The Spare Room Project, supported by The Publishers Association, will match up aspirant publishers from outside London with publishing people in the capital, who can give them accommodation for a week.
One of the starkest challenges to diversity in publishing is the difficulty faced by those who live outside of London and have no friends or family there to put them up, while they do an internship or work experience placement.
This pilot scheme will start to address the issue by asking people working in publishing in London to pledge the use of a spare room in their house for a week. They will then be matched with an aspirant publisher, who will have arranged work experience in London for that week.
The Spare Room Project is led by James Spackman of Pursuit Agency, a publisher and consultant, along with Seonaid MacLeod, Campaigns Manager for The Publishers Association and Alistair Hodge, Senior Lecturer, MA Publishing at the University of Derby
The first person to pledge a spare room for a week was Andrew Franklin, founder and MD of Profile Books, who said:
“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.”
James Spackman said:
“It isn’t fair that you currently need to know someone in London to get started in publishing, and we need to change that. I’m sure my fellow publishers will jump at the chance to do something practical and real to help.”
Seonaid MacLeod said:
“The PA is pleased to support the Spare Room initiative. In keeping with our commitment to ensure that the workforce of publishing is as representative as possible, it’s hugely important to give those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to come and spend a week in London, without spending money on accommodation. We’d love to see our members take up this opportunity and help a student get on the publishing ladder.”
Alastair Hodge said:
“While Derby is hardly the North Pole, and it is only 90 minutes by train to London, geographical location can have a significant impact, dissuading students from accepting internships or work experience opportunities because of the hassle and costs involved with finding somewhere to stay in the capital. So I thoroughly welcome this scheme and hope that it becomes an established part of the annual calendar.”
How do I apply for a room?
By emailing email@example.com saying which week you are have work experience lined up. He will then match you with an MA student.
Does my work experience have to match my host?
No; you should organize your own work experience and then get in touch with us. Staying with someone who doesn't work at the company where you're doing your placement can open up helpful conversations as well!
How do I pledge a room?
By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org saying which week you are offering. He will then match you with an MA student.
Do I have to provide work experience as well?
NO! The aspirant publisher should arrange their own placement. Please let James know if you want to offer work experience as well, but it’s not essential.
Do I have to feed them?
No. The students will be told to be self-sufficient.