TLC To Host 'Get a Job in Publishing'

January 25, 2018 | Events, Other News

TLC is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a two-day ‘Get a Job in Publishing’ course over the weekend of April 21st-22nd 2018 at the Free Word Centre, London. The course has been designed by The Book Skills Collective, a group of three consultants each with two decades’ experience in book publishing. No graduate degree or any experience is required to sign up, and we welcome both younger people looking for entry level roles and older people wanting a career change. This course will help participants understand the publishing industry from every angle; its economics, its disciplines and career paths, its rewards and challenges. It will also equip them with all the practical tactics they need to get a job in the industry, from CVs and interviews to internships and networking.

Speakers will include Drummond Moir (Publisher, Sceptre), Yassine Belkacemi (Senior Publicity Manager, John Murray), Joanna Seaton (Production Director, Hodder & Stoughton), and award-novelist Chris Cleave (Everyone Brave is Forgiven, New York Times bestseller; Little Bee, Costa-shortlisted; “one of our most powerful, important and psychologically insightful novelists”).

TLC Director Aki Schilz said: “It is patently apparent that there are a range of people who feel unable to find ‘ways in’ to the book trade due to a lack of support, from care-leavers to career-changers and those without ‘traditional’ degrees; those to whom the industry’s HR structures, led by companies like Penguin Random House, is just beginning to open up. TLC’s priority is to champion writers, but we recognise that the voices we are trying to get through will never change if those who support their publication do not. I’m delighted that we are able to partner on this course which is truly dynamic, myth-busting, practical, and allows participants to put their learning to the test with Publishing Simulators, an inspired programme move.”

Jason Bartholomew, The Book Skills Collective, said: “Not only have James, Jessica and I worked across many disciplines within a number of different publishers over the last two decades, we have also taught extensively on a range of different publishing courses. Our experience has made us aware of a pressing need for a really clear, concise but in-depth and up-to-date introduction to an industry that, from the outside can sometimes seem slightly arcane. We want to remove barriers to entry by showing participants what to expect ‘behind the scenes’ and give them the practical advice and skills they need to get that foot in the door, whatever their background. Between us we’ve managed big teams and interviewed countless applicants, so we want to share that insider knowledge and our love of the vibrant publishing industry.”

The Programme

Day One 10am-4pm

We will cover areas including How a Book Gets Published, What a Financially Successful Book Looks Like, Anatomy of a Publishing Firm, and the programme includes sessions looking at the following departments in detail – Editorial, Publicity, Marketing, Sales, Rights, and Production and Design. Coffee and tea will be provided, and a sandwich lunch is included.

Day Two 10am-3.30pm

We will look at Routes into Publishing, how to write a CV and Covering Letter, Interview Techniques, Social Media, Trade Organisations and Networking Opportunities, and will hear from New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Cleave to the theme ‘What Makes a Good Publisher?’ Coffee and tea will be provided.

About The Book Skills Collective

Jason Bartholomew has 20 years of experience in publishing across New York and London. He is currently a Rights Director for Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press, Headline Publishing Group and Quercus Books; alongside working as the Publishing Director of Quercus US in North America. While in New York, Jason worked for Little, Brown, Grand Central Publishing, John Wiley & Sons and Bulfinch Press. He was named Bookseller Rights Professional of the Year in 2013.

Jessica Killingley has 20 years’ experience in marketing departments at Penguin Random House and Hachette, where she was a Marketing Director, creating bestselling campaigns for household names including John Grisham, Stephen King, and Stephen Fry. She now runs her own Publishing Consultancy helping entrepreneurs write and publish books to grow their business.

James Spackman is commissioning editor at Profile Books cycling imprint Pursuit. Founder of the Spare Room Project, offering accommodation to aspiring publishing professionals, James also runs workshops on presentation and copywriting. Formerly Sales and Marketing Director at John Murray and Hodder, MD of a division of Osprey Group, he is an experienced conference presenter specialising in trade marketing and reader experience.


Tickets cost £150+ VAT for the full weekend. 

Book your ticket here.

Interested in being a Sponsor for this event?

If you or your organisation would like to sponsor a free ticket for this event, to allow someone unable to afford the ticket fee to attend, please email 

We are extremely grateful to the following sponsors who are each offering one free ticket to an aspiring publisher unable to afford a ticket. If you would like to apply for a sponsored ticket, please email  indicating which ticket you are applying for, with some information about why you are applying. Please include your age, and city of residence. You must be over the age of 18 to apply, and you must have the right to work in the UK.

Bluemoose Books Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a BAME aspirant publisher + travel (travel within England, standard advance ticket only, must be resident outside of London)
Dead Ink Books Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a low-income aspirant publisher + £50 travel (must be resident outside of London but within England)
Kit de Waal Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a working class or marginalised person + £70 travel/subsistence
Michael Langan Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a low-income or unwaged LGBQT aspirant publisher
Anna and Ned Vaught Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for an aspiring publisher either with caring responsiblities, and/or someone managing mental health difficulties
Aki Schilz Ticket
: 1x Weekend Ticket for a low-income BAME aspirant publisher without an Eng Lit/Creative Writing degree, no upper age limit
Emma Ward Ticket: 1x Weekend Ticket for a young person under the age of 30 from a low-income household

If you are applying for one of the above sponsored places, you must be able to provide proof of financial eligibility. Financial circumstances can be declared in any of the ways below. Please do not send any originals to our office (scans are acceptable), nor any bank details or bank account details to us. If you are on low-income for other reasons than those outlined here, please get in touch and we’ll see if we can support you. All your details are kept entirely confidential and we are happy to discuss any of the details of requirements with you to make the process a smooth one:

Jobseeker’s allowance; Disability benefit; Income support; Working tax credit; Proof of being a full-time student; HMRC self-assessment