The Story of the Spare Room Project

The London-centric reality of publishing is a major barrier to new entrants to the industry from outside of the capital.

The Spare Room Project aims to help, by matching interns and job seekers from outside London with people in the book industry who live in the capital and who can offer them a place to stay. By easing accommodation costs, this enables people to take up internships that would otherwise have been financially difficult. The Project also helps people who have job interviews in London.

Many participants have also enjoyed the opportunity for informal mentoring that the scheme creates.

The Spare Room Project was set up in 2016 by James Spackman,  publisher and consultant, with the support of the Publishers Association. Since November 2018 the project has been generously supported by Penguin Random House.

The Spare Room Project has been relaunched by the Society of Young Publishers to support their ongoing commitment to deliver support for publishing hopefuls across the UK and Ireland.

“The Spare Room Project is a simple, community-based idea to help with’ diversity – and also a way for people further on in their career to give something back. So: everyone wins!

I got my first job in publishing through work experience, so it felt like good karma for me to be able to get involved in helping people get started in publishing today. We’ve had a great experience with the project so far and look forward to welcoming more aspirant publishers in the coming months and years.”

Rachel Wade, Bloomsbury Publishing

This initiative is now moderated by SYP and applications function through their website. Publishing interns and interviewees, apply for a room here

London publishing and book industry people, find out how to offer a room here

The Spare Zoom Project

The Spare Zoom Project was set up in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. Publishing hopefuls can seek guidance on career development and gain a valuable industry connected in 30-minute Zoom sessions between hopefuls and professionals.

If you’re looking for a job in publishing or are already in your first role, you can get some advice from someone already in the industry who’ll share their career experiences and support you in yours. Apply here for a one-off 30-minute online chat.


©2024 Spare Room Project