A new group for women in publishing, Conduit, has been launched by A M Heath, with the first meeting scheduled for April.
The collective "came from a desire to make more connections between women across all sectors and levels of publishing,” its organisers said. "Formed in the spirit of generating space for conversations we want it to be easier for women working in publishing to talk to one another, whether that is straightforwardly social, or a chance to discuss industry experiences, concerns, ambitions and ideas."
Conduit will meet four times a year. The events will vary but will all feature a "short and inspiring" talk followed by a social event. The seminars will come from women in the industry, authors or from people outside of publishing.
Launched initially by literary agency A M Heath, Conduit will be run by women in publishing. Anyone interested in being a part of the organising group can contribute to working on one event or for a year’s term.
The first event will take place on 24th April featuring author, creator and host of "The Guilty Feminist" podcast Deborah Frances-White. The event will take place 6.30pm at Rawthmells, the Royal Society of Art's coffeehouse in central London. To book a free place, visit Eventbrite.
A M Heath agent Zoe King, who came up with the idea, said it came from a desire to connect. “I think there was a real sense that we are all really busy and don’t have enough time but there is a desire to connect with people in the industry and when you do, you get a lot out of it."
King helped to organise a “test” event in January, inviting 50 publishing colleagues to drinks in January near the agency's offices, in Lamb's Conduit Street in central London, which gave the group its name. Around 90% of the invited guests turned up, King said, encouraging her to start up a regular event.
"It seemed like there was a bit of a gap for something like this," she told The Bookseller. "We’ve had such a great response – we had conversations with our contacts who said it would be good to get together every three or four months for a few hours… but in an atmosphere that felt easygoing. Something at the end of the working day that didn’t feel like the extension of the working day.”
She added: "It came out of an appetite for connection. There is so much on phones and social media but northing beats a conversation with someone, you can’t replace that. Good things come from conversations."
To volunteer to help with Conduit or arrange a future event, contact A M Heath assistant Florence Rees on Florence.Rees@amheath.com.
The announcement follows the launch of digital platform and newsletter, The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing), formed by three Transworld colleagues to showcase "brilliant, inspiring, courageous and creative" women who work in the publishing industry, in January.