so much for them.

As an alum of the Columbia Publishing Course, you'll get access to an incredible alumni network. A partial list of distinguished CPC alumni who have returned to teach at the course includes:

Lee Boudreaux, Executive Editor, Doubleday

Alison Callahan, Executive Editor, Gallery Books

Morgan Entrekin, President and Publisher, Grove/Atlantic

Madeline McIntosh, CEO, Penguin Random House US

Jordan Pavlin, Executive Editor, Knopf

Brendan Cahill, Vice President, Corporate Products, Penguin Random House

Kate Evan, Publisher, Agora Books, UK

Whitney Frick, Editorial Director, Dial Press

Jazmine Hughes, Associate Editor, The New York Times Magazine

David Miller, President, Island Press

Scott Moyers, Editorial Director, the Penguin Press

Doug Pepper, President and Publisher, McClelland & Stewart, Penguin Random House Canada

Pat Strachan, Editor in Chief, Catapult

Helen Thomas, Editor at Large, Hachette UK

Weslie Turner, Associate Editor, Imprint

Tig Wallace, Senior Commisisoning Editor, Hachette UK

Lucas Wittmann, Chairman and Co-Founder, House of SpeakEasy

Apply to Columbia Publishing Course – Oxford

Applications for the 2024 course are now open until April 25th: Apply here. Read below to learn more about application requirements, course fees and dual applications.

  • The course is aimed primarily at recent college graduates interested in a career that will utilize their love of the written word.
    • Additionally, some students have worked in publishing briefly and would like to broaden their understanding of the field or have decided to make a career change from non-publishing field into publishing. 
  • The program is open to all nationalities, and while the American contingent is strong, British and EU citizens are also encouraged to apply. Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and other countries covered under the British government’s Youth Mobility Scheme may also find the program of special interest. American applicants will receive the same job placement assistance in the United States as their counterparts in the New York course.
  • Most applicants have majored in English and the humanities, but many students have majored in art, economics, business, law, music and the sciences as well.
  • Students with a demonstrated interest in publishing have always gained the most from the course. Here are just some of the experiences we consider related to publishing:
    • Publishing internships
    • Photography, graphic arts, sales, or marketing experience
    • College newspapers, literary journals, blogs, etc.
    • Bookstore, library, and/or office experience
  • The course does not emphasize instruction in journalism or creative writing. Applicants with writing experience seeking new ways to apply their skills within publishing are encouraged to apply.
  • All applicants must have successfully completed all requirements for a B.A. or B.S. degree by the start of the course if they plan to work in the United States. Only in extremely rare circumstances do we accept students who have yet to finish their undergraduate degrees.
    • Please contact our office if you are a UK citizen who has decided to forgo a university education to pursue a career in publishing. We will always make an exception for these students as a bachelor’s degree is not required to work in the UK.

The Oxford course will take place in September 2 to September 27, 2024. Apply here.

  • Applicants interested in both the New York and Oxford programs should indicate their first choice of location on their application.
    • Dual Applications for 2024 are no longer accepted.
    • The major differences between the two courses are geographical location and that the course at Oxford is 100% book publishing, while the New York course has a rigorous two-week magazine component added on.
    • The major differences between the two courses are geographical location and that the course at Oxford is 100% book publishing, while the New York course has a rigorous two-week magazine component added on.
  • There is only one application fee even if you apply to both courses.
  • Due to many requests, we have extended the application deadline for the UK program to April 25, 2024.
    • We have only 80 places in the Oxford program; as admissions are on a rolling basis, it is to an applicant's advantage to apply sooner rather than later.

Financial Aid

Unfortunately, we cannot provide aid to every student who needs it. If you would like to be considered for financial aid, please download and fill out the PDF form and then upload it to your application status page in the "Upload Materials" section as "Columbia Publishing Course Financial Aid Form" soon after applying. All information requested on the form must be filled out or you will not be considered for financial aid.

Aid is awarded based on need and requesting aid is not considered when determining which students are accepted to the program.

Course Fees

  • The board plan covers three meals a day on weekdays only, as well as special events. The board plan is mandatory due to the course’s rigorous daily schedule.
  • Living on campus is optional, but strongly encouraged. Students living off-campus will not be charged the room fee. 
  • All of the above fees are nonrefundable

Stay Informed

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We visit many colleges and universities annually. Please let us know if you would like to see us at your school next year!

  • Bard College
  • Boston University
  • Boston College
  • Brandeis University
  • Columbia University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Howard University
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Washington & Lee University
  • College of William & Mary
  • University of Virginia
  • Vassar College

Please let us know if you would like to see us at your school next year!