The Columbia Publishing Course was originally founded in 1947 as the Radcliffe Publishing Course. In 2001, it moved to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, where its strong legacy continues. In 2016 a sister course that focuses solely on book publishing was begun at Exeter College, Oxford.
Oxford has always been an important center of publishing and learning. People who are certain book publishing is where they intend to be after the course do not have to endure the particularly rigourous magazine-digital portion of the New York program. The course at Oxford is even more selective, with only seventy seats available. Many legendary publishing professionals in the United Kingdom took the course in America and returned home to create stunning careers for themselves. Now the same is true for Americans taking the course at Exeter, who return to the States and are afforded the same respect and job opportunities as the people who took the course a month and a half earlier in New York City.
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: some are executives in multinational corporations, others are successful entrepreneurs, some work with blockbuster franchises, and others strive to reach specialized markets. Many have taken the course themselves and proudly return to give back to a program that did so much for them.
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, Craig Nova, 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.
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