All posts by Hamzah Hussain

A-Z of Dundee

Just when you think you know everything about Bonnie Dundee, it reveals something new. They don’t call it ‘The City of Discovery’ for nothing.


As part of this module, I’m lucky to be doing a placement with Dundee Rep. The Rep is currently developing a new production called A-Z of Dundee which will tour different communities within the city.

My fellow intern, Kai, and I are thrilled to be part of this project because we get a sneak peek into the world of theatre AND get to work with playwrights, directors and actors. We have a development meeting which can’t come soon enough.


The production is described as ‘a brand new anarchic, (and mostly true) history of Dundee’ which explores Dundee’s relationship with the rest of the world. We’re not going with the bog-standard ‘Jute, Jam and Journalism’ but will be uncovering things that people might not know.

For this we’ve been speaking Dundonians themselves – us included. After our initial meeting with Heather Cassidy at the Rep, director Ewan Donald and designer Leila Kalbassi, we went out in search of material that can be used in the production.

So,  we chatted to people in the city centre and set up other interviews with people of interest. We’ve had some insightful and amusing conversations so far, but we’ll be building on this before our meeting.


Setting sail for our own voyage
Frigate Unicorn – one of the world’s oldest warships.

To get into the swing of things, Kai and I visited the Frigate Unicorn. We learned a bit about the city’s history at sea and, I learned that sailors must have been very short – I was hunched over the entire time!

Nonetheless it was a valuable visit and we gather useful information, ideas and a contact for an interview.

Gunning for stories. The Frigate Unicorn’s gun deck was cool!

We still have a couple of weeks until our meeting where we plan on pitching our findings to the rest of the team. I’m sure there are many stories left to uncover, come back later to find out what they are – or better yet come to the show.


‘E’ is for E-book

In other news, the internship with New Haven is also going well.

Lately, I have taken fully formatted and edited manuscript and prepared it for E-book publication. I was given a template to use and an example E-book to follow. My job was to make sure the text was successfully transferred on to the template.

It was fun to do and to see how publishing in different formats works. Teddie seemed happy with my work (save for a few mistakes – oops). Take a look at the final product here.

Next up is promotion for another title in about a week or so.


Things are certainly moving along! I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks has in store at both placements.

You can also catch me on Twitter and my own website.

All the best,

H.M. Hussain 

 

Edits, Drafts & Rock ‘n’ Roll- Interning With New Haven Publishing Ltd.

I never thought I’d be working for a cool, international publisher, but here I am!

The first of my two internships/placements is with New Haven Publishing Ltd. New Haven is an international publisher which focuses primarily on music and entertainment publishing. New Haven has over 100 active titles from 55 authors, including some of the coolest names in the media industry such as, rock icon Suzi Quatro and pop idol turned actor Luke Goss.


This virtual internship began at the start of the year when I spoke with Teddie Dahlin,  N.H.’s owner, managing director and first author. Teddie set up N.H. in 2012 to publish her book about her friendship with Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols – I know, cool, right?!

Although the company is quite young, N.H has become a large international publisher with authors from across the globe and an equally widespread distribution. While Teddie is based in Norway, N.H. is a UK company. She has two other companies, New Haven US and Phoenix Press, which is dedicated to crime writing and also in the UK.

New Haven also has a press dedicated to crime writing.

So, you can imagine my excitement when Teddie agreed to have me on board. It seems both of us are treading on new ground, since she has never had an intern before, let alone a virtual one.


In the first few weeks, I’ve learned the basics of how N.H. acquires its authors; from submission, to signing the contract and sending a raw manuscript to Teddie.

This is where I come in.

My first job for Teddie was simple but crucial. She asked me to read a raw M.S. for clarity and give my opinions on it. In this case, she suspected it needed an editor and she was right.

Another book published by New Haven – ‘Fast Living – Remembering The Real Gary Holton’ by Teddie Dahlin

It was a great way of easing into things, but now it gets more interesting. New Haven also publishes e-books so, my next task is to prepare a completed manuscript for digital publication.

My first thought is, “Oh god, how do I do that?”

But there’s plenty of support at N.H. and I’ve been given a template to follow. Despite the nerves, I’m excited to learn and pick up some handy new skills. Fingers crossed it goes well!

Come back in a week or so to see how I’m doing…


If you can’t wait to read more of my work, head over to my brand new website.
It looks pretty slick if I do say so myself!

H.M. Hussain

Writing your first blog post shouldn’t be this difficult

Hamzah Hussain by Robert France Photography

You’d think as an almost-twenty-five year old living in the digital age, I would be a pro at all the things an almost-twenty-five year old should be, like blogging.

To be honest, I missed that train… and the one where everyone listens to podcasts. I guess it’s never too late to learn and catch up.

I’ll try not to ramble too much, so here is what you need to know for now:

My name is Hamzah and I’m and emerging writer from Dundee (don’t ask what kind of stuff I write, don’t event know yet).

That’s my mug up there   ^  ^   ^

I’ll be using this site to update, anyone who cares to read, on my journey through this WPS course. You can find out what we get up to on this course and how we’re doing with our various internships.

You know, for a Creative Writing student, I really thought I’d be better at this sort of thing. But this is just a quick intro. If you want to get a better idea of how I write, you can check out some of my reviews for DURA here.  

For other writerly things, follow me on twitter @hamzah_h21394.