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Sarah Conkerton on her Spare Room Project Experience

Sarah Conkerton on her Spare Room Project Experience

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Before staying with Hannah through the Spare Room Project, I’d had no experience whatsoever in publishing, and probably wouldn’t have been able to if not for the Spare Room Project. Accommodation in London was something I was really worried about – I live in East Yorkshire, which is usually at least a four-hour train journey, and I don’t have any relatives I could stay with. Before I was offered my room, I’d planned on paying for my room at university in Oxford and commuting from there, which I was more than a little apprehensive about!

I was attending a publishing course at University College London, after receiving a sponsored place through Diamond Kahn Woods Literary Agency. UCL was a really easy commute from Hannah’s house, and Hannah and her family were absolutely lovely (even feeding me, which they didn’t have to do). Hannah was happy to chat about her job as a freelance publicist and her extensive experience in the industry, including showing me what she was working on and telling me about different publishing houses. She even gave me a contact in Oxford to get in touch with when I was back at uni, which I was massively grateful for. The unofficial mentoring I received from Hannah really helped me with what I was learning on the course. 

I would love to see publishing become more open to those living nowhere near London and without the funds or connections to stay there without help, and the Spare Room Project is a brilliant scheme for helping people make their first steps. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone in a similar situation – it allowed me to experience the industry for the first time!

Find out more about the Spare Room Project.