Vacancy: Books Editor (maternity cover)

We are looking for an enthusiastic Books Editor to join our small team for a 12-month period, working creatively and collaboratively both in our office in Chadwell Heath and from home. Please read the person specification and job description below and apply using our online application form. CVs will not be accepted. 

Deadline for applications: Monday 16 November 2020
Interview dates: week commencing 23 November 2020 (interviews will take place on Zoom)

Salary: £28,230 pro rata
Start date: Early January 2021
Duration: Fixed-term 12 months maternity cover, with possibility of continuing in a related role after 12 months
Hours: 3 days/week

Lawrence and Wishart is an independent political publisher. We aim to facilitate the sharing and networking of ideas based on our values of openness, pluralism and democratic left-wing political formation. We’re looking for a Books Editor to join our three-person team of co-managed part-time staff for a 12-month period, with the possibility of continuing in a related role after 12 months. The Books Editor will work three days a week. Currently due to Covid-19 all staff are working from home, but our normal practice is to work predominantly from our office in Chadwell Heath.

The Books Editor role is interesting and varied, with the opportunity to channel an enthusiasm for current politics into LW’s content and publication strategy. The role encourages editorial and commissioning creativity to support the political development of the organisation. We welcome a wide range of skills and experience, providing you meet the essential requirements listed in the person specification below. You will need to be a reliable, resilient self-starter with excellent organisational skills and strong attention to detail, who is interested in and committed to the values and politics of Lawrence and Wishart.

The person we appoint will be confident working in and co-managing a non-hierarchical structure, and will be willing to be accountable to colleagues. We need someone who is keen and quick to learn, happy making decisions and taking the initiative, as well as being prepared to take on the day-to-day practicalities of running a small business in a collegial, well-supported environment.  We offer flexible working and opportunities for learning and professional development.

We’re hoping to expand our lists and commissioning work, and are seeking to free up editorial time for this. This means we’re open to what you can bring to the organisation in terms of ideas for the future, both in terms of politics and the business. We particularly welcome applications from BAME candidates and members of other groups under-represented in UK publishing.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to discuss your application further, please feel free to contact the team on 02085970090 or email You can access the application form here

Person specification

Educated to degree level or equivalent
Editorial experience (copyediting, proofreading etc)
Political commitment and awareness of the political landscape
Excellent attention to detail and time management skills (ability to independently manage a varied workload and meet deadlines)
Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
Excellent numeracy and organisational skills, ability to prioritise and manage workloads
Good working knowledge of appropriate software (including Word/Excel)

Experience working in small and/or flat-structure organisations, including strategic planning, financial management
Experience designing/managing budgets
Good understanding of networking, and forming and maintaining external relationships
Project management experience (in an editorial context would be most useful)

Job description

1. Books: end-to-end book production; project management (often of multiple simultaneous projects); editing (full editing, copyediting and proofreading); strategic planning for future book projects; stock management; organising/repurposing backlist; permissions/rights management.

2. Politics: networking and representing L&W at external events; building on L&W political strategy; managing political partnerships and community building; strategic planning; ideas generation for future publications and projects.

3. Relationship management: with authors and freelancers; with Board of Directors and Editorial Advisory Group; with stakeholders and political networks; customer service; supporting colleagues and working as part of a collaborative team.

4. Financial/business management: overall financial management collectively with other staff, strategic planning for both the business and the political direction of LW; monitoring and reviewing figures; producing sales figures spreadsheets; writing/confirming books budgets.