Author Archives: Kathryn Flicker

Consultant in the Hot Seat: Stephanie Hall


Stephanie has recently re-joined us at Atwood Tate after working as an internal recruiter at HarperCollins for four and a half years, managing all the recruitment across the different sites and at all levels. Stephanie worked at Atwood Tate from 2012-2014 and has returned to look after Editorial (non B2B & Professional); Production; Design and Operations outside London and the Home Counties.

What do you love about working in publishing?

I love the people, which is handy for being a recruiter! I consistently find the people in the industry to be interesting, friendly people. It can feel like quite an insular industry when you’re first starting out, but people are usually willing to chat and because people never seem to leave publishing once they’re in, you get to build great relationships with people over time. I have candidates that I placed in 2012 that I’m still in touch with!

What is your favourite book/play/poem or author?

I don’t have a favourite book anymore, I don’t think… I’ve probably read all of Judy Blume’s books several times each and find going back to them incredibly comforting, but if we’re judging favourite books by number of times read, at the moment it’s the That’s Not My… series. We’re currently very into locating and identifying our monkeys, dinosaurs, llamas, pirates and kittens at home. Otherwise, I’ve recently re-read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele,: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions which I would highly recommend to anyone, not just parents. It has some brilliant suggestions on how to raise an inclusive and strong kid and all my friends now have a copy.

Who is your hero?

Frida Kahlo. I really admire her resilience and ability to turn any setback into something creative (and profitable!). She was all the things I want to be when I grow up: strong, brave, honest, successful in her own right, unashamedly feminist, generous with her time and most importantly, able to stomach a lot of tequila. I think I have better taste in husbands though!

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

The ability to control time – to pause it, speed it up, slow it down. I genuinely don’t understand anyone that would want a different power. I could pause time during the night to get more sleep or have a lie in, slow time down when I’m running late (I hate to be late!) and speed it up when time is dragging and I’m getting impatient. What more could you want?

If you could share a meal with anyone, who would it be?

Oprah. I think she’d be fascinating to talk to and would have some absolutely exceptional gossip about other people, as well as some really interesting experiences and incredible achievements of her own that I’d like to ask about. And if the conversation runs dry, we can chat about the episode of 30 Rock that she’s in, which is one of my favourites.

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How to Get into Publishing

Last week The London Book Fair hosted the event `How to get into Publishing?’. The Olympia Room was full of eager graduates, awaiting advice and tips of how to kick start their career in publishing. Here we have created a summary of what was said.

The panel:

Carl Smith https://uk.linkedin.com/in/carl-smith-8a2a3411b

Shalini Bhatt https://www.linkedin.com/in/shalini-bhatt

Katherine Reeve https://uk.linkedin.com/in/katharinereeve

Maria Vassilopoulos https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-vassilopoulos-51572320

The panel began by offering a background of themselves, what was their first role and how did the skills in this role set them apart during interviews?

  1. One of the roles was working in a bookshop as a Christmas temp. The skills developed within this role; customer service, bookselling, industry knowledge contributed to success in an interview, especially when asked `what is your favourite book?’.
  2. A hospitality background and the transferable skills developed here; customer service, working on multiple projects, confidence and working with lots of different people are skills relatable to roles within publishing.
  3. If you have not studied an English or History degree, don’t worry, for one of the panel a visual arts degree stood them out from the crowd.

Interview tip: Build a rapport with your interviewer, something you have in common can help you shine in an interview.

What are the geographical challenges and how can they be overcome?

We have to admit that most publishing roles are based in either London or Oxford. However, the big publishers are not the only ones out there. You can gain experience through working in bookshops or working for charities or library suppliers for example.

Editorial roles are not the only choice. Take a look at HR, finance, marketing and production roles also.

The Spare Room Project offers free accommodation in London whilst taking up work placements. Read our blog on the Spare Room Project here: http://ow.ly/86Ck30o88C0 More good news; internships are more often than not paid.

Interview tip: Make sure you are prepared. Research your interviewer and the company on social media, look for a talking point. What are they currently advertising/working on?

In job specs how much of the criteria do I need to meet before I apply?

You don’t have to meet all of the essential and desirable skills, but you need to meet the main essentials and demonstrate them in your CV and cover letter. 

If you feel excited by an advertisement, if you know you can do that job then go for it! There is no harm in applying.

However, be realistic and ask yourself will you feel comfortable answering questions relating to the criteria in an interview situation?

Interview tip: Go in with questions, be curious and passionate.

