Carole Blake Open Doors Project

 
“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

 

About

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 ten days of work shadowing to a selected applicant over a two-week period, including funding for travel and up to twelve 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.

You can read an account of taking part in the project from our first Open Doors intern Ada Igwebu here.

What we’re looking for

 Candidate specification:

•           Bright and enthusiastic with a can-do approach
•           A keen reader with a good knowledge of contemporary English literature
•           Eager to learn about the process behind getting a book published
•           Friendly and willing to get involved in a close and sociable team dynamic
•           Hard-working, organised, with an eye for detail

Diversity criteria

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

APPLICATIONS FOR THE CAROLE BLAKE OPEN DOORS PROJECT ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED AND WILL RE-OPEN IN JANUARY 2018. Applications received before this time will not be considered.

To apply, please email hattie[at]blakefriedmann.co.uk using the subject line “Carole Blake Open Doors Project Application” with the following:

·         A covering letter of up to 300-500 words outlining how you meet our candidate specification and diversity guidelines
·         250-500 words on why you want to work in the publishing industry
·         A reader’s report of up to 750 words on a book you have read recently, briefly summarising the plot and explaining what you believe to be its strengths and weaknesses. These could include, but are not limited to: plot, chronology, pacing, voice, structure, characterisation, writing quality and style. We would also like to see how you feel this book would fit into the market, what you think its key selling points might be, who might want to read it and any similar books on the market you think are comparable.

NB: Please do not include a CV; these will not be considered as part of the application process.

 

Terms and conditions  1.  By applying to participate in the Carole Blake Open Doors Project, applicants agree to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions. 2.    In addition to the parameters set out in clause 3 below, applications to participate are open to candidates aged 18 or over who are a resident of the UK, except for the employees (and their families) of Blake Friedmann Agency or The Book Trade Charity. 3.    This opportunity is only open to candidates who come from backgrounds under-represented in the publishing industry. This will be self-defined by the applicant as part of the application process and assessed by Blake Friedmann Agency. In particular, this will likely include candidates from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), candidates who have a disability, candidates from outside the London area, candidates without a degree, and candidates who come from a socio-economically marginalised background. 4.    The closing date for the submission of applications is 23.59 on 30th July 2017. 5.    All applications must include the applicant's full name and contact details. 6.     If initially unsuccessful, applicants may apply to programmes in the future. 7.  Applications that are received after the closing date will not be considered. Blake Friedmann Agency is not responsible for illegible, incomplete, delayed or lost entries. Hard copy applications will not be accepted. 8.  All valid entries will be assessed by a panel of current Blake Friedmann Agency employees. The panel will choose a shortlist of five (5) applicants. The successful applicants will be those the panel believes show the most promise. 9.  Blake Friedmann Agency regrets that it will not enter into correspondence or give feedback on individual entries (other than that to be provided to the successful shortlisted applicants). 10.  Successful applicants will be notified by email on or before 30th August 2017. Successful applicants must either accept or decline their invitation within seven (7) days of being notified of their shortlisting. If successful applicants have not confirmed their continued interest by this time, the invitation will lapse and Blake Friedmann Agency reserves the right to offer the invitation to a substitute applicant selected in accordance with these rules. 11.  The decision of the panel is final. No correspondence will be entered into. 12.  None of the elements of this opportunity may be transferred by successful applicants and no alternative (cash or otherwise) will be available or offered. 13.   Blake Friedmann Agency will offer designated accommodation for a mutually-agreed period of two (2) consecutive weeks (up to thirteen (13) consecutive nights in total) in conjunction with The Book Trade Charity (Accommodation) and shall reimburse, on production of valid receipts, up to £20 per working day in transport expenses, and up to £75 per week of subsistence expenses, along with (if applicable) the cost of one standard class return journey from the applicant’s home (if outside the Greater London area) to the Accommodation. Travel will be booked in advance, by Blake Friedmann Agency on behalf of the applicant, wherever possible. Blake Friedmann Agency will not accept liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense (other than stated above) suffered or incurred by an applicant as a result of accepting the invitation to participate or as a result of damage to or loss of applicant’s property at the Accommodation or at the agency. 14.  For the avoidance of doubt, the provision by Blake Friedmann Agency of the opportunity to participate in the Carole Blake Open Doors Project programme shall not be interpreted as a commitment to employ a successful applicant. 15.  Events may occur that render the Carole Blake Open Doors Project programme impossible to fulfil due to reasons beyond the control of Blake Friedmann Agency. Blake Friedmann Agency may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend or suspend the Carole Blake Open Doors Project programme without notice. No correspondence will be entered into. 16.  Blake Friedmann Agency may disqualify any applicants whose application does not comply with these terms or whose actions, in Blake Friedmann Agency’s determination, are fraudulent, dishonest, criminal or unjust to other applicants.  17.  Blake Friedmann Agency will use the personal details of applicants only for the purposes of administering this opportunity and for any other purposes for which an applicant has expressly consented. Applicants consent to the use of their personal data for these purposes. Personal details of unsuccessful applicants will not be kept on file by Blake Friedmann Agency. 18.  These terms are governed by the laws of England. 19.  Agency Contact: Blake Friedmann Agency, Selous House, 5-12 Mandela Street, London NW1 0D

