Tag Archives: Internships

The Spare Room Project: Helen’s Experience Hosting Publishing Interns

What is the Spare Room Project and how does it work?

Let’s be honest, opportunities in the publishing industry are mainly in London and this can be a real obstacle for anyone looking to enter the industry from outside of the capital. This is where the Spare Room Project comes in.  In 2016, James Spackman (publisher and consultant) with the support of the Publishers Association, set up this project, which provides aspiring publishers with the opportunity to stay in the city for free and take up work experience placements.

So how does it work?  It’s simple really: interns are matched with hosts who are willing to offer their spare room for a week.  If you sign up to the Spare Room Project, you’ll be added to a mailing list and alerted when there are new lodgers to host.  There’s no immediate obligation to host and you only need reply when you see dates that will work for you.  I would urge anyone with a spare room to sign up and see whether you can help now or in the future.

Helen’s experience hosting interns

I’m excited to be hosting my third Spare Room Project intern in June.  Not being a Londoner by upbringing, I am sympathetic to the challenges facing anyone looking to enter the industry from outside of the publishing hubs of London, Oxford and Cambridge, so it’s been great to be involved in this scheme.  It’s not only good to be doing something practical to enable those without existing contacts to gain an insight into publishing and hopefully get a foot in the door, but it’s also been an enjoyable and enriching experience from my point of view.  We’ve had two quite different guests so far, one who was a huge fan of musical theatre and managed to get cheap tickets for shows most evenings, so we hardly saw her and our second guest, who quickly became part of the family and was a huge hit with (and incredibly tolerant of) my children.  Quite different experiences, but both were perfect lodgers and no problem at all to host.

You can find out more here https://thespareroomproject.co.uk/ or on their Twitter, @SpareRoomProj, and don’t just take my word for it, read some of the testimonials on the PA’s website and check out their FAQs https://www.publishers.org.uk/activities/inclusivity/spare-room-project/.

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Where to Find Work Experience in Publishing

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For the last two weeks we have been running a Twitter Q&A every Wednesday and most of the questions have been about ‘Where to Find Work Experience in Publishing’

In a previous blog post about Work Experience we mentioned most companies require a minimum of 3-6 months’ work experience within publishing before considering applications for part-time or permanent entry-level roles. This is because Publishing is an incredibly popular business and entry-level roles are heavily applied for! Some of the larger publishers can get between 20 and 200 applications for any entry-level position, with editorial roles being the most popular!

If you really want to make your CV stand out then you need to get some work experience.

