Yesterday the copy editor’s comments and queries on the manuscript for our book Youth Activism and Solidarity: the Non-Stop Picket against Apartheid arrived. I’ve spent the last day attentively working through every bit of changed formatting, spelling, and punctuation, to ensure the manuscript is in a good state.
This book has been a long-time coming – Helen Yaffe and I started our research about the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group’s Non-Stop Picket of the South African Embassy in 2011, and it has taken nearly three years from start to finish to produce the book. We are expecting to carry out a final, detailed check of the page proofs at the end of August. All being well, the book is due for publication early in 2018.
A couple of weeks ago, one of the former activists that we interviewed for the research, who had officially been part of our project advisory group, asked to see a copy of the manuscript. There’s always a moment of trepidation whenever you handover a piece of writing to someone who is potentially heavily invested in what it does (or doesn’t) say. That’s further exaggerated when sharing academic writing with non-academic audiences. Luckily, I needn’t have worried – a few hours later a message arrived on Facebook to say “I read a few pages and it’s all readable, not academic speak!” Given that our ambition was to write an academically rigorous book that was interesting and engaging for those who participated in the Non-Stop Picket, that’s a great endorsement to receive!