With our blog audience growing, so is our team! Julia Callaway joined the OUPblog family in November 2013 as our New York-based Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator here at Oxford University Press. Although she is new to the blog team and the New York office, she has has been at Oxford University Press based in the UK for the last three years. You can find her blogging at Oxford Academic, tweeting at @OUPAcademic, and in her free time she occasionally blogs at OxfordWords blog. In her pre-OUP life, she could be found in Paris, gorging on French cheese and delectable pastries (and teaching English).
When did you start working at OUP?
I started in the Oxford office as an Intern in Children’s Publicity just over three years ago, and about six months later I got my first full-time position, as a Marketing Assistant on the Institutional Marketing team. I transferred to the New York office this past November to do my current job.
What was your first job in publishing?
I lived in Paris for a year after college and I translated recipes for French Grazia Magazine. I have no idea if they were published or not.
What weird things do you have in your desk drawer?
Something that looks like a pack of gum, but when you take the stick of gum out it snaps your finger, courtesy of a certain Content Development Editor in the UK who convinced me he was just being generous.
What was your first blog post ever?
“Hella ridic new words to make you lolz” – the first blog post I wrote was on behalf of Oxford Dictionaries, to promote the quarterly dictionary update in August 2012. The first post I wrote under my own name was “L’anglais c’est super cool!,” and it still has the embarrassing comments from my parents’ friends in the comments section.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Los Angeles but moved to Oxford when I was 13, and I’ve pretty much been going back and forth between the two ever since.
What is the strangest thing currently on or in your desk?
Right after I transferred to the New York office, I got a package in the mail from my former colleagues in the UK with the most random assortment of things from around my old office. So, I have a star shaped slinky, a green polka-dot ribbon, a dried chili pepper, a strawberry-flavored lollipop, a plastic fork, a coin from Iran, a pack of half-eaten mints that say “Unite the Union”, a British penny, and two napkins from the coffee bar in the UK office.
What is your favorite word?
Borborygmus! And the plural: borborygmi. Great words.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you at OUP?
There was a big snowman in the OUP quad last winter, and late one night, a friend and I went back to pick up our bikes. I turned around and he had picked up the entire 4-foot snowman from the base. And then he threw the whole thing at me.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found about working at OUP?
At the beginning I was surprised by how much of publishing is digital, and how between my internship and now, I never had anything to do with books. I’m also constantly surprised by how often people think “working in publishing” means either writing books (no I’m not an author) or printing books (I’m not a printer either).
What was the least?
The least surprising thing I’ve found working at OUP New York – the office is very far removed from the University and town. The Press’s almost-500 year old history is hard to fathom when we’re surrounded by the chaos that is Madison Avenue, and not by the Colleges and University buildings of Oxford.
Open the book you’re currently reading and turn to page 75. Tell us the title of the book, and the third sentence on that page.
“I have not been thinking of myself as a doctor, but as a man of science simply proving that an idiot is an idiot.”
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Courtesy of a UK-based Senior Marketing Executive who gave it to me for my birthday. Thanks!)
What’s your most obscure talent?
I can lick my elbow. No, it’s not impossible.