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Publishing Assistant

Publishing Assistant

Elle McNicoll.jpg

Elle McNicoll is signed with the Bell Lomax Moreton Agency. Follow her on Twitter (@BooksandChokers) and Instagram (@BooksandChokers).

How did you get into publishing?

I’ve been applying for publishing jobs since finishing my undergraduate degree. In that time, I worked as a bookseller and a freelance proofreader and editor. I think being proactive is very important, as it’s hard to get that first job. During my masters, I was asked to edit an anthology of short stories for publication which was a great experience. After finishing my dissertation, I received some job offers and started work as an assistant at a small independent publishing house, where I work with the non-fiction releases and backlist. 

What is your boldest prediction for publishing in 2030?

Change within the industry is slow. I’m very committed to seeing more disability and neurodiversity within publishing, particularly in children’s publishing. As a neurodivergent person, there is a lot of unconscious gatekeeping and bias at play, which makes the industry quite inaccessible for disabled jobseekers. I’m determined to change this! Therefore, my boldest 2030 prediction is that there will be an increase in disabled representation, within books and within the houses that publish them. I’m making sure of it. 

What is the best piece of career advice you have received? 

A professor once said to really hunt for the dream job. It was conflicting advice when most people recommended unpaid internships for a year and then taking what you could get. So I’m proud to say I’ve never worked for free and am on a path that I’m happy with, and very much enjoying the work at a small, independent press. 

What skills have helped you get ahead?

My bookselling skills have helped a great deal, being able to quickly pitch why a book is worth reading is a great asset! 

Why do you love working in publishing?

I love working in publishing not only because of my love of books but because of my beliefs and principles for a better and more inclusive world for neurodivergent people. I love storytelling. And I think stories should include everyone.