What are the dos and don’t’ s of CVs and cover letters?

Do’s

Introduce yourself in a personal statement at the top of your CV, your skills and what you are looking for.

Always read the job spec, pick out the key skills and buzz words and demonstrate you have them in your CV and cover letter.

Be meticulous in your spelling and grammar

Prioritise information and layout, show them you can do this in your cover letter and CV. Keep your CV at max 2 pages.

Don’ts

Overdesign your CV. Instead keep it simple, not too hard on the eyes or text heavy.

Send your CV in the correct format if requested.

Make your personal statement too generic, focus on particular skills.

Don’t list all of your previous jobs, but the most important and relatable ones which demonstrate the skills they are looking for.

Interview tip: Represent yourself in the best possible way, but be yourself! Always ask when you will hear from them of the outcome of your interview.

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Have you referred a friend yet?

details of the refer a friend programme

Did you know that if you referred a friend, you could receive £200 in vouchers?

If you see a vacancy that doesn’t quite match your requirements, but you think you know someone who will be interested, then simply forward the relevant vacancy details to a friend or colleague. If they’re not already registered with us and they are successfully placed into a new permanent role, you will receive £200 in vouchers of your choice when they have completed 3 months in their new position.

Terms & Conditions

  1. The candidate must reference you in their application to us.  Or if you forward us their details, you must mention the vacancy title and reference number.
  2. Only candidates who are not currently registered with Atwood Tate may be considered.
  3. The offer will only apply to the role they are recommended for and not if they are placed within a different role at a later date.
  4. Payment will be made once the referred candidate has completed a period of three months in the role.  We will contact you to confirm this and get details to supply your vouchers.

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International Women’s Day 2019

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we are reminding you of some recent good news for women in the publishing industry and highlighting forthcoming publishing events.  We’d also like to celebrate a selection of inspiring female authors whose works should be on your bookshelf if they aren’t already!  Let us know who is on your list.  On a more serious note, if you’re working in publishing and looking for ways to promote gender diversity, do take a look at the report and  recommendations provided by the REC here: www.rec.uk.com/genderdiversity

On the Authors’ Club Best First Novel List this year, we see many more female writers’ names. The prize fund is to support UK authors and last year’s winner was Gail Honeyman with `Eleanor Ophiliant is Completely Fine’. To see women dominating the list is encouraging, to read more click here: https://www.thebookseller.com/news/women-dominate-authors-club-longlist-965126

Are you a woman who has worked in publishing with great achievements? Do you know a woman whose achievements or promise within publishing is worth celebrating? The Kim Scott Walwyn Prize (partnership with The Society of Young Publishers) is open to any woman who has worked in publishing for up to seven years! You can nominate yourself or another! Click here for submission forms and to find out more: https://kimscottwalwyn.org/ The deadline is 5pm (GMT) Monday 18th March 2019.

Girls can do Anything, a new panel series has some great upcoming events! The first one was a huge success and you can read our blog on it here: https://blog.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/girls-can-do-anything/ If you are looking to get into the publishing industry or are a new writer searching for tips to build dynamic and strong female characters, this event is for you! You can buy tickets to the next event on the 20th March here:  https://www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/classes/girls-can-do-anything

Crime fiction – women are dominating! `Gone Girl’ and `The Woman on the Train’ are examples of huge successes! This is great, but are women being given enough recognition in terms of nominations and awards in this field is another debate. Read more here: https://girltalkhq.com/female-authors-dominate-the-crime-mystery-genres-but-arent-being-given-enough-recognition/

Female Authors you should be reading:

Carol Ann Duffy – An award winning poet and Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. `The Feminine Gospels’ and `The World’s Wife’ are must reads!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – A Nigerian author, whose work drew upon the Biafran War. A writer of short stories, novels, non-fiction and essays. We recommend `Purple Hibiscus’ and `Half of a Yellow Sun’.

Doris Lessing – Lessing was a British-Zimbabwean novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2007. Lessing has been described as `that epicist of the female experience’. `The Golden Notebook’ is definitely one we would recommend.

Enid Blyton – A fantastic writer of Children’s Literature, with millions of copies sold all over the world. Blyton’s writing is quintessentially British. `The Famous Five’ series are a classic!

Maya Angelou – A poet, activist and storyteller. Angelou has also published autobiographies and essays. Give `I know why the caged bird sings’ and `And Still I Rise’ a go!

