Here at Salford, we pride ourselves on how many of our courses offer great opportunities for placements and work experience in your preferred industry. The English department have recently established an exclusive, diversity-focused internship scheme with literary agency Conville & Walsh. This agency has handled notable names such as Costa Book of the Year award winner Nathan Filer, author of “The Shock of the Fall and Books are My Bag 2016 Readers Award winner Matt Haig, author of the memoir “Reasons to Stay Alive”. Third year student Charlotte-Louise Macmillan recently had the amazing opportunity to undertake a two week placement with the agency. I got to speak to her to find out more about the experience! 📖

Side by side covers of the books Reasons to Say Alive by Matt Haig (left) and The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer (right). The cover for Reasons to Stay Alive is white with quite simple black font however the font of the 'E' in 'Alive' goes off into a rainbow coloured swirl at the end. The cover for Shock of The Fall has a blue wallpaper and wooden floor background and in the foreground is a silhouette of a tree and small boy reading a book underneath it. The font of the title is white and looks handwritten or similar to crayon.
Award-winning literature with authors that are represented by Conville & Walsh

Hi Charlotte, what course are you studying?

Drama and Creative Writing.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

How did you find out about the internship?

I found out through a lecturer. He set up the internship and asked English students if they would want to be involved and I applied.

What did the application process involve?

It was a CV and cover letter about why I wanted to work there and then a book report where I went into detail about a book I had read and what I thought its strengths and weaknesses were and how I would sell it.

Sat on a dark wooden table is a cup, a book and an opened book that a person is reading. This person wears a mustard yellow t-shirt and has long dark hair. You cannot see their face. They are drinking from a black cup of coffee.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Had you ever considered working in the publishing industry before?

Before this internship I had never considered a publishing role very seriously. I had always known it could be an option for me, but now I truly do consider it a path I could pursue at some point in my career.

A traditional/worn-looking pile of books sat on a white material. On top of the books is a flower.

Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash

Was the experience what you expected?

It was simultaneously what I expected and not. It was a lot of reading, researching and sort of dipping my toe into all the different parts of the agency. I only made tea once, which I thought I’d be doing a lot of! I learnt a lot, especially the importance of agents and how they are very overlooked in publishing. I was able to experience two weeks in the working world and I loved every moment of it.

What was your favourite part of the internship?

There were so many amazing moments. One moment happened on my second day when the company found out one of their books has made it to number 1 on the Sunday Times best seller list. It was a crazy moment when I realised this was all very real and these people were making huge waves in the publishing world and I was getting this amazing chance to be a part of it.

Two winding white framed bookshelves full of books. The floor is a pale laminate wood and in the far background you can see more bookshelves.
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Could you tell us a bit about your course and how you feel the internship was relevant to what you study?

My course is very small and close-knit. We are a unique bunch of students who are getting an amazing chance to study both performance and the theory behind it, but also literature and writing. There is a lot of crossover and our modules are innovative and exciting. This experience gave me the chance to see what the future could be like, whether that’s getting published or even working in publishing. It was a backstage pass to see how the literature that I love is made and crafted.

What are your plans for after you graduate?

I plan to go into television and film and I am applying for a few producing opportunities with the BBC. Publishing is something I’ve looked into and it is definitely an option for me if the right opportunity arises.

A close up of a camera lens

Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

How did it feel coming back to campus after the internship?

It wasn’t a difficult transition, but it was different. Coming back to university was exciting, but I missed the internship a lot. Now I’m back in the swing of things I am cherishing my last few months at Salford, but I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Would you recommend your course and the internship to prospective students?

100%. Creative Writing and Drama are two subjects that go hand in hand and studying both was the best decision I’ve ever made. The internship was a wonderful opportunity that I will forever be thankful for both to the University and Conville & Walsh.

The quote from Charlotte: "Now I’m back in the swing of things I am cherishing my last few months at Salford, but I can’t wait for the next chapter." on a background of the New Adelphi Foyer.

Thank you to Charlotte for speaking to me! As you can see from her interview, there are multiple different pathways within our English department. To find the one that’s right for you, you can either request a prospectus here or search for a particular course on our website. You can find the links to Charlotte’s course below as well as other ones that may be relevant. ⬇️

🌟 BA Drama and Creative Writing

🌟 BA English and Creative Writing

🌟 BA English and Drama