Tag Archives: Publishing

Meet the Press: Kayla Coco, Marketing Intern

Name: Kayla Coco-Stotts

Position: Marketing Intern

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Alma mater; major; minor: University of Kentucky; B.A. in Print Journalism; Communication minor (December 2018)


Why should students be interested in their local university press?

I believe that students should be interested in their local university press because there is so much culture and accomplishment within university presses that I think is somewhat overlooked. I heard about UPK my freshman year of college and knew I always wanted to intern here, but so many others haven’t had the chance to learn about the amazing work UPK does for the Commonwealth. Students especially are able to learn so much from UPK; it’s like having a library of amazing authors, reads, and resources right on campus.

Why should students support their university press? How are some ways to support the press?

Students should support their university presses because they’re in need of our support! Even just sharing social media, buying UPK books, or going to events that feature UPK authors stimulates the marketplace of ideas and keeps the local book culture thriving within the universities.

What have you learned during your time here, and how will you use the skills you gained as you start a career, further your education, etc.?

I’ve learned how to craft a press kit and the true meaning of marketing. I never thought I would see myself enjoying the marketing side of publishing, but it is truly rewarding to excited people about the projects we’re working on. I’ve already been thankful enough to use the skills I’ve obtained here to set up a job when I graduate.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

Mend: Poems by Kwoya Fagin Maples was amazing, heartfelt, and conveyed a level of anguish that I could never imagine being strong enough to experience. I also really loved Clarence Brown: Hollywood’s Forgotten Master by Gwenda Young because it gave me an opportunity to learn about an age of Hollywood that I’ve just not taken the time to understand before.

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them?

Actually, I’m from St. Louis originally so I’ve kind of become an unofficial tour guide for Lexington (I’m still waiting for my name tag to come in…I’m sure they’re sending it any day now). I always take people on a long walk around UK’s campus because I think it’s gorgeous, as well as downtown to some of my favorite restaurants and bars, like West Main Crafting Co. and Buddha Lounge. Breakfast? Josie’s for sure. Needing some lunch? Let’s head to Planet Thai! Can you tell I love food?

Did you always know you wanted to intern in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

Growing up I was very driven and academically successful, and I always heard, “You’re going to be a doctor someday,” from relatives. When I started at UK, I began in biosystems engineering, but doing something I could do versus something I wanted to do was entirely different. After a quick Google search and some encouragement from friends, I switched to journalism and decided to intern at UPK during my first semester. I have always loved books, and being a book editor is what I used to tell people I would do, “when I grow up.”

What was the last book you read?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Rules of Magic: A Novel by Alice Hoffman. Both are amazing books!

Name three things you can’t live without.

My dogs, sweatshirts, and dry shampoo

If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? Do you have a personal motto?

Just do what you love. People always are going to say, “life’s too short,” but life can get pretty long and dull when you’re stuck doing something you don’t really enjoy, whether that be in a professional or personal environment. Oh, and while you’re still in high school, get a credit card, only use it to buy gas, and always make payments on time.

What’s your favorite word?

Sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as complex and vivid as your own.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

I try to be as conscious as I can about living a minimal waste lifestyle by avoiding plastic containers or cups and avoiding using more than I need.

If you could have dinner with any three people—dead or alive, famous or not—who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln, Stephen King, and Malcolm X.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Andy Lassner, the executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, because I love a good scare and I think Ellen and I would be great pals.

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Meet the Press: Natalie O’Neal, Acquisitions Assistant

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Name: Natalie O’Neal
Position: Acquisitions Assistant
Hometown: Hot Springs, AR

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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

I assist Anne Dean Dotson and Melissa Hammer in acquisitions by securing peer reviewers for potential projects and working with authors during the submission process.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

Bourbon Desserts by Lynn Marie Hulsman (for obvious reasons).

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Well since I just moved here in January, I’m probably not the best person to answer this question. Some of my favorite activities so far have been hiking around the Red River Gorge and Raven Run and tasting the local fare. Who knew Kentucky had such good BBQ? I took my most recent visitor to West Sixth Brewing and then out to eat at County Club (a favorite in the acquisitions department). We also visited Woodford Distillery which was a big hit!

What’s your favorite word?

Ineffable

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Georgia: A layout designer at the newspaper I used to work at told me it was the “most elegant font for paper,” and I have never thought otherwise.Georgia

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

Ha! I wanted to be a National Geographic photo journalist when I was a kid. Also, a hot air balloonist and marine biologist (until I job shadowed someone at the local fish hatchery). But my real passion has always been for books. I lucked out and found my way into publishing during grad school.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

I’ve interviewed Colin Mochrie from Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Can I bring an author to life? Because I would bring Jane Austen back to life. If not, I’ll settle for Elizabeth Bennet.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. Yes—this book resonated and echoed deep within me. I have never seen aspects of womanhood so artfully and heart-brokenly articulated.

What’s your favorite song to sing at karaoke and why?

Only the best song ever written—Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood’s job on The Great British Baking Show. Tasting breads and sweet treats for a living? Sign me up!

Last Call: The Voices That Define Sportscasting

This past weekend, the Thoroughbred racing community bid Tom Durkin, the Voice of New York Horse Racing, adieu as he stepped into retirement following a 43 year career.