Toni Morrison – A writer on gripping themes, unique language style and teller of the American reality and detailed African American characters. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. `Beloved’ and `Song of Solomon’ are must reads.

Virginia Woolf – Woolf is considered one of the most important 20th century authors, with her exploration of the human condition, post war society and politics.  Put `To the Lighthouse’ and `Mrs Dalloway’ on your reading lists!

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The Book Trade Charity

What do they do?

The Book Trade Charity is a fantastic organisation, offering support, guidance and financial assistance to all those in the book trade industry presently, in the past or striving to be in the future.

Founded on the principles that age, health and finance should not be a barrier to this creative and inspiring industry, the charity aims to overcome these barriers.

How can they help you?

If you have been struck by an unexpected illness, financial problems, medical situations or redundancy for example you may be eligible for assistance.

By offering grants, housing, and confidential and friendly support to tackle these problems.

The Retreat and Bookbinders Cottages – both in London, are residential facilities for those working or have previously worked in the book trade. Offering a fantastic, comfortable and community centred atmosphere, with individuals who share common experiences.

Travelling costs for interviews, extra financial assistance to move to London for jobs are also ways the charity can help if you meet their requirements.

What about if I haven’t worked in trade books before?

Extra assistance during internships, supporting in education or training courses, financial costs in attending interviews are some of the ways the charity can help you.

www.booktradeentrysupport.org – this website is aimed to provide information to those who are new to the trade. Take a look, it may just help you in reaching your dream job!

Are you looking to get back into work?

Going back to work can be scary and a challenge.

The charity can assist you with this transfer. Re-training after being made redundant, assistance with training courses, financial grants are some of the ways the charity can help you.

Become Involved

Donations are massively appreciated, both one-off, or regular monthly or annual. Currently the charity’s annual grants budget (across all the areas in which it helps) is some £250,000, and donations are relied upon to replenish the budget every year.

If you are up for some fun, you can run an event (possibly a bake sale?) a tasty treat! Or if you are up for something more challenging you can also take part in a run or swim!

The charity also has 5 places in the London Marathon each year – you can achieve a huge personal success and contribute to a great cause at the same time!

If you would like to fill out a grant form or discuss your options, visit the website here:

You can also call: 01923 263128

To donate visit: See the Donation pop up on the website or visit their virgin giving page

You can also read some inspiring stories on their website of the excellent work the charity has carried out.

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London Book Fair 2019

With less than two weeks to go until the 2019 London Book Fair, preparation is well under way! Not booked your ticket yet? You can here: https://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/

We are excited to again be part of one of the biggest events of the year, offering up CV advice and our expert knowledge of the publishing industry at The Careers Clinic (you will need to be registered to attend the London Book Fair to participate but they have a limited number of free London Book Fair tickets).

Would you like to meet us at the fair or after at our office near Bond Street station? Give our administrator a call on 0203 574 4420 to book an appointment!

NB: We’re running an Evening CV / Get registered Surgery event on Wednesday 6th March and you can book an appointment for anytime up until 7pm!

We are feeling extra excited because for the first time there will be a live podcast stage! With a line-up that includes Ian McEwan and Daisy Buchanan, the podcasts will be happening over the three days at The Fireside Chat Stage. You can find the podcasts events here: https://publishingperspectives.com/2019/02/london-book-fair-announces-inaugural-podcast-lineup-smartphones-pew-research/ Make sure to check it out!

Are you a first timer?

  • Plan your travel! (There are direct bus routes and Kensington Olympia has its own railway station)
  • Check out the lists of exhibitors and plan who you want to visit
  • Bring a big bag! (You may want to pick up leaflets and information)
  • There will be lots of free seminars, make sure to attend one
  • Take a notepad and pen – exhibitor stands and what they are promoting will give you industry insight that you can use in an interview
  • Network as much as you can
  • Follow up on all connections made
  • Most importantly – visit our consultants at The Careers Clinic

Are you a regular attendee? (Authors, agents, publishers)

We don’t need to tell you what to do!

But make sure you are stocked up on business cards and have planned the exhibitors you are most interested in and the seminars you want to attend!

Three of our fabulous consultants will be at The Careers Clinic!

