Why are we renewing the SYP mentor scheme for 2015?

mentor scheme

This is a guest post from Anna Cunnane. Anna works in sales for independent non-fiction publisher Kyle Books. She is also the 2015 Chair of the SYP.

“An inspiring new scheme for ambitious young people in publishing!” — Tom Weldon

The SYP is perhaps best known for the support we provide to people trying to find their first job in publishing. It can be just as difficult, however, to move up quickly within a publishing company as it is to get your foot in the door and we want to support young people who have the skills and ambition to do so. We think its right that we should host a mentor scheme led by people who have achieved a great deal early on in their careers.

Taking part in the mentor scheme has three main benefits:

1. It gives people contacts

We all know it but publishing is a people based industry. Our mentors are great people to know and they can open up opportunities that come in publishing by forming lasting relationships.

2. It develops skills and gives insight

Our sessions are intended to give you the skills and knowledge that you will need to get your next job. Our mentors identify some of the skills you may be lacking as well as encourage you in your strengths.

3. It provides structure to career development

Mentoring helps to break down career development into manageable chunks and give direction. It helps to discuss this with someone who has been there before you.

We were overjoyed last year by how our groups began to learn from each other and steer the content of their sessions towards their own interests. Many of the small groups still meet up regularly which to us is the biggest indication that the scheme worked.


This year we have an amazing range of mentors from all areas of the industry in the following streams:

  • Auriol Bishop, Creative Director at Hodder > Mentor in Design and Brand Management
  • Sophia Blackwell, Marketing Manager at Kogan Page > Mentor in Marketing and Sales
  • Tom Chalmers, Founder and Managing Director of Legend Press > Mentor in Marketing and Sales
  • Laura Summers, Cofounder of BookMachine and Head of Marketing at YUDU > Mentor in Marketing and Sales
  • Anne Perry, Editor at Hodder & Stoughton > Mentor in Editorial
  • Hellie Ogden, Agent at Janklow & Nesbit > Mentor in Author representation Laura Macaulay, Publisher at Daunt Books > Mentor in Editorial
  • Tom Bonnick, Business Development Manager at Nosy Crow > Mentor in Digital and Publicity


To be eligible for the scheme, prospective mentees will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Be an SYP member
  • Be under 30 years of age
  • Have worked in publishing for at least one year, but no more than five
  • Be able to attend meetings in London

To apply please send a CV and a short paragraph, explaining why you would like to take part in the scheme and which stream you would like to be considered for, to mentoring@thesyp.org.uk by 9 March 2015.

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