Where to Find Work Experience in Publishing

  • Atwood Tate, as a company, do not handle work experience placements but we do have a Temps Team! Our temp’s team can help you get a paid temporary job, starting tomorrow in some cases, all you need have is a small amount of admin skills or equivalent. Temps are paid weekly and can have work lasting from a fortnight to three months. To get in contact with our team and learn more about how they can help you, email Michael, their team administrator: michaellawlor@atwoodtate.co.uk
  • Twitter: A lot of people say they struggle to use twitter to find work experience but it’s all about following the right people and making connections online! For example: If you want to work at a Literary Agency follow the Literary Agents and the company pages! They are more likely to post work experience placements on twitter to gather interest from people who are clearly interested in them! It is the same for publishing companies, particularly smaller publishing houses. You can also follow certain pages which are dedicated to helping people finding jobs and work experience within publishing, for example: @PubInterns and @BookJobsUK and specific job pages for publishing houses and academic presses!
  • Facebook: Another Social Media site. A lot of the bigger named trade publishing houses have specific Work Experience Vacancies pages on Facebook. They advertise anywhere from fortnightly to yearly with opportunities for interns and work experience, from yearlong schemes to two week placements! It is well worth seeing which publishing houses are on Facebook and finding their Work Experience pages!
  • BA/MA Courses: This is not always a viable option, but if you want to learn more about publishing in an academic way or within a learning environment you can apply for multiple BA/MA courses all over the UK. Some come with guaranteed Work Experience placements as part of the modules. You get a broad overview of Publishing within these courses and will usually graduate with many skills across multiple publishing sectors and job roles. They will not guarantee you a full-time publishing position straight away upon graduation though.
  • Company Pages: Nearly all companies will post Work Experience schemes on their websites. We recommend you keep an eye on smaller, more independent, publishing houses across all sectors from trade to B2B to gain some experience. These schemes are normally less over-subscribed and in some cases can last longer than an average fortnight placement.
  • Blogs: Much like Twitter there are several blogs dedicated to finding Work Experience within publishing. To name a few: Diary of a Publishing Professional and Publishing Interns. They release weekly to monthly bulletins of all of the latest entry-level roles and work experience placements going across Book Publishing, Magazines, B2B and Newspapers across the whole of the UK.
  • The Society of Young Publishers: Open to anyone with under 10 years publishing experience. There is an annual fee to join the society but you are given access to a private jobs board with work experience and entry level roles, as well as tickets to publishing events where you can network with other publishing professionals and more! If you want to know if Networking is helpful read our blog on the subject here! It is well worth joining the SYP if you are sure you want to work within publishing.
  • Jobs Boards: Last, but not least, jobs boards. You can get job alerts from many of these jobs boards which you can tailor to the positions that you want, i.e. Publishing or B2B or Editorial etc. There are also specific job boards to Publishing as well as the standard job boards. Example: Guardian, Reed, PublishingScotland, Oxford Brookes Publishing Board, Indeed, The Bookseller and more!

We hope that these tips will help you know where to find work experience in publishing!

If you have any more questions comment below or join us for our next/last Q&A of 2016 on Wednesday 21st December at 12:30pm on Twitter. Use the hashtag #AskAtwood or tag @AtwoodTate!

Let us know what you think on our social media sites too: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or Instagram.

 

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Work experience in Publishing – Is this the best way to break into publishing?

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Common Symptom #1: Work Experience

  • Work experience. Are those two words causing you dread? It’s a natural reaction if they do.

For anyone renting privately in London, working for free simply isn’t viable. But don’t despair. There are publishers offering paid internships from £200-300 per week, depending on sector. It’s not for the faint of heart but it is worth it, if you really want it.

And therein lies part of the problem – a lot of people really want it. The market is saturated, which has in part devalued any and all graduates trying hard to break into the industry. You’re a fearsome young go-getter, dedicated, driven and you love books more than anyone else in the world – except the next person!

When you have no experience to refer to, you’re not exactly starting from a position of strength. So, work experience in publishing becomes the avenue through which you not only separate yourself from the pack but make the necessary contacts. While we all might like to think that our CV speaks for itself, the fact is that people remember a face, a conversation, an attitude, more than the most articulate and knowledgeable covering letter ever put to paper.

A publishing internship, or even a few weeks’ work experience in a publishing environment, puts you in the building. Here, at Atwood Tate, we call it FID – foot in door. And it’s a good place to start, particularly when it comes to temping.

On the temps and freelance desk, the turnaround is sometimes so quick an intern is exactly what we need, someone who has some experience but is not necessarily a seasoned pro, or doesn’t have a 4-week notice to give, and is looking to prove themselves. These are often jobs which are not long-term but might last the duration of, say, a project or acting as an additional resource during a busy period. Experienced candidates are not much interested in jumping ship for a few months but junior candidates can use this as a springboard to the rest of their publishing career.

A lot of publishing houses offer publishing internships and work experience. Many of them advertise them directly on their Careers page. Sites like Indeed and the Publishers Association also advertise them, as well as on company Twitter pages, the Society of Young Publishers and blogs such as Publishing Interns.

It’s important to do a little research and know what sector you’d like to work in. And when you’ve gotten your foot in the door, let us know – we just might be able to help you open it the rest of the way!

For more advice about entering publishing follow us on twitter at @AtwoodTate and Instagram for daily pieces of advice, or like us on Facebook and LinkedIn for all of our latest job postings, including Temporary and Freelance!

 

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