The DRF David Miller Internship Programme, via Creative Access
The two winners of the 2022 Award were Valentia Adarkwa-Afari and Hannah Asikhia. They took part in the six-week programme between 19th September – 28th October.
Valentia said, “The DRF Internship has been one of the most invaluable experiences of my life. As a recipient of the internship, I have felt nothing but appreciation and gratitude towards everyone involved in creating such a wonderful experience for me in these past 6 weeks. With the support and knowledge I have gained I am confident in my ability to enter the profession and begin my journey with books!”
And Hannah said, “I feel incredibly lucky to be one of the recipients of the David Miller Internship Programme. The experience has provided such an in-depth entry into the world of rights and I’m so excited to take everything I’ve learnt in these six weeks onto the next stage of my career.”
The David Miller internship Programme focusses on creating entry pathways for people from groups under-represented in the sector, in partnership with Creative Access, a leading social enterprise specialised in diversity, equality and inclusion.
The biennial award has an educational brief and supports two paid internships over a six-week period.
The programme offers an entry-level introduction to rights and agenting in publishing companies and literary agencies, aiming to give candidates a full understanding of the roles of rights professionals within the wider industry. This goal is achieved through first-hand experience and intensive training, providing participants with a significant stepping stone in their search for future employment. Topics covered include the concepts underpinning intellectual property and copyright; how publishing licenses work; how authors and agents work together; the role of the publisher both domestically and in international markets; the ways in which translation rights are sold; the role of literary scouts; how publishers exploit the rights they have acquired; and insights into some translation publishing markets in a variety of countries. The educational schedule includes a visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the key yearly rights event in October. The two interns are given mentoring and guidance throughout their placements.
Payment for the internship is made at the current rate of the London living wage, and travel to Frankfurt is covered by the Foundation. Accommodation in London for the six-week period is provided if needed.
In 2022 the companies who provided placements and training included RCW, David Higham Associates, ILA, Penguin Random House, Faber, Profile Books, PEW Literary, Greyhound Literary and Eccles Fisher Associates.
Creative Access manages the search for candidates with a particular focus in attracting those from communities under-represented in the sector. They facilitate the initial long-listing of potential candidates, from which a shortlist is agreed. The selection of the two successful interns is made by an interview panel comprising of highly experienced rights professionals associated with the Foundation. For the 2024 programme, interviews will take place in early July and the internship will commence in mid-September and run for six weeks.
The internships are overseen and managed by the Trustees of the DRF together with senior executives from the collaborating publishing houses and agencies.
The DRF David Miller Internship Programme is named in memory of RCW agent David Miller who died in 2016. Originally The DRF David Miller Bursary, in 2017 and 2019 it was awarded to a developing rights professional already working in the business. In 2022 it was refocussed by the DRF as an internship programme, in partnership with Creative Access.