Skip to content

English students gain work experience at Penguin's Write Now workshop for upcoming writers

Three undergraduate BA (Hons) English students volunteered at the event, in order to gain experience of the publishing industry

WriteNow Live image

This September, three BA (Hons) English students gained the opportunity to volunteer at Penguin Random House’s WriteNow event. Olivia Foster, Priya Kudhall and Laura Clancy were able to experience working with the UK’s number one book publisher, while connecting with people from all areas of the publishing industry.

WriteNow is a scheme launched by Penguin that aims to mentor and publish new writers from underrepresented communities. After accepting around 17,000 applications from budding writers and illustrators of picture books, just 150 shortlisted applicants were invited to one of three workshops, which formed the next stage in the process. One of the workshops was held at Nottingham Trent University, opening up an opportunity for students to volunteer on the day to ensure the event ran smoothly.

The workshop welcomed authors, illustrators, literary agents and editors to share advice about navigating the publishing process and getting writer’s work noticed. All applicants were able to receive one to one feedback on their writing from an editor during the day. Following the workshops, just 10 exceptional writers and illustrators will join Penguin’s year-long mentoring programme, with the possibility of getting their work published by Penguin in the future.

Volunteering at the event allowed the students to not only gain vital work experience, but also pick up tips about the publishing industry to inform their future careers. Olivia Foster commented: “I received beneficial knowledge of the publishing industry from an extremely respected publishing house. It was a wonderful opportunity to network with flourishing authors and illustrators, and learn more about getting started as a writer. It has given me more confidence to write original works and to engage in future opportunities.”

Working with Penguin was an ideal partnership for the students, who all aim to enter careers in the publishing industry as either writers or editors. Priya told us: “It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience, which allowed me to speak to an editor at Penguin to ask for career advice, as editing is a field I’d love to go into. It gave me a taste of what it would be like to work in this industry”.

Laura is looking towards pursuing a master’s degree in Creative Writing following her degree, and has found that her time at NTU has filled her with the confidence to pursue her goals. She remarked: “I feel so lucky to have been selected to be a part of such an insightful and inspirational day - full of details and diversity. From my experience, NTU has pushed me to be the best I can be. Before University, I wouldn’t dare get on a stage to talk or perform. Now I’ve read my own creative work aloud to English professionals, performed on stage, and been on team Penguin at a literary event”.

Published on 15 October 2018
  • Subject area: English, history and philosophy
  • Category: Culture; Current students; School of Arts and Humanities