SYP Mentor Scheme 2015

Mentor Scheme logo

“An inspiring new scheme for ambitious young people in publishing!” — Tom Weldon

Part of the SYP’s mission is to provide tools for young publishing professionals to advance their careers while also expanding their network in the creative industries. The SYP currently provides a wide-ranging series of events and seminars aimed at those who are entering the publishing world for the first time, including a very popular talk at London Book Fair – ‘How To Get Into Publishing’. The SYP also organises a similar event for publishing professionals who are trying to move forward from their first job: ‘How To Get Ahead In Publishing’, once again at London Book Fair.

In 2014 we launched a mentor scheme to address the needs of another group of young publishers – those reaching for the next step in their career. The scheme, whose aim was to provide a set of tools to guide career progress, the experience
and expertise of a successful publishing professional and the support of peers is now renewed for 2015.

STRUCTURE
Unlike other schemes, instead of being a one-to-one session each SYP mentoring meeting is built around a small group of young publishing professionals (5–10 people per group).

Each group is assigned a mentor, a young, dynamic publishing professional who has already achieved a remarkable level of success in his or her career. The mentees are assigned to a specific group based on their job description and
interest, which then allows us to pair them up with a mentor who has experience in that particular field.

The scheme will provide mentoring in the following areas of publishing:
• Editorial
• Digital and Publicity
• Sales and Marketing
• Design and Brand Management
• Author representation
Each group will meet their mentor roughly every two months beginning in March, for a total of five meetings throughout the year. Each mentor will be completely free to organise their mentoring sessions as they see fit. The SYP will provide a rough outline for the scheme.

MENTEES
The scheme will be open to young publishing professionals who are already working in the industry and need advice on how to further advance in their career. To be eligible, prospective mentees will have to meet the following criteria:
• Be an SYP member
• Be under 30 years of age
• Have worked in publishing for at least one year, but no more than five
• Be able to attend meetings in London
Details of how to apply are listed below. All applications will be reviewed by the SYP, who will then select the members of each group.

MENTORS
Confirmed mentors include:
Auriol Bishop, Creative Director at Hodder > Mentor in Design and Brand Management
Sophia Blackwell, Marketing Manager at Kogan Page > Mentor in Marketing and Sales
Tom Chalmers, Founder and Managing Director of Legend Press > Mentor in Marketing and Sales
Laura Summers, Cofounder of BookMachine and Head of Marketing at YUDU > Mentor in Marketing and Sales
Anne Perry, Editor at Hodder & Stoughton > Mentor in Editorial
Hellie Ogden, Agent at Janklow & Nesbit > Mentor in Author representation
Laura Macaulay, Publisher at Daunt Books > Mentor in Editorial
Tom Bonnick, Business Development Manager at Nosy Crow > Mentor in Digital and Publicity

TIMELINE
February:
Mentor scheme announcement (social media & trade press)

March:
Mentees recruiting (deadline for application 16th March)
March– November: 4–5 mentor meetings

December:
Christmas party

SYP members under the age of 30, who have been working in publishing for between one and five years, will be able to apply for the scheme by emailing a CV and a short paragraph, explaining why they would like to take part in the scheme and which stream they would like to be considered for, to mentoring@thesyp.org.uk by 16 March 2015.

Praise from 2014 participants

"The mentor scheme was a great opportunity to get an established insider's perspective on how the art and science of the business work in practical terms. It was also a great forum for frank discussion of the challenges of working on different lists and different houses, and a good chance to learn from the experiences of other early-career editors. The scheme has given me a much better grasp of some of the intangibles of commissioning and has introduced me to some aspects of the business I'd never given enough consideration to before; I think I'm now a better and more clued-in editor for it."

"I enjoyed meeting my peers working in various different areas of publishing and discussing with them how our different companies worked."

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