What does your day-to-day entail?
The fun part about my job is that I work across a few different areas of Scribe — rights, editorial, and our children’s imprint, Scribble. As such, my days can be quite varied. For the most part, my time is spent pitching our wonderful titles to publishers overseas, our foreign sub-agents and scouts, following-up on those pitches, and answering permissions queries. Just as one book fair finishes, it seems like we’re on to the next one, so I find myself busiest around these times. On the Scribble front, it’s all types of things from Instagram posts and fulfilling shop orders, to trafficking contracts, offers, and final artwork of the overseas editions of our titles for approval from our authors. And, of course, there’s plenty of reading! Whether it’s looking at submissions or proofreading, there’s always something to read.
What was your favourite book to work on?
Working on all of the Scribble titles is great fun, but I think I most enjoyed working on The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade, by the ridiculously talented Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys. I was working in production and new to Scribe, this was one of the first big projects I got to see from start to finish, and the first time I worked closely with a few of Scribe-squad who are now my closest friends here. Children’s publishing was something new that we were navigating as a team and watching the magic unfold behind the scenes was a delight — the same with then seeing how well it was received by the trade after publication and all of the awards it went on to win. Scribble officially launched later in the year that The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade was published, so the book is just bound up in all types of good feels for me.
From our main list, working on Keating by Troy Bramston was an experience never to forget! It’s a huge book (784 pages) and we were working to the tightest deadline known to man. Henry calls it a ‘Herculean’ effort and I was having dreams about footnotes for about a fortnight after it had gone to press. But the challenge of knuckling down and turning this book around so quickly was fun.
What’s your all-time favourite life-changing book that’s too precious to lend out?
Actually, the more I love a book the more I am likely to give it away! Two books (I can’t pick one) that I’ve found myself loving, buying, and giving away again and again are Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
Tell us about your journey from school to Scribe.
I studied all of the bookish subjects at school and university. A creative writing unit gave me my first hands on experience of editing other people’s work when I was editor-in-chief of Monash’s short fiction anthology, Verge. I think it was at that point when I realised that working with books was something that I really enjoyed and something that I could pursue. After finishing a Bachelor of Arts, I enrolled in a Master of Publishing and Editing course and studied that part-time while I worked full-time at the Judicial College of Victoria. I eventually moved into the role of Publications Officer there, where I did proofreading, copyediting, and program management.
I landed the job at Scribe while looking for an internship during my last year of uni. Though they weren’t taking any interns, I saw that they were looking for a Production and Publishing Assistant, and I applied!
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to work in publishing?
Read, read, read. Keeping up-to-date with who’s publishing what and having knowledge of the market is very valuable. And don’t underestimate the value of applying for jobs widely while still keeping your peepers open for what you really want. I didn’t think that working at the JCV would get me anywhere near where I wanted to go, but in the end it led to many a fun opportunity (dinner with Helen Garner teehee!) and plumped up my CV nicely enough to get a foot in with Scribe.