I think a lot of people feel that it is almost impossible to get publishing work experience in the UK outside of London, but I’m here to tell you that’s not true! There are definitely more publishing houses located in London, but an opportunity to get experience in the publishing industry might be closer than you think.
I’ve decided to set myself a task; I’m going to try and provide an exhaustive list of publishing houses, and their work experience programs in the hope that more people will be able to find the experience they need near them! I am reluctantly including unpaid alongside the paid experience featured here, but I do not endorse unpaid work experience, especially if it’s over two weeks.
Firstly the pub interns twitter needs to be listed here! They post entry-level roles, tips, and work experience opportunities from publishers some of which are only posted to Twitter. Social media is a fantastic resource when hunting down work experience, but Atwood Tate and Inspired Selection are also wonderful places to find more permanent roles within the industry. Creative Access also has some wonderful opportunities pop up regularly.
Secondly, remember that dropping a local publisher an email cannot hurt, but be prepared for rejection! They may not have the money or the room for an intern, but it’s always worth trying.
Thirdly I wanted to add that before taking one of the unpaid opportunities below, please consider doing something admin related instead. The skills you would develop by working at a temp agency are so similar to what you’d need to enter the industry, and they’ll actually pay you for the work you do.
Last Updated: 27th of May 2021
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4th Estate – They have a random selection process much like PRH, and ask you to email them for instructions on how to apply. It doesn’t say anything about the placement being paid on their website, so I would go into this assuming that it’ll be unpaid work.
Agora Books – They were recently advertising a paid three-month position of their twitter! There’s no mention of internships on their website but they do have a contact form and a couple of emails on their website, so you might be able to find out more there.
Allison & Busby – These guys offer a month-long work experience placement, it’s unpaid but they do pay expenses for the final week so that’s something? It’s on a full-time basis, and here’s a link to their page if you can afford to apply for this one.
Anthem Press – If your looking for longer flexible placement in London these guys seem to do the job. It looks like it’s unpaid, but the placement is currently remote and part time so would work in these unprecedented times.
Bonnier Books – This London publisher is another case of the follow them on twitter or drop them an email on their careers page. The last placement they were hiring for was for a BAME intern on their twitter!
Bloomsbury – They run paid three-month placements in editorial, marketing, and publicity. You have to keep an eye on their twitter and careers page for any announcements though! Bloomsbury also now offers a variety of apprenticeships through LDN Apprentices, these last for 15 months as you work towards a level three publishing qualification and would likely be paid. Learn more here.
Curtis Brown Books – These guys are a literary agency but they offer a fantastic quarterly internship opportunity and it’s paid!! You can find more information on their website and they announce when they’re hiring on Twitter.
Darton Longman & Todd – This theological publisher sometimes offers unpaid placements in their office in London, just drop them an email if this suits you.
DK – They offer two-week placements through their website I don’t think applications are open all the time, so keep checking back and hopefully they’ll be open for you. DK currently only pay a contribution to your travel expenses.
Faber & Faber – Okay so these guys only offer the occasional paid internship through universities and some roles through Creative Access for BAME candidates. The best thing to do with this one is keep an eye on their careers page, and follow them on twitter so you can spot those placements!
Hachette – They used to offer one-week expenses paid work experience alongside their internships and BAME traineeships. They’re currently working on something new so the online application form is disabled, but you should still keep an eye on their twitter for paid opportunities and their day-long event Inside Story. Hachette have just launched ten traineeships, a fully paid twelve-month opportunity to get some amazing experience with a great publishing house.
HarperCollins – They run a BAME Traineeship and an 18-month Graduate scheme. Both are paid the equivalent of £23,000 which is the usual entry-level salary for Harper Collins!
They also run two-week learning placements, be aware though they will only be contributing £10 a day towards expenses, making this essentially an unpaid internship…
Nosy Crow – This London based publisher was recently advertising a paid internship on their twitter, so it’s definitely worth following them over there. I think they will also post opportunities on their website, and it could be worth dropping them an email about any potential opportunities.
Pan Macmillan – You’re going to need to apply for this one via email, specifying which press you’d like to work for and in what department; here’s a link to their FAQ page, and I’d advise taking a read before sending off your email! The experience is unpaid, but they do cover your expenses for the two weeks.
