Saturday, 29 September 2012

Opportunities outside of London: Where do I start?

I’m well aware that there are lots of work experience opportunities in London and probably not as many as there are outside of London, or at least not as well known. It can be more difficult to find local publishers but the extra time can pay off. For example, I undertook a placement with OldCastle books for four weeks and it barely cost me anything apart from packed lunches. This company are based in my hometown so I could easily walk to and from the office. I only found them because I did my research. I simply went onto Google and searched ‘publishing’ and ‘intern opportunities’ in ‘Hertfordshire’. I never expected to find a local company, but luckily, I did and it gave me just as good experience as any well known company.

I always recommend that interns seek placements locally and especially for those that can’t afford them in the London area. This could be particularly relevant to those that live North of London. This is why I’ve dedicated a blog post to touch upon the opportunities available outside of London. Of course, there are publishers based in the Midlands and North, but obviously than can be a lot more difficult to find. You’ll probably end up stumbling across one accidentally on a Google search.  Anyway, work experience isn’t all about London and just because you don’t live there, doesn’t mean that you are any less better off gaining experience at a company local to you. At the end of the day any experience counts. Below I’m going to share a few links with you to start your search for intern opportunities, outside of London.   

Society of Young Publishers
The SYP has a Midlands and Northern branch that host events and talks regularly. These have a wealth of potential in terms of networking with other publishing professionals. Believe me, getting into the publishing industry is a lot about networking and whom you know. Check out the events dates below and add them to your diary.

Children’s Publishers
There are quite a lot of children’s publishers outside of London and specifically around the Manchester/Leeds area, but it does depend what area you’re looking to get into. I would say though, even if it’s not children’s specifically, there’s still valuable experience to be gained at any publishers. By this I mean that all publishers will have an editorial department whether they’re a children’s or adult’s publisher, so it’s worth gaining experience where you can in the relevant department you’re most interested in.

Once you’ve had a look at the list do your research. Are any of these publishers nearby? Do they take work experience applications? If not, is there an email address where you can direct your enquiry?

Other useful websites
The Oxford Brookes website is brilliant for advertising intern opportunities particularly around the Oxford area (link available here). Additionally, Manchester University Press offers internships. Contact the member staff stated in the relevant department you’re interested in (link available here) and send them your CV. 

Don’t forget that my blog has a book publishing page and magazine + journalism page that supplies links to intern opportunities.   

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