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First Edition: Paid work placements in the book industry

First Edition is giving 18-25 year olds from Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland the chance to gain valuable paid experience in the book industry. We have partnered with nationally recognised publishers and independent bookshops to offer a range of flexible and accessible work placements for 2024.

Springboard your career into the book industry with a 5-day work placement and a bursary of £500 to support your involvement. Whether you’re a budding bookseller, a prospective publisher or someone keen to know more about book prizes and events, you’ll gain real world experience to allow you to take the next steps in your career. We are offering both in-person and remote placements that will see you working alongside industry professionals and expand your knowledge and skills.

This is an exciting time for the book industry, as more opportunities outside of London are becoming realised. Along with our funders North of Tyne Combined Authority and The Book Trade Charity, we want to prepare the next generation of North East talent.

Available placements How to apply

Where could you work?

  • 404ink

    404ink is an award-winning alternative independent publisher. It was founded in 2016 with the view that publishing could be a little louder and a little more fun. Believing in quality over quantity, they aim to support new and emerging writers.

  • Books on a table with yellow roses

    Collected Books

    Collected is a new independent bookshop Durham City, specialising in work written by women. Starting as an online and mobile shop the business moved into a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop in September 2022.

  • Gordon Burn Prize

    The Gordon Burn Prize was launched by New Writing North, Faber & Faber and the Gordon Burn Trust in 2012. The prize is open to works of fiction and non-fiction written in the English language and recognises literature that is forward-thinking and fearless in its ambition and execution.

  • Hachette (Newcastle)

    Hachette is one of the largest publishing groups in the UK. They have 12 publishing divisions and over 60 imprints. In 2023, Hachette opened a national office in central Newcastle, housing staff from across departments and divisions.

  • Inpress Books

    Inpress has been supporting independent publishers for 21 years and works with some of the best and most vibrant independent presses in the UK, helping them reach readers through sales to bookshops in the UK and internationally.

  • Outspoken Press

    Out-Spoken Press is a London-based independent publisher of poetry and critical writing. Founded in 2015 with the aim of challenging a lack of diversity in publishing, the Press was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ Small Publisher of the Year three years running in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

  • Poetry Book Society

    The Poetry Book Society was founded by T S Eliot and friends in 1953 to share the joy of poetry books. In 2016, supported by Arts Council England, the Poetry Book Society moved to Newcastle (UK) to join Inpress. We’re at the heart and soul of the poetry community, introducing new readers to poetry and promoting a diverse range of established and emerging poets worldwide.

  • Prototype Publishing

    Prototype is an independent publisher of fiction, poetry and interdisciplinary projects based in London. As a small publishing house, we would be able to tailor the placement to suit the interests of the successful applicant, but would ensure you come away with a good understanding of the basic processes involved in independent publishing.

  • The Braag

    The Braag CIC is a publisher of speculative fiction and poetry chapbooks and of the quarterly journal Carmen et Error. It supports emerging writers in the north east of England through publications and events. It focuses on weird, wild fiction and poetry, and aims to produce beautiful things on a small scale.

Browse the placements

Below you’ll find details of all of the available placements for Spring 2024. Many of the placements are offered remotely, and New Writing North can support your participation by providing a laptop and space to work in our central Newcastle office.

We’ve organised these into catgeories but all placements will give you an introduction into the publishing industry. When you apply, we’ll ask you to fill out one application and then select and rank all of the placements you’d be interested in doing.

Publishing

The Braag (late January/February 2024)

Remote placement (in-person opportunities)
Late January/February 2024
1 day a week for 5 weeks 

This placement will give you the chance to see what goes into running a small publishing press. You’ll get a sense of editing and marketing, as well as printing and distribution. The placement will begin in late January and run throughout February. During this time, you’ll assist with preparing two poetry pamphlets for publication and with the the opening of the next submissions window. You’ll also help in the lead up to a lanch event in February.

The placement will be largely remote, although there will be opportunities to interact with The Braag in-person, like at the launch event. You are welcome to conduct the placement from home, or New Writing North can provide you with a laptop and space in our central Newcastle office.

404ink (February/March 2024)

Remote placement
February-March 2024
1 day a week for 5 weeks (Thursdays)

This will be a programme to demystify the publishing process, offer practical experience in developing new and/or pre-existing skills, and to provide a solid base knowledge of the industry. You’ll get an introduction to the industry as a whole and specific insight into areas like production and marketing.

This placement will be delivered remotely, for five weeks in February and March 2024. The placement day will be a Thursday. You are welcome to conduct the placement from home, or New Writing North can provide you with a laptop and space in our central Newcastle office.

Hachette (18-22 March 2024)

Onsite placement
Central Newcastle office 
1 week (Monday-Friday)

You’ll spend a week in the Hachette Newcastle office, working with a range of staff across departments. Over the course of the week you’ll get an overview of the Hachette divisions and valuable insight into working in publishing.