Pearson Education – They seem to run a variety of internships/apprenticeships all year round and are based in London. I’m not sure how many are publishing based, as some of them have rather interesting job titles but if you’re interested here’s the link.
Penguin Random House – The best way to spot work experience opportunities with these guys is to keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter, the placements are paid national minimum wage and provide hands-on experience. Their work experience placements are decided randomly, so you don’t need any experience just a whole lot of perseverance. Penguin also runs a year-long placement for people who are Black, Asian, or from a minority ethnic group or from a lower socio-economic background. Check it out here.
PHAIDON – They run an eleven-month graduate internship that starts in January. The application process opens in October, so check out their website closer to the time.
Profile Books – They run a full time, eight-week graduate internship, and they pay the London living wage! You can work with either Profile Books or Serpents Tail, and it seems like an excellent opportunity to get some fantastic experience. I think the best way to find out when they’re taking applications is to keep an eye on their website, or follow their twitter and keep your eyes peeled. They currently have a six month internship for a Publicity Assistant open via Creative Access here, Applications are currently open until the 31st of May.
Pushkin Press – They were advertising for a full time paid intern on their twitter, but I can’t see any mentions of any regular placements on their website. The best thing to do is keep an on their twitter for any pop-up placements
Rogers Coleridge and White Literary Agency – Located in Notting Hill, they run one-month unpaid work experience opportunities. They do pay expenses, but there’s not much info on their website or twitter so this is best for a local.
Rowman & Littlefield International – They were offering paid eight-week placement at their office in Vauxhall. I can only find mention of it on their twitter, so it’s got to be worth following them there and keeping watch for anything new.
Templar Publishing – They offer work experience in their London office, but don’t say for how long. There’s an email on their website you can use to contact them, but they don’t mention whether the placement is paid or not.
Thames & Hudson – Okay, so they list positions as and when they become available. If you follow them over on Twitter, or follow their LinkedIn they’ll update there when they have a position available.
Usborne – They run a fantastic project called The Usborne Academy. They take eight people from diverse backgrounds and teach them all about children’s publishing. It’s a brisk week-long tour through the many departments that make up Usborne, but it definitely seems like a great opportunity. The Academy will provide accommodation in a uni hall, and pay London living wage for the full working week so it’s worth applying for. They do also sometimes advertise placements through their website, but they do tend to be longer three-month placements.
Verso – These guys run longer placements paid at the London Living wage! These placements come with paid holiday and sick leave, making it the perfect place to start if you can afford London. These guys are currently searching for a Marketing and Publicity assistant through Creative Access here. Closing date 13th of June 2021
Walker Books – You just need to drop Walker Books an email, and give them some information about you and the roles you’d be interested in! I’m going to assume these placements are unpaid, again it is not mentioned.
Watkins Media – They are starting a six-week internship scheme for January 2020, and it’ll be paid the London Living wage. There’s no information on their website, but The Bookseller has more information listed here. I would imagine this didn’t go ahead this year, and their website doesn’t mention anything, but watch this space in 2021.
Welbeck Publishing Group – They offer placements of up to four weeks. No mention of pay so I would apply for this with the understanding that this role is unpaid. You can apply for this here.
Wiley – So I’m pretty sure they run 10-week summer placements but there’s very little information about it on their website. I’m also going to assume that this is another unpaid placement, as there’s no information saying otherwise!
404 Ink – This publisher actually has no office but is currently offering a fabulous part-time and remote work experience role. The role is one day a week for five weeks, paid, and flexible around any other work commitments you may have. Check it out here. Closing date May 31st 2021
And Other Stories – They’re a Sheffield based contemporary lit publisher. They offer internships through institutions e.g your university, as they currently cannot afford to pay interns. The company also recruits once a year for someone from a background less represented in publishing and places them in a full time role. More info here.
Amberley Publishing – This local and specialist history publisher is located in Stroud, and offers placements in editorial. Work experience is unpaid but they will make a contribution towards travel if that works for you. More information on their website!
Angry Robot – This Nottingham based publisher run two week placements with the opportunity to extend to four. There’s no mention of pay on their website, so I would assume that this placement is unpaid.
Boydell & Brewer Ltd – This publishing house is located in Martlesham Suffolk, and posts their internships as and when they come up on their twitter.
