Join the Committee…


Contact the current committee

Secretary/Sponsorship Officer:
Highly organised and outgoing, this person is responsible for keeping the committee up-to-date, and finding all the sponsorship we need – be it money, advertising space, equipment etc. – to increase our scope and the services we offer to members. Currently aided by the rest of the committee, this person could very much use the help of people who can dedicate some time each month to pursuing the many sponsorship avenues available.

Speaker Meeting Co-ordinators:
Ideally we need two or three people to take on this intense and highly creative role. What do members want to learn about? What do members need to hear about? And who in the publishing industry is best to teach us? This position is a great way to gain contacts in the industry. We need to construct the main schedule for 2006 at the end of November/start of December, so please get in touch as soon as possible.

A challenging role that demands meticulous attention to detail and organisation, and also allows creativity, providing the opportunity to help expand the SYP. You will need to process all the membership fees, 2006 Conference fees, ensure our suppliers get paid and help the committee devise relevant budgets. We also want to begin accepting online payments, and look at new ways of managing memberships. This is your opportunity to help the SYP take another step up.

Web Manager:
Transformed in recent years, the SYP website: is constantly changing and being updated. How can we make it even more useful and user-friendly? How can we get our presence noticed more on the WWW? Working in conjunction with the Oxford Web Editor, you will need to liaise with the entire committee.

InPrint Editor:
2005 saw the SYP’s newsletter increase from eight to twelve pages – with a bumper 16-page edition in September. While there are standard monthly articles about each month’s speaker meetings, there is plenty of scope for commissioning articles on any and all publishing-related topics. Writers and researchers are welcome to join the sub-committee for this role. Any budding photographers would be fantastic too, to cover our speaker meetings and social events.

InPrint Web Editor:
It is time to take InPrint on to the next level. We currently fill twelve pages easily, and often there are more ideas for articles than there is space. This is your opportunity to work with both the Web Manager and InPrint Editor to dramatically increase the versatility of the SYP’s newsletter and website. Writers and researchers welcome to join the sub-committee for this role.

Production Manager/InPrint Designer:
This could be either one or two roles. We need to be sure that the posters, information sheets, other stationary (such as our conference bags) and InPrint are being produced well and cost effectively, so sourcing and liaising with suppliers can either be a role by itself, or coupled with designing the layout of our monthly newsletter InPrint.

Jobs Database Co-ordinator:
Pro-active and committed, this isn’t a role for someone who just waits for job adverts to come in. You will need to contact the major publishers regularly – and have a system so that you contact as many of the smaller publishers as you can throughout the year. 2005 saw a dramatic increase in the number of jobs the SYP advertised – and some of those before they went into the national press. Don’t forget, even if you don’t want to take on this role, do encourage your HR departments to send their vacancies to, as the service is free.

Social Secretaries:
Well, we didn’t have any in 2004, and what a difference they have made in 2005! Not only do we have more events unconnected to our monthly speaker meetings (we just had a wonderful trip to Dublin) but a lot more people now attend speaker meetings as well as the drinks afterwards (not just due to the social secretaries, but significant credit is definitely due to them). Always open to ideas, and in need of venue researchers, this is another area where help is always needed.

Publicity and Marketing:
Moving in leaps and bounds, and enjoying marked success, there is still a huge amount of expansion possible in this area. We need to make sure every book publisher in the country  – and eventually beyond (but let’s not get carried away for the moment) has heard of us and is encouraging its staff to join us – we also aim to set up Corporate Membership in 2006. We want all universities with relevant courses to be singing our praises to their students, and to vastly increase the number of members from magazine publishing, agencies, booksellers, printers and other book-related organisations. There are many ideas to pursue here, with clearly defined areas of responsibility, not to mention the scope to devise your own marketing and/or publicity campaigns. The success rate should be relatively easy to gauge, so all it that remains to say is, ‘What are you waiting for?!’

Membership Secretary:
This vital role involves looking after the most important part of our society: the members. As the first contact many new members have with the society, you need to be welcoming and efficient, quickly responding to queries, and making sure as many members as possible renew their membership. You also need to look after the database with all our members’ details, ensuring that they receive InPrint each month, publicity bulletins, and jobs bulletins if they have so requested.

Company Rep Co-ordinator and Company Reps:
We need an ambitious and outgoing individual to start the process of getting at least one person per publisher/bookshop/university/agency etc. to commit to putting up our posters and being a contact for people interested in learning more about the SYP. And we need people to volunteer to be Company Reps! The Co-ordinator position will definitely involve a substantial amount of work, but the rep positions can be fairly light, yet have a hugely beneficial effect for the SYP. So don’t be shy, we would love to hear from you …

You can only hold this position for one year – the lovely Suzanne Collier was an exception for those eagle-eyed people who read the 2004 SYP Handbook – and you can only hold it after you have served on the committee for a year, so see above. A hugely rewarding role, you are responsible for managing the committee members in both London and Oxford (though naturally most of the Oxford administration falls on the Oxford Chair), which currently fluctuates around the 20 mark, and, with additions to sub-committees in 2006, this number will hopefully be even more impressive. You are also responsible for ensuring that a varied and comprehensive programme is maintained for the 350+ members and evolving and expanding all areas of the society. It isn’t easy – none of the positions are – but you will learn a huge amount about management, seeing issues from as many angles as possible, and develop an in-depth appreciation of just how fantastic a concept delegation is.

