Carole Blake Open Doors Project

Blake Friedmann has decided to offer two places on their inaugural Carole Blake Open Doors Project, as well as a further three-month paid internship to a third applicant.

Ada Igwegbu, from Aberdeen, will take the first placement, from 8th to 19th May 2017. She said: ‘At the risk of resurrecting clichéd words, I am terribly excited to be part of the Carole Blake Open Doors Project. I heard about the programme by complete accident: a friend mentioned it in passing, I applied and here I am. I am thrilled.’

Connor Faulkner, from Doncaster, has been offered a second placement from 31st July to 11th August. He writes: 'I'm incredibly excited to be chosen as a candidate for the Carole Blake Open Doors Project. It's not very often that you're presented with such a brilliant opportunity, and I can't wait to get stuck into an industry which has eluded me for so long.'

Grace Kabeya, from Zimbabwe by way of University of Exeter, will take up a 3-month paid internship from May to July 2017. ‘A chance. A platform. An opportunity to learn more about the industry in one of the best possible ways. I could not be more grateful and excited. It is all I can talk about and I cannot wait to begin.’

Isobel Dixon added: 'All of us at the agency - and many of our internship alumni now working across the book trade - are looking forwar‎d to welcoming the first Open Door candidates to Mandela Street and sharing insights into this brilliant industry. We're very grateful to David Hicks and The Book Trade Charity (BTBS) for their generous support of this initiative, and to others who have offered to help in many ways including, crucially, with their time and experience. It's this generosity and energy that makes ours one of the great creative industries, one we seek to make even more varied, dynamic and inclusive.' 

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. Applications will re-open in July for a placement in late autumn 2017 – details of how to apply will be published on the Blake Friedmann website.

The Carole Blake Open Doors Project offers 10 days of work shadowing to selected applicants 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 authors and others working in the publishing industry, 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 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.

For more details on how to get involved with the project please contact Hattie Grunewald