The Northern Fiction Alliance has announced it is hosting a Regional Diversity Roundtable in January 2019, in light of the Publishers Association’s latest survey on inclusion and its new data on regional diversity.
Following on from the PA's 2018 report, and news major publishing houses are considering opening up more offices outside London, the event has been organised by Comma Press on behalf of the Northern Fiction Alliance to discuss ways in which the industry can provide more entry points for aspiring publishing professionals outside London and the South East. According to the PA’s 2018 survey, which included a question on childhood location for the first time, the top 10 counties where individuals grew up were in and around London (15.1%), the South East (19.8%) and East of England (12.5%).
Taking place at Manchester Metropolitan University on 30th January 2019, and supported by the Publishers Association, the regional diversity roundtable promises to bring together publishing representatives from across the industry, ranging from small independents to some of ‘the big five’, to discuss issues around regional inequalities, and how best to affect change and share good practice. It will also feature speakers including researchers and activists who have championed regional diversity within the publishing industry, as well as those that have successfully developed initiatives across the arts more broadly.
Sarah Cleave of Comma Press said: "We all know how London-centric the publishing industry is; the question now is how do we open more doors for people living and growing up outside of the capital. It’s obviously not a skills gap issue, so we need to look closer at how we recruit and reach new talent, how we support people to gain experience in the sector, and, ultimately, we need to start rethinking where we choose to set up our offices and creative spaces in order to make them more inclusive."
Emma House, deputy chief executive of the PA, said: "We are very pleased that regional diversity is being discussed and addressed alongside all other forms of diversity and inclusion. There is a wealth of talent outside of the traditional pools of London and the South East that would welcome further support and opportunities to work in publishing, as well as a discussion around the benefits of have more regional diversity in terms of publishing companies outside of the current publishing hot spot locations. The Northern Fiction Alliance is perfectly placed to lead this discussion and we are delighted to be supporting them and the wider conversation."
For more information, or to attend the roundtable, those interested should contact Cleave on Sarah.Cleave@commapress.co.uk.