The Society of Young Publishers is launching a mentorship scheme across London and Oxford to champion inclusivity and access to the industry.
The London branch will unveil stream one of the scheme, SYPinto, at the London Book Fair next month, and is inviting applications from individuals not yet working in the industry full-time such as students, graduates, temps, freelancers, interns, and jobseekers. It will be open to individuals who are not SYP members to make it as inclusive as possible.
The second stream, SYPahead, will begin later this year, open to junior professionals already in full or part time employment but who are “looking to take the next step up the ladder”.
The London branch is headed up this year by co-chairs Phoebe Morgan, commissioning editor at HarperCollins, and LBF sales manager Katrin Krusch. They have helped select mentors from a mix of sectors across publishing, encompassing editorial, design, production, agenting, digital, audio, rights, sales, marketing and publicity.
Various industry figures have already signed up to be mentors for the London scheme including Georgina Moore, communications director at Headline, Aimée Felone, founder of new inclusive children’s publisher, Knights Of, and Cassie Browne, editorial director at Quercus.
Also mentoring are Georgina Green, HarperCollins’ head of international sales, and Eden Goddard, sales representative for HarperCollins, and Orchard Books designer, Jesse Green.
Abiola Bello, co-founder of The Author School and Hashtag Press, has also joined the scheme along with Nosy Crow’s senior production executive, Leila Mauger, Bookouture’s commissioning editor, Abigail Fenton, and Charlie Morris, who is publicity and marketing executive at Little Tiger Press.
Agents who have joined the scheme include Rebecca Wearmouth from Peters Fraser and Dunlop and Sarah Manning of The Bent Agency.
Throughout the project, the SYP will be “primarily acting as a relationship facilitator between those just starting out in the industry – keen to ‘learn the ropes’ and still needing to orientate themselves – and more seasoned professionals with lots of personal experience, knowledge, and advice to share”, according to a spokesperson for the society.
Mentors and mentees will be matched based on the interests of the mentee and professional experience of the mentor.
Applications will open on 11th April in conjunction with the SYP’s ‘How to Get into Publishing’ seminar at LBF. The programme will kick off at the beginning of May running formally until November. Mentees will also receive a free pass to the SYP London conference in November, a one-day event with more than 60 industry speakers.
The Oxford SYP branch will also be organising a mentoring scheme aimed at their members later in 2018.
“This is something we’re incredibly excited about, and we’re thrilled to have such brilliant publishing professionals coming on board,” Morgan said. “It is becoming increasingly hard to get that first introduction to publishing and as an industry we need to practise what we preach and give young people a chance.”
Krusch said: “Both streams support our ongoing mission of providing careers support to junior and aspiring professionals, but with SYPinto in particular we are hoping to make a meaningful contribution to opening up our industry and making it more accessible to individuals from the widest possible range of backgrounds.”
She revealed that the first stream is open to those who are not SYP members “because we appreciate that not everyone can afford membership early in their careers”.
The SYP was founded in 1949 and is open to anyone, of any age, who is working in publishing or a related trade or hoping to be soon. The collective is volunteer-run with branch association across the UK and Ireland.