Working in Publishing 2021
by Giulia Maggiori and Verity Stuart, studying at OICP
This year, the annual Working in Publishing event took place on Tuesday, 5 March 2021. More than 70 publishing professionals engaged in speed-dating sessions with over 80 Oxford Brookes publishing students.
We were delighted to work with Adam Blades, Sarah Franklin and James Spackman on organizing the event, liaising with publishers from across the industry to help bring this exciting event to life.
Despite some technical difficulties (unfortunately we could not control everyone’s WiFi), the event was a success. Together with our fellow students, we had the opportunity to meet people working in different areas of the publishing industry, including literary agencies, academic publishing, children’s publishing, recruitment agency, and literary festivals - just to name a few! It was a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the daily tasks undertaken by professionals and the challenges they had to overcome in their career.
The day was kicked off by Hilary Murray Hill, CEO of Hachette Children’s. Hilary’s talk was particularly poignant as she was speaking a few days before World Book Day 2021. As well as offering key advice to publishing hopefuls, Hilary’s talk focused on the current panic around schooling due to the Covid-19 crisis: 20 per cent of children in the UK only own one book, often the book provided to them on World Book Day. Hilary demonstrated how children's publishing needs intelligent, forward-looking people from all backgrounds who care about the needs of new readers: ‘Publishing fosters cultural inheritance, personality, empathy, social skills, and transits norms from one generation to the next.’ We could not have asked for a better keynote speaker, as Hilary combined practical career advice with the wider importance of what publishing can and should represent in 2021.
It was also extremely useful to be able to speak with Brookes Alumni, since they could understand our doubts and uncertainties. Notable alumni included Marie-Louise Patton, Communications Administrator at Faber and Faber, Rachel Quin, Marketing Manager at HarperCollins UK, and many more. Getting to see the career trajectory of so many Brookes students was undoubtedly inspiring, as we near the end of our structured course and begin looking for employment opportunities. We cannot thank the alumni enough for taking the time to reassure us as we make our first tentative steps into the publishing industry ourselves.
The professionals had different degrees of experience, different paths into publishing, and worked in different departments. It was a formative experience to be able to ask questions to such a variety of people, each of whom was able to give their own diverse insight in the publishing industry. We want to thank everyone behind the scenes who made this event happen, and our fellow students who engaged so enthusiastically and made Working in Publishing 2021 an event to remember.
Last edited: 23 03 2021