Professional Publishers Association plans UK’s first international magazine festival

The Professional Publishers Association – an organisation representing some 200 publishers and existing to promote and protect the interests of print and online publishers of consumer and business media in the UK – has announced MagFest, Britian’s first ever international festival devoted to magazines.

Taking place on 26th-27th August  at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, MagFest coincides with the wider season of arts and cultural events that collectively make up the Edinburgh Festival, the largest annual cultural festival in the world. The programme includes a “How to Get Published” workshop and the speaker line up is impressive if you’re at all interested in magazine publishing.

The PPA says that MagFest aims to reach out to writers, editors and designers by sharing expert knowledge and magazine publishing successes from Scotland, the UK and around the world. It is supported by PPA strategic partners Pensord and Primitive Media, and will comprise creative workshops, an industry conference and an inspirational exhibition co-curated specifically for the event by Jeremy Leslie of magCulture, London and Andrew Losowsky of The Huffington Post, New York.

The magCulture exhibition will be located in the impressive Ozone space at Our Dynamic Earth and will feature 40 stunning national and international magazines, all exemplifying excellence in magazine design. The exhibition opens to the public at noon on Sunday, August 26 and entry is free to MagFest delegates.

“We are so proud to launch the UK’s first festival dedicated to magazines,” comments Kathy Crawford Hay, Business Manager of PPA Scotland.

“At MagFest we aim to build a platform that not only promotes publishing in Scotland but also provides a showcase for national and international titles and reaches out to a new generation of creative writers, editors and designers.”

“As well as our practical industry sessions, MagFest will be a hub for sharing ideas and networking with peers and investors. We believe this new event will provide an invaluable opportunity for Scotland’s publishing sector to interact with influencers at a global level, and for the international publishing and creative community to come together in celebration of magazines.”

The workshops will be held on the afternoon of 26th August and will provide a unique opportunity to learn from experts in the fields of magazine design and editorial. As well as people already working in the publishing industry, up-and-coming designers and writers are also encouraged to attend.

Led by Jeremy Leslie of magCulture, the design workshop will cover the principles of magazine design and features a hands-on masterclass in magazine cover layout with Matthew Ball, former Art Director of Rolling Stone magazine, and other design experts.

The editorial workshop, How to Get Published, brings together a wealth of experience from award-winning magazine editors from New York and the UK in a forum that aims to stimulate budding writers and equip them with the knowledge they need to get published.

The MagFest industry day features speaker sessions covering the hot topics in magazine publishing today: Entrepreneurship in Publishing; The Digital Dialogue; Serious Business of Making Money; 2020Vison – the future. Confirmed speakers include publishing heavyweights and high-fliers including: Christopher Ward of Redwood publishers; John Bird MBE, owner of The Big Issue; Chris van der Kuyl from brightsolid, owned by DC Thomson, publishers of The Beano; Andrew Losowsky of the Huffington Post; Max von Abendroth, European Magazine Media Association; Matt Phare, ShortList Media; Barry McIlheney, PPA and Richard Nicholls, Future Foundation.

• Tickets for the event will be available for purchase at the MagFest website at and the latest updates on the event are available via @MagazineFest on Twitter.

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