A Day in the Life of a Literary Agent

The day starts with a jubilant welcoming from Clouseau, the wonder dog. After a morning cup of tea to banish the chilly winter air, I’m ready to start my day.

The morning is taken up with the submissions I’ve already had a look through and made notes on, sorting out which ones I enjoyed and didn’t, and pitching them to the group with my reasons why.

This leads on to the rejection letters and finding the right one to suit the submission. I’ll spend another hour or so working through my notes and writing up a paragraph that will hopefully encourage the writer to keep writing whilst gently turning them down.

Then it’s off to lunch!

After I return (and receive another jubilant welcoming) I get straight back to work, finishing off the submissions and letters and working on the website. Finding out just what exactly needs fixing and what needs changing; writing up new information; looking at different sites; how the authors social network and how I can promote the agency’s online presence. An ongoing and arduous process that, nevertheless, needs to be done.

Soon enough it’s five o’clock and I’m wondering just where exactly the day has gone – it feels like just an hour ago I sat down with my morning cup of tea.

A quick check that everything that I set out to accomplish this morning has been completed and I’m done!

…As soon as I collect more submissions to take home and make notes on, of course.

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Prof advises Guardian Careers Blog

Photo of Prof McCleery smilingYesterday, Professor McCleery was invited to contribute to the Guardian Careers Blog on Publishing studies.

The live Blog offered anyone the chance to put questions about a career in publishing to a small panel of experts drawn from companies such as Penguin and agencies such as Skillset. Professor McCleery, from Edinburgh Napier University, was the only representative from Higher Education.

Publishing is the UK’s largest creative industry. It is a popular career choice for many graduates, and is incredibly hard to get into without appropriate work experience, or a relevant undergraduate or Postgraduate qualification.

The blog can be viewed on the Guardian website: http://careers.guardian.co.uk/forums

Starting at a big name

Beginners
First steps at a well known London publisher
You will probably not be surprised to hear that getting a job at a big London publisher like Harper Collins or Penguin first of all requires getting an internship or work experience. Above all it requires a plan.

 

The following technique has five stages to getting employed in one of these places and has got me to step 4 so far. Bear in mind that no-one seems to be running a formal graduate scheme at the moment so the following approach is not geared to getting onto an all encompassing graduate scheme – merely a job as and when it appears. Continue reading “Starting at a big name”

Internships!!

[Editor’s Note: Edinburgh Napier University has a Work Placement module for Postgraduate Publishing students. Go to our Home page to find out more about our student’s experiences on their publishing work placement.]

Summer placements and internships have been on my mind for a good few months! I’ve come up with a list of the best websites to get information and help on applying for internships and placements within the UK. (Hope this can shed some light on difficult decisions!)

Carlton College (michigan) Internship Winners.

www.myinternship.co.uk –  just type in Publishing and links will appear with info on the company, etc.

http://graduatetalentpool.direct.gov.uk

http://www.e4s.co.uk/docs/internships.htm

http://www.work-placement.co.uk/

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/internships/unitedkingdomandengland.shtml

Internship at EIBF

This summer I have an internship at the celebrated Edinburgh International Book Festival.  I will be assisting in the management and administration of the Children’s Programme. The Children’s and Education Programme has become a leading showcase for children’s writers and illustrators, with hundreds of events including workshops, ‘meet-the-author sessions’, storytelling, panel discussions and book signings.

‘My role will include liaising with authors, publishers and chair people to ensure that they are well prepared for the events, supporting school visits and assisting the day-to-day administration of the programme.

‘I am delighted to have been given this opportunity and am really looking forward to the experience.’

Catriona Wallace