Meet Clare Chan – Clare works on Production, non-tech Project Management, Design, Operations, Sales, Rights & International Sales in London and the Home Counties  https://www.linkedin.com/in/clare-chan-6437b068/

Meet Kellie Millar – Kellie is the manager of our temps and freelancers desk and also recruits for all Administration, HR and Finance roles https://uk.linkedin.com/in/kelliemillar

Meet Faye Jones – Faye works on Editorial (B2B & Professional), Sales, Marketing and Rights in Oxford and all areas outside London and the Home Counties https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-jones-a94344147/

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Love to Read – Valentine’s

Welcome back to The Atwood Tate Book Club where we share what is on our consultant’s bookshelves. This post is dedicated to our feel good, favourite and romance books for Valentine’s day!

Kathryn Flicker, Administrator & Social Media Coordinator

Kathryn’s recommended Valentine’s reads are `The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock’, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, a novel about love and obsession. Jonah Hancock’s acquisition of a mermaid brings him into contact with Angelica Neal, a courtesan who admires her possessions, and throws them into a world they would not before have entered.

Kathryn would also recommend `Sweet Tooth’ by Ian McEwan. The protagonist Serena Frome is recruited by MI5 to be part of an operation that funds writers whose writing and politics meet the requirements of the government. Serena falls in love with the young writer she is employed to manipulate, leading them both down a road of betrayal.

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

Helen loves reading Georgette Heyer’s novels which are set in the regency period and these all have an element of romance as well as intrigue. Two of Helen’s favourites are `Sprig Muslin’ and `The Corinthian’. In Sprig Muslin, Sir Gareth Ludlow is set to marry Lady Hester Thealer a woman he respects. However, on route to propose to her he sees Amanda Smith, a pretty lady who proves to have a dangerous imagination.

In The Corinthian Sir Richard Wyndham, contemplating his future loveless marriage meets a young and beautiful fugitive, where he offers himself as her protector on her travels. This road leads them into a murder investigation, and then to love.

Catherine Roney, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Catherine recommends you read `Still Me’ by Jojo Moyes, part of the Me Before You trilogy, this book picks up where After You left off. Now living in New York City, Louisa Clark is now ready for a whole new chapter. Trying to manage a new adventure, along with her new long distance relationship, Louisa is determined to make everything work. Mixing with New York High Society, Lou then meets someone who reminds her of her past and she finds herself torn between two worlds. Funny, warm and romantic, if you enjoyed the other two books then this is a must read!

Anna Slevin, Administrator

Anna enjoys reading Arthurian tales and would recommend `Erec and Enide’ translated into English where the couple are married very early on and have to learn to make it work, is almost a love story told backwards.

Gerald Morris’ modern version of Arthurian tales, Anna also enjoys. `The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf’ in particular for romance is a children’s book still close to Anna’s heart and is as much about families being idiots and going to extremes as it is about learning to love someone for who they are. Anna loves Gerald Morris in particular for his no-nonsense heroes and heroines who make mistakes, fall in love and fight to reach their happily ever after.

Novia Kingshott, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant

The Thorn Birds is a romantic novel which details the lives of the Clearys family. Set in a land unlike no other, rich when nature is good and poor when fallen to drought, and centred around fantastic characters. Meggie is the only daughter and distance drives her from her true love Ralph de Bricassart, although it does not drive away their love for each other.

Are you searching for the perfect read for a loved one this Valentine’s Day? Do you want to make them feel special with a perfectly picked out story for them to cosy up with? Along with our recommended reads above, we suggest you take a look at Waterstone’s Valentine’s Day, Books to Love.

https://www.waterstones.com/campaign/valentines-day

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Girls can do Anything

The panel:  Abiola Bello (Author and co-founder of Hashtag Press), Hannah Sheppard (Literary Agent, DHH Literary Agency), Charlie Morris (Senior Publicity and Marketing Executive, Stripes Books), Gillian McAllister (Sunday Times Bestselling Author)

On Wednesday, our administrators Kathryn and Anna went to the evening event Girls can do Anything, Write? The first panel discussion in a new series hosted at The Library in Covent Garden as part of the London’s Big Read 2019, inspiring an eagerly listening audience with suggestions for success in a publishing career.

Are women’s voices heard enough in the publishing industry?

The industry is predominantly populated by women so why are women rarely the ones in charge of those important decisions? After acknowledging that there are exceptions to this within the big six trade publishers, the big takeaways were:

  1. Male voices are often given more weight – women are making the hiring and firing decisions but men are rising through the ranks at faster speed.
  2. Men and women brand themselves differently – men are often more confident and actively seek a response, whilst women couch themselves with a much more passive approach. This confidence, particularly in authors trickles all the way down to the retail selling of a book.
  3. The glass ceiling has not yet been smashed – more conversations need to be had in the sharing of maternity leave for example.