Cambridge University Press – They were recently offering summer internships, and I’m sure opportunities will pop up again so here’s a link to their apprenticeship page!
Carcanet Press: This small Manchester based press offer one week placements in their sales & marketing department, and don’t offer editorial experience. The placements are unpaid and you must be 18+ to apply! Suspended due to COVID-19.
Comma Press – A lovely little press located in Manchester! Their work experience is currently at capacity for the foreseeable, but keep an eye on the site and maybe that’ll change and then drop them an email. The website doesn’t state if the placement is paid or not so I would assume that any work experience with them is unpaid.
Dead Ink – Liverpool based Dead Ink may do work experience placements. There’s nothing on their website to say they don’t so it’s worth contacting them, but as they are a small press I wouldn’t count on them having a work experience program.
Felicity Bryan literary agency – This literary agency runs a three month paid mentorship for candidates underrepresented in publishing! There’s more detailed info on their website.
Meze Publishing – So one of the wonderful gals I work with did work experience at this Sheffield based cook book publisher. The experience is unpaid, and you can contact them here.
Myrmidon – This independent publishing house is located in Newcastle upon Tyne, and has a contact form on their website that you can use to email them. The site doesn’t say anything about work experience but it can’t hurt to ask! I would assume that if it is offered any experience would be unpaid.
Myriad Editions – This Brighton based publishing house mention potential internship opportunities on their website. They recommend following them on twitter and keeping your eyes open for any opportunities.
Newgen Publishing – This publisher located in Stroud offer month-long paid internships over Easter and Summer, alongside shorter one-week placements. Applications for a Placement over easter open in January and for the summer in May, so you should keep an eye on their careers page for more info.
OldCastle Books – So I’ve placed this in my England section, but the publisher is located in Harpenden which is rather close to London. It is a month long, four day a week unpaid placement, although they will cover reasonable travel expenses, and it looks like you’ll get a rather varied workload. If you live near by this could work for you, but a month unpaid is a rather long time you can apply here. Currently suspended due to COVID-19
Oxford University Press – They run a summer internship every year, that’s paid at £60 a day! They also have the odd opportunity pop up throughout the year, but these are usually unpaid. I’d recommend living near or in Oxford for these placements, as Oxford is as expensive as London. Here’s a link to the careers page.
Peepal Tree Press – This leading publisher of Caribbean & Black British writing is located in Leeds, and again doesn’t mention work experience on their website; but it might be worth contacting their office just in case. I would assume any experience offered will be unpaid.
Paragraph Publishing – A publisher based in Norfolk that mentions work experience placements. They say to drop them an email to get more information. I would go into this assuming that any experience here would be unpaid.
Silhouette Press – They are a not-for-profit publisher based in Coventry and according to their about us section they offer Work Experience to those unable to find work within creative industries. Unfortunately, their website doesn’t tell you how to apply, but I’d recommend dropping them an email and asking about any opportunities.
Springer Nature – So they have three offices across the country one in London, one in Basingstoke, and another in Chester, each manages a different set of brands but it might be worth emailing your local office. They’ve been advertising paid placements recently on their twitter, and it might be worth keeping your eyes peeled for other opportunities there.
Sweet Cherry Publishing – Located in Leicester they ask that you send them a CV along with your availability to the email listed on their website. Again this says nothing about whether this placement is paid, so I’d assume it’s unpaid until corrected. Suspended due to COVID-19.
Publishing Scotland is a fantastic resource for those looking for a role in publishing! The website has a wealth of information about the work that goes into creating a book, and seems to be a hub for any job openings in the industry in Scotland.
Black & White Publishing – They’re currently not taking any work experience applicants, but if they do they’ll be posting them on their website.
Canongate – An Edinburgh/London based publisher but I can’t see any mention of Work Experience on their website, you could always email them about it and see if they get back in touch. They currently have a 12 month paid opportunity open for Sales & Campaigns Intern and a Editorial & Rights Intern located in either London or Edinburgh on Creative Access, more details here. Closing date 27th of May 2021.
Luath Press – Independent press based on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. They offer work experience for anywhere between one week and six months, which makes them a reasonably flexible option. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention whether the placements are paid or not, so I’d go into it assuming not, but it might be worth contacting them for more information.
