SYP Volunteer FAQs

Below you will find the Frequently Asked Questions in relation to volunteering with the Society of Young Publishers. If your question is not answered here, you can connect us via email at sypchair@thesyp.org.uk.

 

When do applications open and close to volunteer to be on the SYP committees?

For the Ireland, London, North, Oxford, South West and UK committees, applications are now closed. Volunteer roles for 2023 will be open for applications in late November/early December 2022.

Applications to join the Scotland team open in spring 2022 following the branch’s annual conference.

 

When will applicants hear back about their applications?

Once applications close we endeavour to select our committees as soon as possible, however this process can take a number of weeks. Please expect to hear back in the first week of January 2022.

 

When do the new committee positions start?

For branches accepting applications, new committee members start their roles at the beginning of 2022. The exact date is to be confirmed.

 

Who can apply to be on a committee?

Those within the first ten years of their publishing career or those wishing to enter the industry are eligible to serve on the committees. There is no age limit and you don’t need to be studying publishing or have any publishing experience to apply. All we ask is that you have a passion for the industry, as well as an understanding of the values and work of our organisation and what goes into keeping it alive.

Please note that while these positions are voluntary, it does require a commitment for the year in order to keep the society running successfully. Each position will involve participating in committee meetings, as well as contributing to possible events or online ventures.

 

Do I need to be a member of the SYP to apply to be on the committees?

No. Volunteer positions are open to SYP members and non-members alike. However, an understanding of the values and work of our organisation is important.

 

Where do I have to be based to be on the committees?

You can only volunteer if you are based within the UK and Ireland. Although those living internationally can become members of the SYP, it isn’t possible to sit on a committee.

To be on the UK Committee, you can be based anywhere across the UK and Ireland.

To be on the regional committees (Ireland, London, North, Oxford, Scotland, South West), you need to be based within these areas. This is to ensure you have an interest and understanding of publishing in these regions.

If you live in a different region to your workplace or have two addresses because you are a student, we recommend you apply to the regional committee that is based in the area you spend the majority of your time.

 

If my area is not covered by any of the regional committees can I still apply for a volunteering position?

You can apply for a position on the UK Committee. Also, as the society continues to grow, we hope to have more areas covered by regional committees and new roles available across the UK and Ireland.

 

What is the difference between the UK Committee and the regional (Ireland, London, North, Oxford, Scotland, South West) ones?

Regional branches primarily support and organise events for people based in their local area. For example, each branch will devise in-person career events, panels with local publishers, and run their own mentorship schemes, and much more. The UK Committee, on the other hand, oversees matters that affect the SYP as a whole. This includes working with partners, developing the website and InPrint magazine, and devising a coherent organisation-wide strategy, as well as offering mentorship opportunities to those based in areas not covered by the regional branches.

While the regional branches function independently, they still work closely with the UK Committee on strategies, and their resources are available to the wider community. The UK Committee also organises in-person events across areas not covered by the regional teams.

 

How many positions can I apply for?

Each year applicants can apply for up to two positions on the committees. These positions could both be with the regional committee where they are based, or one with a regional committee and one with the UK team, or they could both be with the UK team. If applying for multiple roles, complete two separate forms and indicate in each one what other position you have applied to and your preference. Your preferences will not affect your applications unless you are being considered for both roles.

What have you put in place to ensure that your application process is fair and inclusive?

Applications across all SYP branches are judged blindly, with any identifying information removed by our Inclusivity Officers before being read by the chair(s). Like many organisations, the SYP is working hard to be an inclusive and diverse entity. We understand that the world we live in is a diverse place and the publishing industry needs to reflect that. We welcome applications from those of any background, and particularly encourage candidates from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, disabled, neurodivergent and lower socio-economic backgrounds/experiences.

How much time is involved in volunteering on a committee?

This varies depending on the role. Most committee members work full-time jobs away from the SYP. These roles are not full-time commitments, and usually require a couple of hours’ worth of work a week.

We do ask for a commitment for the year you would be on the committee in order to keep the society running successfully. Each position will involve participating in committee meetings and contributing to possible events or online ventures on top of your role.

 

How do I become a chair?

Chair positions are open to those who have served at least one year on a committee. To be a regional chair you must be based in that area, while the UK chair can be based anywhere within the UK and Ireland.

 

How many years can I spend on a committee?

People can spend up to three cumulative years on SYP committees. Committee members can move between branches, depending on where they are based.

 

What positions are open?

Please return to the main Volunteer with the SYP page to see what positions are open across the Ireland, London, North, Oxford, South West and the UK teams.

 

How can I apply?

To apply, please select one of the relevant committee application pages on the main Volunteer with the SYP page and complete the application form available there. If you would like to apply for two roles (either on the same committee or different ones), please complete two forms.