Isabella Boyne, the first candidate of the Opening Doors initiative, is joining Bonnier Books UK as editorial assistant.
She joins the flagship adult fiction imprint Zaffre – with a specific focus on supporting the crime and thriller list – following four weeks on the work experience programme.
The hire represents a success for the Opening Doors initiative. The initiative – celebrating the publication of youth mentor and social mobility advocate Reggie Nelson’s memoir Opening Doors – saw Bonnier Books UK work in partnership with literary, film, and TV agency OWN IT! and the author as they launched the pioneering scheme.
The Opening Doors initiative offered four weeks of fully-paid work experience, split between Bonnier Books UK and OWN IT!; aimed at opening doors to candidates from underrepresented backgrounds, demystifying the industry, and helping candidates take their first steps on the path to a career in publishing.
Isabella Boyne said: “I am so grateful to Reggie Nelson, OWN IT!, and Bonnier for giving me the opportunity to be the first candidate for the Opening Doors initiative. It helped me gain such a great insight into publishing and is an amazing step to making publishing a more diverse and inclusive industry. I am thrilled to be joining Kelly (Smith) and Ben (Willis) as part of Zaffre’s crime and thriller team and can’t wait to return to Bonnier Books!”
Madiya Altaf, editor of Nelson’s book, said: “In partnership with Reggie Nelson and Own It, the Opening Doors initiative was created to offer a candidate from an underrepresented background a chance to gain insight from two different sides of publishing. I’m so pleased to see how successful the scheme has been, with the brilliant Isabella landing a role with our wonderful Fiction team after a great few weeks with us. We look forward to continuing to share Reggie’s powerful message of opening doors and removing as many barriers as we can.”
Kelly Smith, senior editor, added: “In just a short time, Isabella showed why we simply couldn’t continue without her. Her warmth and energy, along with her masterful commercial instincts, make her the perfect addition to our expanding team. It’s brilliant to already see the success of the Opening Doors scheme, and we look forward to continuing with the initiative to provide further future opportunities.”