As well as setting myself the challenge to read and write more this year, I also resolved to attend more literary events, and thus immerse myself as much as possible in the world of books. Much of the reason I haven’t done so before is that having few booky friends, coupled with my reluctance to attend events alone means I generally have a more enticing option of an evening.
However, through a good friend from uni, I’ve recently become friends with the lovely Helen Youngs, who is on the Society of Young Publishers committee, and so, when she invited me along to an event at the Phoenix Arts Club I decided, somewhat bravely, to venture there alone.
‘Last night a speed date changed my career’ was organised by the SYP committee in order to give attendees a greater insight into the publishing world. With guest speakers from a number of different publishing divisions: editorial, publicity, rights, sales, digital, marketing, recruitment and agenting, the event offered a fabulous opportunity to have an informal chat with industry professionals and the chance to ask any burning questions you might have about publishing.
One only had to look at the immense turn-out to realise just how many people want to work in publishing, and indeed how fierce the competition is. This is something I know only too well; I interned for a year at various publishing companies before moving sideways into PR and, thankfully, a job I love.
For me, the best thing about the event was the chance to find out more about the different roles in publishing and exactly what they entail. I think, as a generation, we have a tendency to pigeon-hole ourselves in terms of jobs and what we want to do; thus potentially missing other fantastic opportunities. All the speakers were friendly, helpful and engaging and did a wonderful job of giving a greater insight into their division of publishing.
And thus, whether you’re actively looking to get into the publishing industry, or, like me, are simply a fan off all things bookish, I highly recommend joining the Society of Young Publishers and shimmying on down to one of their events – you never quite know where it might lead!
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