As anyone who has ever aspired to be a writer will know, it is a very difficult world to break into. Many have failed, and many more have been so disheartened by the prospect of failure that they haven’t even tried. In recent years, it has become ever harder to achieve credibility, for the very reason that publishing itself has never been easier. In a world where anyone can publish, readers will feel more inclined to trust the judgement of trusted publishers, and publishers are more in need of books that are likely to sell.
It is not only this aspect of the industry that is difficult to break into. While there are internships available, not many are able to pay and they are very difficult to win places on. An applicant will need a wealth of previous experience to even have a chance of gaining a place. Often internships will offer experience in limited aspects of the process, and perhaps will not provide those on them with the spectrum of experience they need to understand where their skills lie, or to function effectively in another position.
Robert Peett of Holland House began the Novella Project in order to provide people, young and relatively unknown writers in particular, with a chance to shine that they might not otherwise have had. The novella is the perfect size to showcase one’s skill, and can be read on a long journey or in an evening. He has taken on a team of interns who, with his experienced guidance, have been and will be actively involved in every aspect of the process, from editing to marketing, AIs to launches. It is a project that has the potential to really boost all of their careers, and give them the experience they need to decide which way they might wish to go.
The first collection will be a set of five novellas, due to be published in October of this year. One of the writers completed an MA at the University of Reading, one lives in Birmingham, one in Bristol, and two in Oxford. They are all relatively new, and their books are all very different.