Best wishes,

Victoria Nicholl
SYP Chair 2005


The Oxford Committee works alongside the London Committee to increase diversity, fun and networking in the SYP, regularly holding talks, social events and a book club in Oxford.  If you are based in Oxford or the surrounding area and would like to get more involved, read more about the fantastic opportunities below and get in touch with us!

The Chair’s role is to lead the SYP Oxford committee, directing the Society's activities in the city. As well as chairing Oxford committee meetings and liaising with the London Chair, this person chairs and introduces Oxford speaker meetings. They also sit on the Industry Advisory Board for the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University. The post provides the opportunity to develop new initiatives and shape the SYP in Oxford and beyond. Good knowledge of the publishing scene in and around Oxford would be beneficial, as would lots of fresh ideas. The Chair supports the other committee members, and ensures the smooth running of the Oxford SYP.
Contact: Deb Sanders, Acting Oxford Chair (

Social Secretary:
This person organises social events in Oxford, and runs the Oxford book club. Past activities have included a summer punting party that brought Oxford and London members together. There is plenty of room for new ideas. The co-ordination of the book club involves keeping people informed of its meetings, encouraging participation, and ensuring that books and venues are chosen and publicised.
Contact: Deb Sanders (

Publicity Co-ordinator:
This role involves publicising SYP events, particularly outside the SYP membership.  Whoever takes on this role will also be responsible for increasing membership and events attendance through liaison with companies and other organisations, and the press.
Contact: Deb Sanders (

The treasurer is responsible for all financial matters of the Oxford branch of the Society.  It is their duty to safe keep petty cash, the chequebook and all bank statements. In charge of monthly financial records, the treasurer must report back to committee members regularly, and deal with financial inflow and outflow. On the inflow side, the treasurer does door duty and collects payments at every event meeting, and on the outflow side, is responsible for reimbursing committee members’ and guest speakers’ expenses.
Contact: Flora Lau (

Events Co-ordinator:
In the changing world of publishing, people want information from the insiders about all aspects of this industry. The events coordinator gathers suggestions from members on the kinds of speaker meetings they would like us to host. Be it music publishing, freelancing, or science communication, you’ll have them covered! The events co-ordinator schedules speakers and makes sure that the venues and the technical support are set up properly. They are also responsible for the publicity of speakers’ events and the promotion of the SYP at Oxford University. In general, this is a really great opportunity to bring people together!
Contact: Mimi Mo (

The secretary’s main responsibilities include organising committee meetings, writing agendas and taking minutes. Along with the Chair, the secretary is the first point of contact for people wanting to know more about getting involved with the SYP, so you will often deal with new members or people wanting to help out on the committee or with the book club.
Contact: Katy Hawker (

Web Editor:
Responsible for the Oxford pages located at, the main task of the web editor is to keep the site up-to-date, making sure that the latest speaker meeting is being advertised with information supplied by the events co-ordinator. Sometimes new pages need to be created too, perhaps to create a feedback form or advertise the next Careers Conference. During quiet moments there are always background tasks that can be carried out, such as improving the site’s ranking in search engines.
Contact: Jamie Shaw (

InPrint Liaison:
The role of the InPrint Liaison is to make sure that Oxford events are both publicised and reported on in the newsletter each month. Working closely with the London Editor(s), the Oxford Liaison is responsible for recruiting reporters, photographers and proofreaders, commissioning new articles and ensuring that all contributions are sent to London in time for the monthly deadline. There are also opportunities to write articles yourself, so if you are organised and would like to see your name in print, this position could be for you!
Contact: Clare Truter (

Oxford Brookes Liaison Officer:
The purpose of this role is to provide a link between the activities of the SYP and the publishing students and staff at Oxford Brookes University. Main activities involve publicising SYP events by e-mail and poster distribution, and booking rooms at Oxford Brookes as requested by the events co-ordinator. The person in this role is usually the first point of enquiry about the SYP for Brookes students: they should be enthusiastic in promoting the SYP among their peer group, and should understand how the SYP might promote itself effectively among the publishing student communities by being aware of the community’s needs and preferences.
Contact: Rebecca Dimery (

Feel free to contact the current committee members to find out more, and join us for drinks after the next London speaker meeting (see back page for details). To stand for a managing committee position, attend the London AGM on Wednesday 18 January 2006. I would very much like to hear from people who are going to stand prior to this – and from people who want to join a sub-committee. You don’t need to be elected for the sub-committee positions, but we do want as many people at the AGM  as possible. Drinks are going to be provided, for at least some of the night – our social secs are currently working on this event, so more details to follow soon.

Best wishes,

Deb Sanders
Acting Oxford SYP Chair 2005