On a positive note, women reign supreme in crime fiction at the moment and their voices are being heard in publicity roles across publishing.

Lesson: Be confident and share support, whatever stage you have reached in your career

(Don’t be afraid to ask AND offer!)

How can more BAME women be heard in publishing?

Publishing houses are making more of a conscious effort in their recruitment processes however, diversity reports show that there is more work to be done.

  1. There are not many BAME submissions and more books need to be published with BAME characters
  2. There is a twitter “mob mentality” around individual voices, however the existing writing community is under pressure to avoid writing diverse characters. So how do we get diverse books to young readers, with characters reflecting themselves, to encourage them become authors?
  3. It is possible that we need to start from the bottom, and address potential unconscious bias within schools and promote books outside of the educational canon.

Some Advice…

Are you an aspiring writer? Here are some useful tips:

  • FINISH THE BOOK! You can edit later, it is much easier to work on a finished manuscript.
  • Find something that triggers inspiration for you. A particular genre of films?
  • When reading, read analytically. (This is relevant to a career in publishing on the other side of the desk too!)
  • When writing, your characters should drive the plot – what do they really want? It is their goal that should lead the story.
  • It is important to network; attend events, blog, join in conversations, subscribe to industry news outlets like The Bookseller and BookBrunch. (This is relevant to a career in publishing on the other side of the desk too!)
  • TIP: Try to write 20 minutes a day and take a day off.

Do you want to get into publishing? Here are some useful tips:

  • Read a lot, especially what is being promoted, bestsellers and what is being reviewed. It is important to have knowledge of what works and the industry itself.
  • HAVE OPINIONS! When applying for a job, look for a connection between yourself and the role you are applying for.
  • Read the job advert closely, understand exactly what they are looking for and demonstrate that you have those skills.
  • Look at the companies’ social media and website and see what they value.
  • TIP: Recognise the business person within yourself and be a boss in your field!

With contributions from Anna Slevin.

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The Art of Reading

The Atwood Tate 2019 Reading List, find out what is on our consultant’s bookshelves this year!

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

HHelen loves history books, and was given `Queens of Conquest’ as a Christmas present as she really enjoys Alison Weir! Helen appreciate’s Weir’s writing upon historical figures, to which there is limited information and these queens from the early Middle Ages sit within that category.

Helen will also be reading `Tombland’ by CJ Sansom, as she loved the earlier Shaedlake books. `Tombland’ is set in Norfolk, where Helen is from, spurring her on to read it even more!

Kathryn Flicker, Administrator & Social Media Coordinator

Kathryn will be reading `Call me by your name’ as she hasn’t yet watched the film and wants to get lost in the romance and setting of Italy through the written word.

Richard Yates, is again on Kathryn’s bookshelf with `Revolutionary Road’.

Having read `The Easter Parade’ and finding it mostly sad, but recommending to everyone she knows, Kathryn is ready for more Yates!

Faye Jones, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Faye is obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock films and `The Woman in the Window’ is loosely inspired by Rear Window. Having heard such good things, Faye decided to add to her list!

Faye will also be reading `Catcher in the Rye’, a classic she hasn’t got round to yet. `This is going to hurt’ by Adam Kay has been on Faye’s read pile for a while and 2019 is the year!

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Anna is planning to read `Lies Sleeping’ by Ben Aaronovitch and `The Wise Man’s Fear’ by Patrick Rothfuss. Both fiction, both falling into the fantasy camp, they are fun and compelling and make reading fun for Anna!

`The Gastronomical Me’ by M.F.K. Fisher is also on Anna’s bookshelf. Food essays are wonderful to read and delight the senses!

Parissa Bagheri, Trainee Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Parissa is currently reading `The World’s Wife’, after enjoying The Feminine Gospels and its extravagant metaphors, Parissa is reading a Duffy poem a day!

`Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, humorous and heavy hearted, Parissa is expecting to ride a roller coaster of emotions with this one!

Catherine Roney, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Catherine is a huge fan of Liane Moriarty and can’t wait to get stuck into her latest book! Nine strangers in need of a break, a beautiful health and wellness retreat, what can go wrong?

If you enjoy warm, funny and family centred novels, indulge in some Liane Moriarty this year!

Karine Nicpon, Lead Consultant

Karine is planning to read `Chéri’ by Colette. Colette is a very famous French writer who Karine has never read, making 2019 the year!

The novel is written in French and English translations are available. A tale of unobtainable love, if you love romance, this is one for you!

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