The publishing industry is undoubtedly ever-changing, always growing and continuously revolutionising how we read and distribute content. This blog post looks at three exciting and recent developments in the publishing world. Here at The Student Wordsmith, we believe in inspiring individuals to engage with publishing and writing opportunities and to showcase new talent; in this sense, we decided to focus on developments in the support available for people wishing to enter the industry.
The Spare Room Project:
Not so long ago, securing work experience in publishing required you to live in London yourself, know someone who does, or have access to (and be able to afford) good travel links into the area. This – unsurprisingly – restricted many people from being able to take part in the valuable internships and experiences being offered. Many companies were willing to reimburse reasonable travel costs – but when you live in the north or a remote area, these can easily add up and tip the scale of acceptable reimbursement criteria. Additionally, time is not your friend if you live too far out – even if you can get your travel subsidies, you most likely will be unable to make the trip there and back, feasibly, in one day. This is where the Spare Room Project comes in; set up in 2016, the project matches publishing interns with London-based publishers who are willing to offer accommodation for the duration of the placement. What’s more, living alongside a publishing professional will likely give you some informal mentoring to compliment your professional placement. As their tagline states, this initiative literally ‘opens a door to publishing’.
Find out more: https://thespareroomproject.co.uk/
Linked to this, in recent years there has been a shift up north for many publishing houses, meaning individuals from all over the country now have the potential for experience on their doorstep. A notable example of this is And Other Stories, who were formerly London-based and moved to Sheffield in 2017. They also recently set up a diversity-focused publishing traineeship, which will be discussed later in this post.
University and Degree Based Opportunities:
Universities are now incorporating new vocational degrees alongside traditional subjects – among this trend is the publishing degree. When I applied for university, back in 2015, the opportunity to study publishing at undergraduate level was rare; however, now in 2018 UCAS shows results in the double figures. Additionally, many universities, such as Loughborough, are continuing to include specialist publishing modules as an option within English degrees. Of course, a further exciting example of the growing opportunities to get involved with publishing at university is platforms like us – The Student Wordsmith!
The Internship Revolution:
Refreshingly, companies are beginning to re-think the way that they view and organise work experience. More and more publishers are now advertising paid opportunities or reward systems (such as gift vouchers) in exchange for the hard work of an intern. Additionally, as well as making publishing less London-centric, companies are aiming to make it more diverse. The Publishing Traineeship set up by And Other Stories is just one example of this; aiming to ‘open the door’ to more people, the yearlong internship is available exclusively to people from lower income families, ethnic minorities or marginalised backgrounds.