Author Archives: Lucy

About Lucy

Lucy joined Atwood Tate as our exceptionally organised administrator and is now a full time consultant working on a range of roles. Lucy herself has editorial experience working across a list of illustrated non-fiction and fiction at the independent publisher, Parthian Books. In her role as Publishing Editor, Lucy worked with authors, artists and associate editors to develop and promote a diverse list. She is now working on recruitment for all Editorial vacancies (excluding STM), from graduates to mid-management, in London and the South-East.

‘Express Yourself’ – an event exploring what young people like to read

What nicer way is there to end the working week than to find something to really look forward to next week? We received a press release from Hot Key about this event next Tuesday, and thought it looked like so great we wanted to share it with you.

‘Express Yourself’ event part of Word 2013 festival

Tuesday 21 May, 6.30-8pm, Platform Youth Hub, Hornsey Road

 As part of Islington’s Word 2013 festival, Platform Youth Hub is running ‘Express Yourself’, an exclusive event in collaboration with All Change, Platform Youth Hub, Islington Libraries, Hot Key Books and Edge Writers Group.

Express Yourself is a youth led panel discussion exploring what young people like to read and what kind of work they like to create. Hosted by young women and men aged 13-19 living and studying in Islington in partnership with best selling authors from Hot Key Books and the Edge Writers Group. The event gives anybody interested in literature the opportunity to hear directly from young people about what inspires them and to engage in a lively and interactive discussion that will stretch the minds and thoughts of both the panel and the audience.

This event is the culmination of ‘Write Ideas’, an exciting series of workshops based around reading and creative writing, which ran at Platform from 26 February – 21 May 2013.  ‘Write Ideas’ aimed to excite and engage young people in the written word from writing fiction to screen plays as well as introducing them to creative industries and careers from book publishing to filmmaking. The Write Ideas project is a co-production with young people. It has been developed and will be delivered in collaboration with Peer-leaders from All Change’s B Project for young women and Platform’s Young Creative Producers aged 15-23 years.

Suzanne Lee, Artistic Director of All Change says: ‘Write Ideas is a really exciting initiative for young people – designed in partnership with them. It provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to meet and work with published authors who write for young audiences, and professionals working in the world of publishing – bringing story-making to life and inspiring new readers, writers, editors and publishers for the future.’

Desara Bosnja, B Project Peer Leader (age 20) says ‘Write Ideas is a great opportunity to explore creative ways of story telling- the idea that everything comes from a story and we can express it in many mediums. The opportunity to work with professional writers, authors and publishers is extremely inspirational and motivating, whether or not you are pursuing a future as a writer, publisher or author. It’s an exciting and creative way to approach literacy.

To find out more about the organisations involved, have a look at their sites:

Hot Key Books  All Change  The B Project  The Edge

Islington Libraries  Platform  Word Festival

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So you want to be an Editor? Why?


We see a lot of candidates looking for editorial roles. A lot. Many of them are bright-eyed, bushy-tailed graduates (if that’s you, you need to read this Open Letter), but we also see a lot of people who’ve already established a career, perhaps in a sector outside of publishing such as teaching, who are keen to switch things up and see their skills as easily transferable. Sometimes this is the case, sometimes not. However, one of the first questions we’re going to ask is what kind of editorial role are you looking for? Often we’ll see the cogs whirring and can almost hear the inner response. Erm… books?  This is a problem.

I worked in trade publishing for several years in editorial roles. On the best days I would be travelling to a Book Fair or working with an author or artist I really admired, or launching a project that I’d been worked on for over a year. Most days involved less exciting tasks: slogging through slushpiles and having to write rejection letters to twenty people in a row (uplifting!); dealing with last minute print problems; training staff and interns; reassuring an author who’s in tears because a publication date has been moved for the third time; writing reports and applications for funding. This was at small press where it was necessary to do a little bit of everything – larger companies will be likely to have more rigid structures. That editor role you’re looking at on the Guardian could involve anything – from being someone’s PA to running a company.

  • The word ‘Editor’ means a different thing to almost every person we speak to. This is why we like to meet candidates face to face, and why we talk to our clients about every vacancy we advertise. We need to find out exactly what an editorial (or any other) position involves before we can find the perfect candidate for the job. To some people, being an editor means simply proofreading or copyediting, to some it means they want to be involved in project or people management.
  • What does it mean to you?  Do you like the idea of working very closely with content? Can you negotiate a better deal than Delboy? Would you be more suited to a production editorial role? Do you see yourself as a ‘bigger picture’ editor? Would you give away your Grandma to be involved in commissioning? Do you have amazing networking skills? Prefer to work alone? Do you edit onscreen with InDesign or write all of your blog posts in HTML? Can you balance a P&L sheet with your eyes closed?
  • There’s also the question of content and format. It’s not so much about what you enjoy, as what you’re good at and what your professional background is – as Stephanie mentioned in last week’s post, a passion for ‘books’ is not enough. What subject knowledge do you have that makes you unique? Perhaps you know the Singapore educational system inside out, or you’ve written dissertations on the digital evolution of journals. Maybe you have a law or medicine degree, or have taught English in twelve different countries. Maybe be you’re an app addict and could win Mastermind with your knowledge of Moshi Monsters.

Before you go to an interview and tell someone you want to be an editor because you enjoy reading, please have a long, hard think about everything else that particular job entails (that four page job description IS your friend) because it’s likely that’s what you’re going to be doing for most of your time. Make sure you’re a really good fit for every role before you apply and you’ll be much more likely to convince someone else, and to come away with the result that you want.


If you’ve got the skills and experience to be a top editor, we’ve got loads of editorial vacancies in educational, STM, academic, and other sectors. If production editorial is your cup of tea then you should look at these. And to prove just how specific an editorial role can be: if you’re fluent French and Spanish, have a biomedical degree AND experience in STM, this might for you. If, however, after reading this post you’re still only interested in editing experimental poetry from the Ukraine, we wish you the best of luck – you never know, it could happen – but you might want to boost your CV (and your bank balance) with some publishing-based temp work while you’re job-hunting!


Filed under Advice