By Juliet Peacock, Intern at The Little Tiger Group
Monday 9 October 2017.
The Spare Room Project is an initiative supported by the Publishers Association and run by James Spackman of Profile Books. Publishers offer up their spare rooms for interns based outside of London.
On a rather rainy February day I got the email which I had been hoping for since January: the notification that my application for work experience had been successful.
Unfortunately, this joy was quite short lived as I very quickly realised that travelling to London each day was going to be both a long and expensive journey. Furthermore, my knowledge of London was very limited (I had only ever visited London on school trips and had never been on the tube), so this long journey was also rather daunting. However, I refused to let this get in the way of me gaining much-needed experience; therefore, I resigned myself to completing this journey each day.
I have been following for quite a while now the publishing careers blog Publishing Interns and I happened to stumble across a tweet where they had mentioned the Spare Room Project. After some investigation, I discovered that there was a scheme that teamed up an aspiring publisher within someone within the industry who lived in London. This sounded amazing so I very quickly sent an email to the organiser James and crossed my fingers!
Fortunately, James was able to find 'spare rooms' for both of the weeks, so at the end of June I set off to London to begin my work experience.
I worked in the PR and Marketing department of the Little Tiger Group and learned a lot over the two weeks, including how to write press releases and even managed to squeeze a quick visit to Stripe's editorial department.
For the first week, I stayed with Katy, her husband Jon and their cat Billy. I enjoyed talking with Katy about both my work experience (as a reviewer of books she was able to offer me further insight on press releases and what she likes to see in them) and her job at Unbound, a crowd-funded publisher. In the second week, I stayed with Andrew and his wife Caroline. I didn't see much of them but when I did see them they were friendly and happy to answer any questions I had.
Both of my hosts were very welcoming, thoughtful and generous. I cannot thank them enough for opening their houses to me for the week, it really helped make the two weeks the fantastic experience it was.
I would 100% recommend any aspiring publishers put off completing work experience because you don't live in London to give the Spare Room Project an email. I had a wonderful two weeks and finished my work experience more determined than ever to work in publishing when I graduate next July.