‘Carole didn't just leave the door on the latch – she flung it wide open, ushered you inside, poured you a glass of champagne and introduced you to everyone in the room.’
— Francesca Main, Editorial Director at Picador, and former Blake Friedmann intern
We’re pleased to announce that the Carole Blake Open Doors Project is now accepting applicants for 2017. Please help spread the word, or do let us know of any organisations that may be able to help.
The Carole Blake Open Doors Project, is a programme specifically aimed at encouraging candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds to enter the publishing industry.
Carole Blake was born in south London, and grew up in a house which did not have many books. When she left school at the age of sixteen with hopes of becoming a librarian, she found a job as secretary at George Rainbird Publishing. The experience kick-started her love of art, broadened her education, and introduced her to the classics. She moved to Michael Joseph in 1970, becoming the publisher’s first Rights Manager, and in 1975 joined Sphere Publishing to run their rights, contracts and publicity teams. After founding her own literary agency with some of the authors she’d come to know and love, Carole merged agencies with Julian Friedmann in 1982 to create the Blake Friedmann Agency.
The Carole Blake Open Doors Project will offer at least six days of work shadowing to a selected applicant over a two-week period, including funding for travel and up to eight nights’ accommodation in London. The programme, which will run twice a year, will include close mentorship with Blake Friedmann’s book agents, the opportunity to attend selected meetings with editors and clients, and the chance to be involved in every aspect of day-to-day life as an agent. It is intended that candidates will come away from the project with varied knowledge of working for a leading literary agency, the beginnings of new and essential relationships in the publishing industry, and some excellent experience to include on their CVs.
‘Carole offered me my first internship in publishing at Blake Friedman. She was a formidable figure, yet warm and funny. She was deeply encouraging to me as one from a diverse background based on my age, class and race – though it was our mutual love of a great pair of shoes that really sealed the deal! An unforgettable, truly phenomenal woman.’ — Valerie Brandes, Founder & Publisher, Jacaranda Books, and former BFA intern
Carole Blake and the Blake Friedmann team have always placed great value on diversity and openness, in the company's client list as well as its hiring practices. We aim to build on this foundation and be proactive about drawing from a wider pool of talented applicants who are passionate about books and ambitious about getting a job in publishing.
What we’re looking for:
We will be looking solely at applicants from backgrounds not well represented in publishing including those who have not been to college or university (like Carole), those not from high income families, those from BAME backgrounds, and those who live outside the London metropolitan area.
How to apply
To apply, please email Hattie Grünewald <email@example.com> using the subject line ‘Carole Blake Open Doors Project Application’ with the following:
NB: Please do not include a CV; these will not be considered as part of the application process.
The closing date for the submission of applications is 23:59 on 31 December 2016. We are currently considering applications for May-June 2017, dates to be mutually agreed with the successful candidate.
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