Terms and conditions

 1.  By applying to participate in the Carole Blake Open Doors Project, applicants agree to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions.

2.    In addition to the parameters set out in clause 3 below, applications to participate are open to candidates aged 18 or over who are a resident of the UK, except for the employees (and their families) of Blake Friedmann Agency or The Book Trade Charity.

3.    This opportunity is only open to candidates who come from backgrounds under-represented in the publishing industry. This will be self-defined by the applicant as part of the application process and assessed by Blake Friedmann Agency. In particular, this will likely include candidates from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), candidates who have a disability, candidates from outside the London area, candidates without a degree, and candidates who come from a socio-economically marginalised background.

4.    The closing date for the submission of applications is 23.59 on 30th July 2017.

5.    All applications must include the applicant's full name and contact details.

6.     If initially unsuccessful, applicants may apply to programmes in the future.

7.  Applications that are received after the closing date will not be considered. Blake Friedmann Agency is not responsible for illegible, incomplete, delayed or lost entries. Hard copy applications will not be accepted.

8.  All valid entries will be assessed by a panel of current Blake Friedmann Agency employees. The panel will choose a shortlist of five (5) applicants. The successful applicants will be those the panel believes show the most promise.

9.  Blake Friedmann Agency regrets that it will not enter into correspondence or give feedback on individual entries (other than that to be provided to the successful shortlisted applicants).

10.  Successful applicants will be notified by email on or before 30th August 2017. Successful applicants must either accept or decline their invitation within seven (7) days of being notified of their shortlisting. If successful applicants have not confirmed their continued interest by this time, the invitation will lapse and Blake Friedmann Agency reserves the right to offer the invitation to a substitute applicant selected in accordance with these rules.

11.  The decision of the panel is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

12.  None of the elements of this opportunity may be transferred by successful applicants and no alternative (cash or otherwise) will be available or offered.

13.   Blake Friedmann Agency will offer designated accommodation for a mutually-agreed period of two (2) consecutive weeks (up to thirteen (13) consecutive nights in total) in conjunction with The Book Trade Charity (Accommodation) and shall reimburse, on production of valid receipts, up to £20 per working day in transport expenses, and up to £75 per week of subsistence expenses, along with (if applicable) the cost of one standard class return journey from the applicant’s home (if outside the Greater London area) to the Accommodation. Travel will be booked in advance, by Blake Friedmann Agency on behalf of the applicant, wherever possible. Blake Friedmann Agency will not accept liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense (other than stated above) suffered or incurred by an applicant as a result of accepting the invitation to participate or as a result of damage to or loss of applicant’s property at the Accommodation or at the agency.

14.  For the avoidance of doubt, the provision by Blake Friedmann Agency of the opportunity to participate in the Carole Blake Open Doors Project programme shall not be interpreted as a commitment to employ a successful applicant.

15.  Events may occur that render the Carole Blake Open Doors Project programme impossible to fulfil due to reasons beyond the control of Blake Friedmann Agency. Blake Friedmann Agency may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend or suspend the Carole Blake Open Doors Project programme without notice. No correspondence will be entered into.

16.  Blake Friedmann Agency may disqualify any applicants whose application does not comply with these terms or whose actions, in Blake Friedmann Agency’s determination, are fraudulent, dishonest, criminal or unjust to other applicants. 

17.  Blake Friedmann Agency will use the personal details of applicants only for the purposes of administering this opportunity and for any other purposes for which an applicant has expressly consented. Applicants consent to the use of their personal data for these purposes. Personal details of unsuccessful applicants will not be kept on file by Blake Friedmann Agency.

18.  These terms are governed by the laws of England.

19.  Agency Contact: Blake Friedmann Agency, Selous House, 5-12 Mandela Street, London NW1 0D