NEW YORK, February 13, 2013 – The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is launching the CUNY Publishing Institute in June, a five-day intensive course on book publishing led by prominent digital and print publishing professionals.

John Oakes, a veteran of traditional publishing and co-founder of the internet-based OR Books, will direct the Institute.  Other headliners include Jane Friedman, CEO, Open Road Media, a digital publisher and multimedia company, and Larry Kirshbaum, president of Amazon Publishing, a start-up that aims to publish 40 books a year.

The focus of the June 3-7, 2013 workshop will be on new digital technologies and how they have changed book publishing, from book production, to marketing and distribution, contracts and royalties.

The course is directed at young professionals already in publishing, recent graduates contemplating publishing as a career, authors who wish to understand how the business works and new options open to them, and entrepreneurs interested in starting a publishing venture.

The Institute is an outgrowth of another collaboration between the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and John Oakes.  In 2012, the School launched the CUNY J-Press, to publish books about the field of journalism.  The J-Press’ first imprint, “Distant Witness” by NPR’s Andy Carvin, will be released on January 25. Oakes’ OR Books is the digital and print publisher for J-Press.

“The same forces that have rocked journalism are now impacting publishing in dramatic ways,” said Stephen B. Shepard, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.  “Our school is known for embracing new technologies to tell stories better and interact with the audience; we hope the Institute can play a similarly provocative role for publishing.”

Classes will be small and held at the state-of-the-art graduate school, located in the heart of Manhattan one block from Times Square.

“The CUNY Publishing Institute offers a concise and affordable format for exploring the new opportunities opening in publishing,” said Institute Director John Oakes.  “It will also be a great place to meet some of the new players in the world of digital publishing.”

Others teaching at the Institute will include:  Johnny Temple, publisher, Akashic Books, an award-winning independent company dedicated to publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction; Joe Craig, editor-in-chief, the History Book Club and Scientific American Book Club; Elizabeth Dyssegaard, editorial director, Hyperion Books, a division of ABC; and Aziz Isham, president, reKiosk, a new approach to selling books and other digital media on the web.

For more information, contact John Oakes at or

212-463-0316 and visit .

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in midtown Manhattan is the only publicly supported graduate journalism school in the Northeast.  Opened in 2006 under Founding Dean Stephen B. Shepard, the J-School offers a 16-month Master of Arts in Journalism program that includes a required paid professional summer internship.  It was also first in the nation to offer an M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism, beginning in 2011. Taught by award-winning journalists from top media organizations, students learn to tell stories using print, broadcast, and interactive formats while getting rigorous instruction in reporting, writing, critical thinking, and journalism ethics. Students also specialize in one of five subject areas: arts & culture, business & economics, health & medicine, international, or urban reporting.