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Spare Room Project

The Spare Room Project

“I am delighted to accommodate a bright young student in our spare room over the summer. It is little or no effort, it will be great to have somebody learning about publishing staying with us, and what a great way of opening up our London-centric trade to people coming from elsewhere." Andrew Franklin, founder and MD of Profile Books and first publisher to host a Spare Roomer.

The London-centric reality of publishing acts as a major barrier to aspirant publishers from outside of the capital. In response to this, James Spackman (publisher and consultant) with the support of the Publishers Association set up the Spare Room Project. Since 2016, we have been matching interns from outside of London with publishers who can offer a spare room. Not only is it a great opportunity for mentorship but it also means that young people without the means to pay for expensive temporary accommodation can take up opportunities in the city. Since November 2018 the project has been generously supported by Penguin Random House.

Take a look at the blogs below to hear from interns and hosts and read our FAQ. If you have a spare room you can offer, or if you're in need of one, just email James Spackman.


Spare Room Project Blogs

  • Hetty Mosforth.jpg Hetty Mosforth on her Spare Room Project experienceHetty Mosforth, who undertook two-weeks' work experience at Penguin Random House, was grateful for her Spare Room after hearing a colleague was commuting an hour and a half to get to work.
  • Logo for Spare Room Project.jpg Amy Edwards on her Spare Room Project experienceHaving just graduated from university, Amy felt the need to get some extra experience under her belt to help her secure a position in publishing, which she achieved thanks to the Spare Room Project.
  • Spare Room Project Tabitha Ives.PNG Tabitha Ives on her Spare Room Project experienceLiving in Suffolk and studying in Birmingham, I am lucky enough to live only short train journeys away from London. While this is ideal for day trips, looking into commuting in and out of London every day soon proved far too expensive.
  • Spare Room Project Juliet Peacock.jpeg Juliet Peacock on her Spare Room Project experienceOn a rather rainy February day, Juliet got the email she had been hoping for since January: the notification that her application for work experience had been successful.
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FAQ

FAQs – Guests

 

 

Q: Is there any legal admin to do?
A: A little bit. We ask guests to confirm their placement and give assurance that all the info they’ve provided is correct. Then guests and hosts are both asked to agree to some basic terms and conditions. Finally, we as that guest and host sign another basic agreement between themselves (which we provide) when they meet.

Q: How long can I stay with one person?
A: Most hosts offer one week, so if you have a six week internship, you may end up with six hosts, or even some gaps between hosts

Q: What happens if something goes wrong with the SRP placement?
A: Email James@TheSpareRoomProject.co.ukto discuss it

Q: Are background checks required, for guests or hosts?
A: No. It’s down to individuals to make sure they’re happy with the situation, so we don’t require special checks.

Q: How do you connect guests and hosts?
A: We simply email both of you to make the introductions, then it’s over to you to agree the details, like arrival time.

 

FAQs – Hosts

Q: I work in the book industry in London. How do I pledge a room?

A: Click here to sign up as a potential host (no firm commitment is required!)

Q: I can’t offer a room now, but might be able to in future. Shall I still sign up?

A: Yes! Once you sign up, you’ll start getting email updates from the SRP every few weeks. When you spot someone you can help, let us know. There’s no time pressure.

Q: Do I have to provide work experience as well?

A: No. The aspirant publisher should arrange their own placement.

Q: Do I have to feed them?

A: You can if you like, but there’s no obligation.

Q: Do I have to hang out with them?

A: Ditto. Your call.

Q: I can only do particular dates, is that ok?

A: Yes, we’ll work with whatever you can offer.

Q: How long will the guest stay?

A: Most hosts offer one week’s accommodation. You can offer more if you want, but it’s not expected

Q: I have small children/yappy dogs/loud neighbours/live in zone 6/live on a houseboat/share with friends/only have a sofa to spare … will anyone want to come to stay??

A: So far yes! The scheme has matched up interns with hosts in all sorts of living arrangements.

Q: Is there any legal admin to do?

A: A little bit. We ask guests to confirm their placement and give assurance that all the info they’ve provided is correct. Then guests and hosts are both asked to agree to some basic terms and conditions. Finally, we as that guest and host sign another basic agreement between themselves (which we provide) when they meet.

Q: Has the project worked?

A: Yes! More than a dozen SRP guests have already secured jobs in London publishing houses since interning, and staying with hosts.

Q: What happens if something goes wrong with the SRP placement?

A: Email James@TheSpareRoomProject.co.uk to discuss it

Q: Are background checks required, for guests or hosts?

A: No. It’s down to individuals to make sure they’re happy with the situation, so we don’t require special checks.

Q: How do you connect guests and hosts?

A: We simply email both of you to make the introductions, then it’s over to you to agree the details, like arrival time.