Pan Macmillan is launching a positive action proofreading traineeship for applicants from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in publishing.
The scheme includes a free, virtual, industry-recognised proofreading course, sponsored by Pan Macmillan and delivered by the Publishing Training Centre (PTC), alongside a trial proofread and mentoring from Pan Macmillan desk editors.
Although some companies employ proofreaders on staff, the majority hire freelances who work from home. Most freelance proofreaders will work with several different publishers, and sometimes with self-published authors as well.
The scheme is aimed at Black, Asian and ethnically diverse candidates, disabled people, people who are neurodivergent, and trans or otherwise gender non-confirming people – and specifically those who feel that a traditional office environment is not the right fit for them and who are looking to begin a full-time freelance career, or to those interested in freelancing part-time alongside other commitments. No previous publishing experience is required, though applicants who have left in-house publishing roles and are interested in returning to the industry on a freelance basis are welcome. Potential candidates can apply through Creative Access.
The course will take place virtually and will include the purpose of proofreading, how proofreading fits into the publishing process, how to check proofs and what mistakes to look out for and how to mark corrections. On successful completion of the training, participants will be invited to take Pan Macmillan’s proofreading test, and will then be offered the opportunity to complete a paid digital proofread, to a deadline – with feedback on their work provided by a member of Pan Macmillan’s desk editing team.
To help support participants as they begin freelance careers, they will also receive access to two additional PTC distance learning courses: Essential Grammar and Successful Editorial Freelancing, which they will be able to complete over the following 12 months.
Sophie Brewer, associate publisher at Pan Macmillan, said: “Freelance proofreaders are an important part of the publishing process; they are a pair of fresh eyes on the titles they work on, and their interventions are crucial in ensuring that the books we publish are as good as they possibly can be. Alongside our in-house DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] efforts, the managing editors recognise the importance of ensuring that the pool of freelances they work with is as diverse and inclusive as possible. We hope that the applicants who take advantage of this positive action training scheme will become valued proofreaders and, perhaps – in time – copy-editors, with long-term freelance careers in publishing, and will ultimately be of benefit to the publishing industry as a whole.”