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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

The Carole Blake Open Doors Project

By Amy Joan Sayner and Maisie George

The Blake Friedmann Literary Agency created The Carole Blake Open Doors Project to make publishing industry experience more accessible to those from diverse backgrounds. The project is an internship scheme that offers two roles to candidates: a ten-day internship or a six-month mentorship. The Blake Friedmann team aim to build on their values of inclusivity and openness by drawing from a wider pool of ambitious talent who are passionate about publishing.

The paid internship will last ten days and can either be taken in two consecutive weeks or be spread out over a month to fit around the applicant’s schedule. During the internship, they will be involved in every aspect of day-to-day life as an agent, and they will get the opportunity to attend meetings with editors, authors, and publishing professionals. There is the choice to take the internship completely in-person, hybrid, or as a mix of the two working styles.  

The remote six-month mentorship will begin in the summer on a date agreed upon by both the candidate and the agency. The lucky mentee will be offered one sixty-minute meeting every month with agent Juliet Pickering in order to get guidance and advice on a career in publishing, and to gain insight into the role of the agent and the work of the agency.

The project was set up in 2016 following the death of Blake Friedmann co-founder Carole Blake. Carole began her career as a secretary for George Rainbird Publishing and went on to become the first Rights Manager at Michael Joseph, before founding her own literary agency. She left behind a legacy of supporting colleagues and those looking to enter the publishing industry, and the project strives to continue her endeavours and the spirit of paying it forward.

Kate Southam, an intern from the previous year, said, “if you are even thinking about applying for the Carole Blake Open Doors Project, and you meet just one or two of the criteria, I would wholeheartedly say to do it. Just because you are under-represented in the publishing industry, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for you in it. It doesn’t mean that publishing isn’t for you.”

Applications for the Carole Blake Open Doors Project are open until midnight on 25 April. For more information on how to apply, please see the Blake Friedmann Vacancies page.



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