Thursday, 24 January 2013

What's it like to do work experience at Templar?

Templar take on people for short work experience placements and longer-term internships. We've been fortunate enough to have Peter, who's on his gap year, in the editorial department for two weeks. Read on to find out how he got on!

I am extremely grateful to Templar for letting me spend a fortnight here. One of the many great things about my work experience was that I got a true insight into how the nuts and bolts of the industry, by performing tasks that actually contributed in an environment that was pressure-free thanks to the lovely people I met and worked with.  Some jobs took a couple of hours, whilst some took the whole fortnight and it was fantastic to muck in with everything from the menial to the mentally challenging. Even reorganising the oven-hot storeroom had its merits; I got a cheeky look at loads of Templar titles whilst getting a workout!

I really appreciate the effort put in by the editors to find me a variety of tasks, some of which were creative such as writing visual acuity questions for Templar’s revamp of the Little Grey Rabbit books and coming up with names and teasers for characters in the latest Mamoko picture book. These two tasks were great fun and I fell in love with the books I was working on, though I’m sure some of the stuff I came up with is more cringeworthy than useful! One of the highlights was contributing some ideas to the back cover copy of a new novel called The Testing; getting to read the first few chapters in development stage and trying my hand at writing a blurb was both enjoyable and tricky. It was very satisfying to see that a couple of my suggestions were used for the final product.
I loved doing the submissions – not for the sadistic pleasure of stamping budding children’s authors’ dreams into oblivion, but for seeing the vast, wacky and untamed imaginations of people all over the country and overseas. It was an amazing feeling to find something that I found genuinely entertaining and passing it up. I also tried out quite a bit of proofreading. As Katie said, it’s what people think she does all day when she tells them she works in publishing, so it was really helpful to do some tests for new editors and check titles in the pipeline. I think I got better at it as I went along – I became more acquainted with the symbols and what to look out for.

I was very fortunate to have such a valuable experience here. The office has a wonderfully friendly and hardworking atmosphere, and it hasn’t lost an ounce of character from the last place. Everyone I talked to was very kind and thoughtful – I want to thank you all for providing me with tasks and helping me out, as I’m sure you would have preferred not to have some upstart whippersnapper stealing your desks and drinking your tea. Special thanks to Katie, Jenny, Hannah and Liza who provided me with great jobs and made me feel at home. Thanks to Templar, I hope my future home is in publishing.

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