Luna Press Publishing – Edinburgh based publishing house that publishes their opportunities as an when they pop up on their website.
Prepress Projects – This Perth based publisher are offer paid summer placements on their website here, but you do have to have a degree to apply, the placements are paid at a living wage which comes to over £1600 a month.
Ringwood Publishing – Glasgow based publishing house offering interns the opportunity to work from between 1-3 days a week, this makes the placement a good option for university students or anyone balancing a part-time job. The role is unpaid and they ask you to contact them through their website.
Witherby Publishing Group – They’re a specialist publisher of regulatory, technical and operational marine publications located in Edinburgh. They run an annual summer internship that they announce via their twitter.
Candy Jar Books – Cardiff based independent publisher. They ask you to use their contact form to contact them about available opportunities, and I would assume this is an unpaid role.
Cinnamon Press – Independent publisher located in Blaenau Ffestiniog! They currently have an intern working in their office, so they may advertise for that position again later in the year. Here’s a link to their contact form though, as it might be worth dropping them an email beforehand.
Graffeg – This publishing house based in Llanelli has no mention of work experience on their website, but it could be worth dropping them an email anyway.
Honno – They describe themselves as the Welsh women’s press, and are located over in Aberystwyth so would be perfect for any students at the university. The press takes on twice a year, and the placements are described as volunteering so are definitely unpaid. If you are interested in hearing about their next round of recruitment, you can follow this link and drop them an email. Suspended due to COVID-19.
Parthian Books – These guys are located in Cardigan and offer flexible placements to suit the applicant’s needs. If you hop over to their website and scroll through their About Us page you’ll find all you need to know about work experience with them. It doesn’t mention the placements being paid so I would go into it assuming any work experience will be unpaid. Suspended due to COVID-19.
Seren Books – Located in Bridgend, a town about twenty minutes outside of Cardiff, they offer unpaid two-week placements in their office. You’ll need to email Mick Felton, and he’ll hopefully get back to you about starting a placement with them! It would be perfect for any locals, or if your willing to pay for travel anyone from Cardiff or Swansea as the office is a stones throw from Bridgend train station.
University Wales Press – Okay so applying here is pretty simple you just need to email the sales and marketing manager, and with any luck, they’ll get back to you about working with them! They’re very flexible and will work around you, so if you’re a student and can’t work a full week they can still accommodate you. The placement is unpaid but would be perfect for someone attending Cardiff University.
Here are some extra little tidbits of advice when looking for experience:
- Google Maps – This may seem silly but this is the way I found a few of the local publishing houses I ended up emailing. Put Publishing houses into google maps, and drop an email to the ones nearest to you. The worst thing they can do is say no/not reply, so it’s always worth giving this a try if you’re struggling to find the experience like I was.
- Temp work – Atwood Tate and Inspired Media often advertise temp work! This can provide valuable experience in the industry, and give you the valued admin experience you need.
- Book Festivals – Are you lucky enough to live near Hay Festival, or maybe even Edinburgh book fest? Volunteering might give you the opportunity to work closely with industry professionals, and it looks absolutely fantastic on the old publishing CV.
- University Societies – Roles within societies at universities like treasurer or joining working on your a paper or newsletter can be a great place to start.
- Admin Roles – This office experience is incredibly important when applying for roles. If you can’t find publishing experience look for jobs in the office that will give you the admin skills you’ll need when starting out in publishing, lots of companies look for summer temps!
- Book Blogging – Having a book blog can show that you are engaging with the industry, and have an avid interest in the end product! I even link mine on my CV.
- Booksellers – Working at Waterstones or another bookseller can show an understanding of the industry, and often means you have experience marketing and selling books. Getting a summer role or Christmas temp job could really help your case when applying for entry-level publishing roles.
- Social Media – I said it above and I’ll repeat it again twitter is an incredible tool when hunting down placements. Publishers often post last-minute opportunities on social media, and post when they are opening up work experience applications. It’s worth following as many publishers on twitter as you can, and keep your peepers peeled for upcoming work experience.
If you have managed to make it to the end of this appallingly long post then I heartily congratulate you! I hope that some of these tips have helped, and if you’ve done work experience for publishers not listed here please drop me an email.