Posted by Justine Solomons on 18 October 2018, in News
The London-centric reality of publishing is a major barrier to aspirant publishers from outside of the capital.
The Spare Room Project aims to help, by matching interns from outside London with people in the publishing industry who can offer them a spare room (or couch!). By easing accommodation costs, this enables people to take up internships that would otherwise have been financially difficult.
Many participants have also enjoyed the opportunity for informal mentoring that the scheme creates.
The Spare Room Project was set up in 2016 by James Spackman, publisher and consultant, with the support of the Publishers Association.
Since then, over fifty publishing people from all disciplines, along with agents, authors and booksellers, have signed up as hosts. Seventy guests have found accommodation (60% of whom said they’d have found it “difficult or impossible” to take up their internship without it) and at least a dozen have found their first publishing job while on the scheme.
One guest said:
“Everyone I've stayed with have been kind, helpful and lovely. Without them I wouldn't have been able to do any publishing work experience or internships. And without those experiences, I wouldn't have landed my first publishing job.”
A host said:
“I’ve really enjoyed being involved with the Spare Room Project – it’s been great to meet new people keen to get into the industry, and to be a part of something that’s aiming to make the industry accessible. it was great to hear different perspectives on the business I’ve been in for 10 years, and compare their experiences with my own. I’m looking forward to hosting more people in the future, and would encourage colleagues to get involved if they can!”
If you’d like to sign up to receive email bulletins from the Spare Room Project or would like to offer a room, email founder James Spackman email@example.com or visit the site: thespareroomproject.co.uk