Durkin’s voice could have been heard calling more than 80,000 races including the Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown, and Breeders’ Cup races.

Announcers like Durkin are part of a long tradition that, in part, trace their origins back to the University of Kentucky where an earlier announcer pioneered much of what we recognize as modern sports broadcasting today.

In Voice of the Wildcats: Claude Sullivan and the Rise of Modern Sportscasting, Alan Sullivan, Claude Sullivan’s son, along with Joe Cox, give the behind-the-scenes account of the man whose voice embodied University of Kentucky Athletics from 1947 to 1967. The 1940s witnessed an explosion in sports broadcasting across the country, and when Sullivan, a seventeen-year-old from Winchester, Kentucky, took up the microphone, he became part of a rapidly changing field. Sullivan’s career developed as Kentucky began its rise to prominence and spanned the first four NCAA Basketball Championships under Coach Adolph Rupp. He also revolutionized the coverage of athletics by introducing a coach’s show with Kentucky football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. It was not only copied by other institutions but would also become an important innovation that paved the way for the modern televised sports entertainment industry.

While Sullivan never had the Thoroughbred racing bona fides of Durkin, he did call races including Tim Tam’s 1958 Bluegrass Stakes photo finish win.

That race call, along with 27 other archived audio files spanning Sullivan’s career announcing UK basketball and football games (plus a few with the Cincinnati Reds), can be found on the Voice of the Wildcats website. There, you can also read an excerpt from the book and look through photos documenting the work of the original Voice of the Wildcats, David Sullivan.

#UPWeek The Importance of Regional Publishing: Because Nobody Understands Kentucky Like We Do

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All week, we’ve been celebrating University Press Week and sharing with all of you what it means to be a University Press and what makes UPs so great. One of the subjects we’re best known for is a subject closest to all of our hearts: Kentucky. Our regional books editor, Ashley Runyon, is a born-and-bred Bluegrass Girl. For University Press Week, we asked her to share why Regional Publishing is so important both to her and to the Press. Herewith, Ashley’s take on UPK’s regional publishing program, and a few reasons why we love our state.

Kentucky is home. As a toddler, I was first pictured in my University of Kentucky Wildcats cheerleading outfit rooting for the Big Blue. But the Bluegrass State is more than just basketball. Or bourbon. Or horses. It is the experiences and stories of people and places throughout the region that define what makes Kentucky great.

As a publisher of regional books, we are in a unique position to offer an exciting and inviting look at Kentucky’s history, heritage, and community. Offering more than just a chronicle of Kentucky’s past, we have the opportunity to engage, enlighten, and entertain. In the past year alone, we have shown Kentuckians the best places in the state to travel to for barbecue, bourbon, gems, and ghosts, revealed one of the best but forgotten jockeys, taught our readers how to make the perfect Old Fashioned cocktail, and offered a comprehensive look at the inner workings of government and politics in Frankfort and beyond. The tradition of the Bluegrass State is wide and far-reaching. Every week I learn something new about my home state and I hope we also offer that to our readers.

Regional publishing showcases the many truths of our region and community, whether it be The Good: A vibrant writing community, love and appreciation of the land. The Bad: The Louisville Cardinals (Go Big Blue!). And the Ugly: Poverty, prevalent drugs, and a poor education system. It is our job to tell the stories of our state.

The heritage of Kentucky is rich and it has been our privilege to enrich our community for the past 70 years.

Why do we publish books about Kentucky? …Because nobody understands Kentucky like we do.

Because we love that there are more barrels of bourbon than people in Kentucky.

More Bourbon Barrels than People

And we love to drink it! (even our beer tastes like bourbon)

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Because it is perfectly acceptable to call into work to go bet on the horses at Keeneland or Churchill Downs

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Because NOBODY is a bigger basketball fan than we are. (We still can’t believe the UK-UL game in the 2012 Final Four didn’t result in the apocalypse)

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Because speaking of the apocalypse…Berea, Kentucky is the safest place to be

Zombies Ahead

Because in Kentucky, you can visit Paris, Rome, Bagdad, Bethlehem, Cuba, Sweeden, London, and Versailles (pronounced Ver-sales) in a day. Or towns like Monkey’s Eyebrow, Possum Trot, Big Bone Lick, Bugtussle, Oddville, Rabbit Hash, Shoulderblade, or Pig.

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Because we know its Loo-uh-vuhl, not Louie-vill

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Because one-half of the most infamous feud in America were Kentuckians

Because we were the original Land of Lincoln (sorry Illinois!)

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Because along with Lincoln, we claim Muhammed Ali, George Clooney (all the Clooneys, really), Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence, Diane Sawyer, and a hell of a lot more writers (Robert Penn Warren), Politicians (Henry Clay), Musicians (including the Judd family and 2/5 of the Backstreet Boys), Scientists (Robert H. Grubbs), Athletes (Tyson Gay), Artists (John James Audobon), and Chicken Impresarios (Col. Harlan Sanders)

George Clooney

Because we’re well-fed on BBQ, fried chicken, and doughnuts

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Because even our madams are (in)famous

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Because its hard not to tear up every time this happens before the Kentucky Derby

Because, as former Governor Happy Chandler said, I Never Met A Kentuckian Who Wasn’t Either Thinking About Going Home Or Actually Going Home.”

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