From a love of books to something much more

By Melissa Eveleigh 4 years ago . 7 minute read

I’ve always had an interest in books. My fascination started as soon as I could understand words and stories. Just after I moved into secondary school, I became friends with a woman who wrote books and had been published. I turned my attention to the process of creating books, mostly in terms of writing. I’d never considered what happened between somebody else writing the story and me reading it. It didn’t make any difference to me, if books were there for reading I was perfectly happy not knowing how they got to me.

Flash forward to UCAS applications. I had my heart set on studying English Literature, that had been the plan since I started writing my personal statement. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I didn’t have even the faintest idea what I would do in terms of graduate jobs with that degree. I decided that English on its own was not quite direct enough for me, so when I saw that Oxford Brookes offered an undergraduate degree in Publishing Media I knew that’s what I had to apply for. I’m a person that needs focus and that’s what this course would inevitably give me.

When I got to the second semester of my second year I was faced with the task of coming up with a dissertation or major project focus for my final year at university. By this point I had already been editing manuscripts for published and debut authors and I knew that this was something I wanted to continue and expand. For the question I would aim to answer, I decided to find out where my business fits into the larger publishing industry.

And then, The Honeycomb Literary Consultancy was formed! I spent most nights in the lead up to my launch fretting about logo designs (which changed daily), website functions and the endless amount of social media I had to set up. The aim was the only thing that never changed, I’ve always wanted to help the authors I’ve worked with to improve the chance of getting their work out there. The arts are vital, they shape the way people of all ages look at the world, and I want to be part of the creation of art that can touch the lives of readers.

Part of that process involves being the outside perspective for authors, that sees issues with their work and helps shape it into something fully developed. I also work really hard to mentor authors on technical aspects of writing and things they need to know in terms of the publication process and their role in it, such as finding an agent and navigating the growing world of social media.

Charity is also something close to my heart, which is why I’ve got a few charity events planned over the coming months. The first will run over the summer, with all donations going to Book Trust. I will be offering basic editorial reports for a suggested donation to a Just Giving page that I am currently in the process of setting up. I am also planning a Christmas event to support the excellent work they do.

In September I will begin my final year of university, during which I plan to keep expanding the business. It will be a challenge alongside my studies but I feel like the university has given me a fantastic support system that will help me achieve everything I want to before I graduate.

About Melissa Eveleigh

Founder, The Honeycomb Literary Consultancy

Originally from Somerset, I'm currently a second year Publishing student at Oxford Brookes University. As well as being a student, I also started my own literary consultancy as part of my third year major project. When I'm not studying or working I go to author events, read, and spend time with my puppy!