At Hachette UK, our mission is to make it easy for everyone, everywhere to unlock new world of ideas, learning, entertainment and opportunity. To achieve this, we want to attract and retain talent that is fully reflective of the world we live in, and to become the publisher and employer of choice for everyone.

Inpress Books (March/April 2024)

Onsite placement
Central Newcastle office
1 day a week for 5 weeks 

We’re seeking an Inpress social media content creator to assist in our busy Inpress marketing team. As part of your experience, you’ll be learning how to run consumer and B2B digital marketing campaigns for individual books and for genre promotions. It’s a great opportunity to gain an insight into the world of independent publishing from a sales and marketing perspective and learn about what booksellers are looking for when picking titles to promote. You will assist with creating content, scheduling campaigns and working on SEO.

We’re seeking someone with a positive can-do attitude and tonnes of creativity. This position would suit someone with an interest in independently produced literary fiction, non-fiction or poetry, and a general interest in a career in publishing sales and marketing.

Outspoken Press (March/April 2024)

Remote placement
March-April 2024
1 day a week for 5 weeks

One of the fun parts of being a small publisher and a small team is that we work across all aspects of bringing our books to publication and beyond. In the lead up to publishing a new collection in April, you’ll be able to work on pre-publication activities, as well as prepare for titles that will be coming up later.

This placement will be delivered remotely, for five weeks in March and April 2024, with some flexibility about the day of the week. You are welcome to conduct the placement from home, or New Writing North can provide you with a laptop and space in our central Newcastle office.

Prototype Publishing (Spring 2024)

Remote placement
Spring 2024 (flexible)
1 day a week for 5 weeks 

The placement will involve working as part of our very small team, offering an overview of all sides of the editorial and publication process, from acquiring new titles, to copyediting, preparing marketing copy and sales materials, planning and managing our social media, organising events, publicising new titles, despatching books, and other crucial administrative tasks behind the scenes.

This placement will be delivered remotely, one day a week for five weeks. Prototype have flexibility about when this placement could be done, between February and June 2024. They can also be flexible with the day of the week that you work. You are welcome to conduct the placement from home, or New Writing North can provide you with a laptop and space in our central Newcastle office.

Bookselling and Events

Collected Books (Spring 2024)

Onsite placement
Durham City Centre
Spring 2024 (flexible)
1 day a week for 5 weeks

Working with Collected Books across five weeks, you’ll get the chance to see how an indie bookshop works behind the scenes and have the opportunity to get involved in planning and delivering their vibrant events programme.

This placement is designed to be flexible around you and around Collected events, to ensure you get the most out of the placement.

Poetry Book Society (7-11 May 2024)

Newcastle Poetry Festival
Onsite placement, some out of office hours
Tuesday 7 May-Saturday 11 May 2024

This is a week-long placement at the Newcastle Poetry Festival. You’ll see how we run a major poetry festival, work on the festival bookstall and meet lots of great poets. The placement will include two days in the Poetry Book Society office in central Newcastle and three days at the festival.

Now in its eighth year, the Newcastle Poetry Festival continues to draw on the talents of poets across the UK and internationally, while showcasing Northern writing and publishing.

Book Prizes

Gordon Burn Prize (January-March 2024)

Onsite placement
Central Newcastle office
5 days across January-March 2024

You’ll see behind the scenes of one of the UK’s major literary prizes. From the shortlist announcement to the ceremony itself, you’ll work with our marketing team to support announcements and create content for social media.

This placement is designed to be flexible around you and around the key points of the Gordon Burn Prize. The prize ceremony will take place on 7 March 2024.

How to apply

Who can apply?

The placements are open to anyone aged 18-25 who is living in Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland. Many of the placements are offered remotely, and New Writing North can support your participation by providing a laptop and space to work in our central Newcastle office.

We want to make sure everyone can apply for our opportunities. If you have any access requirements at application stage, or would prefer to submit via video or audio file, please email [email protected]

Can I apply to multiple placements?

The application process will ask you to fill in one application and then rank your preferred places. You’ll be able to select as many places as you’d be available to do and then indicate what your first, second and third choice would be. This allows you to express interest in multiple placements without filling in multiple forms, and ensures we are giving opportunity to as many people as we can.

During the application process we’ll also ask you to let us know about your availability for placements that have some flexibility about dates.

 

Where do I apply?

To apply please fill in this form by Monday 8 January, 12pm. For placements that start in January or February, we’ll be in touch with applicants by Monday 15 January 2024. For later placements, we will be in touch by the end of January 2024.

Queries about applications can be made to [email protected]. Please note that the NWN office will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period. We will endeavour to answer queries as quickly as we can after Tuesday 2 January 2024.