The Society of Young Publishers has said widening access to publishing across the UK and Ireland is its top priority, as it celebrates its 72nd anniversary.
It comes as Tanuja Shelar, academic and community marketing assistant at Yale University Press, is made the society’s new chair. Shelar will be joined by Amalia Mihailescu, student success advisor at University College London, as vice chair.
The new chairs aim to improve digital accessibility, including launching a new website and investing in captioning software for online events.
They will also be focusing on geographical areas outside the main publishing hubs, by reaching out to lesser-known regions in publishing and further expanding the successful mentorship scheme.
To support these objectives, new roles have been created on the SYP UK Committee, including two digital content officers, a social media officer and a mentorship lead.
Commenting on the objectives for 2021, Shelar said: “If you are in the first 10 years of your publishing career, or looking to break into the industry, the SYP and our network is here to help. Looking at the Publisher Association’s 2020 diversity survey, our work is far from over and we will be looking for more ways to support our members in their careers this year.
“Our committees will be working more closely than ever to increase communications, promote cross-committee events and collaborate to provide a wide variety of speakers and discussions. We have a fantastic cohort this year and I am excited to work with them.”
Mihailescu added: “The SYP have done an incredible job over the past year, moving all our activity online and giving us a great foundation to build on in terms of diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. There is a lot of unexplored territory in the digital world, which will remain relevant to the industry for years to come. I am thrilled to be working with such an amazing team to discover new opportunities for our members.”
The pair will be working closely with the regional chairs and committees on joint events and initiatives to reach out to members across the UK and Ireland.
The co-chairs of the SYP London Committee are Farzana Khan, production controller at Hachette Children's Group, and Omara Elling-Hwang, non-fiction assistant editor at HarperCollins. The co-chairs of the SYP Oxford Committee are Caroline Guillet, editorial intern at Bloomsbury Publishing, and Charlotte Parr, marketing executive at Quercus Books.
The chair of the SYP Scotland Committee is Sonali Misra, co-founder of The Selkie Publications CIC and a PhD Publishing Studies student, who will be joined by her new co-chair in March. The co-chairs of the SYP North Committee are Elizabeth Beck, freelance proofreader, and Rosie Hilton, publishing assistant at Saraband Books. The chair of the SYP Ireland Committee is Elizabeth Grace, publishing administrator at Little Island Books, and the co-chairs of the SYP South-west Committee are Amy Potter, MA Publishing graduate, and Natalie Dale, assistant editor at Adam Mathew Digital.
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