From education to employment

Courtney has Designs and Illustrations on Publishing

Courtney Jordan - working part-time at Faerie Press CIC as a Co-Founder, Director, and Designer. Faerie Press is the First LGBTQIA+ Children’s Publishing Company on the Island of Ireland. 

Doing what you love is what drove one student to South Eastern Regional College (SERC).  This proved the starting point for first steps in a career in illustration and publishing for Courney Jordan (21) from Lisburn, who is combining higher education with part-time work in the industry.

Courtney progressed from Victoria College to complete the Level 3 Technical Diploma in Art and Design (Graphic Design and Illustration) at SERC’s Bangor Campus.   She said, “It was during the first lockdown that I realised how important it was to spend my time doing the things that I love most: photography, design, illustration.   So, I did a bit of research and found the perfect course at SERC.

She continued, “I absolutely loved it!   The tutors were incredible, especially Ann Harrison (Lecturer in Art and Design – Illustration).  I loved being able to experiment with different mediums within the course. There was also flexibility, which helped me manage some hardships I faced during my studies and support to keep me on track.   I even found a part-time job through the course at Inkydoo Design and Print in Ballynahinch.   That experience really improved my knowledge for print. The course and the experience gave me a confidence boost, a qualification, and a portfolio to take my studies to the next level. I am now completing a HND in Graphic Design.

She added, “Besides my HND, I am also working part-time at Faerie Press CIC as a Co-Founder, Director, and Designer. Faerie Press is the First LGBTQIA+ Children’s Publishing Company on the Island of Ireland.   Our aim is to provide representation within publishing to create an accepting society through diverse storytelling.

Faerie Press has been a year in the making – myself along with a group of 14 other people, went through seven-months training with course provider Cara-Friend, engaging with industry experts ranging from Knights of Media to Penguin.  The training gave us insights to how they work from various perspectives. From here, we grouped together and created Faerie Press CIC. We launched at an UNESCO event in Dublin Castle in November.

“The biggest challenge for the industry, is simply publishing is difficult to get into if you don’t have any contacts. There are less opportunities in Northern Ireland compared to England. As a company we plan to work collaboratively with others in the industry.

Asked what piece of advice she would give someone thinking of following in her footsteps, Courtney said, “Just say yes and ask questions! If you are interested in design, then network and get involved in local exhibitions such as Late Night Art  – some galleries in Belfast have exhibitions on the first Thursday of each month; and if it’s publishing you are interested in, read as much as you can and prepare to jump at any opportunities that may come up. Research anything that you are unsure of and network the best you can.”

Courtney concluded, “It is an exciting time in work as Faerie Press are currently looking for submissions for our first anthology, which will be released in time for Belfast Pride 2024. We are looking for 16–24-year-olds to submit poetry, short stories, and comics/short graphic novels under the theme of Inner Child. Our target audience is 11–14-year-olds. The deadline for submissions is 5 February 2024.”

For more information visit or visit @faeriepress on Instagram.

Visit to unlock your future #BetterOffAtSERC.

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