Become Our New Publishing Director

By Wasafiri Editor on December 14, 2021 in

Wasafiri is seeking to recruit a dynamic Publishing Director with exceptional leadership skills and a passion for international writing to provide day-to-day management of the organisation and magazine, as well as strategic planning for its future. Supported by a small in-house team and a Board of Trustees, you will develop a strong vision for the next stage of Wasafiri’s life and oversee a publishing and events programme to deliver this. You will also work with existing funding partners and seek out new ones to safeguard the future of the organisation. This role would suit an experienced arts leader with energy, verve, and a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion in literature. A senior executive position, the Publisher reports to the Chair of Wasafiri’s Board of Trustees.  

Background 

Wasafiri is a quarterly magazine for contemporary international literature, co-published by Routledge. Based in London’s East End, it publishes essays, interviews, fiction and poetry by leading as well as up-and-coming writers from diasporic communities around the world. An established arts organisation, it works with several partners, and runs an annual New Writing Prize, as well as a programme of national and international events and a podcast. Wasafiri is funded by Arts Council England, Routledge, and Queen Mary University of London, where the magazine is based.  It is renowned worldwide for its ground-breaking work in creating a forum for contemporary international writing and the pioneering role it has played over three decades in profiling Black, Asian, and other diasporic artists in Britain, including Bernardine Evaristo, Adbdulrazak Gurnah, Vahni Capildeo, Inua Ellams, Mieko Kawakami, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Chinua Achebe. In 2019 it celebrated its 35th anniversary.  

Main duties and responsibilities 

Leadership/Management 

  • Provide strategic vision for Wasafiri, both the magazine and the organisation as a whole, to grow the readers and communities that we serve and increase our profile nationally and internationally. 
  • Lead a small in-house team to deliver the magazine and organisation’s objectives. 
  • Responsibility for fulfilling our agreements with funding partners. 

 Relationships 

  • Manage the relationships with and reporting to current stakeholders and partners; develop new partnerships and secure additional funding to safeguard the future of the organisation. 
  • Manage the relationship with and reporting to the Board of Trustees. 

 Editorial 

  • Oversee the production of four issues of the magazine a year, including appointing two guest editors for special issues, overseeing the Deputy Editor’s general issue, and editing one general issue yourself. 

 Events 

  • Plan the delivery with the team of an annual events programme and podcast(s). 
  • Ensure Wasafiri’s attendance at important industry events such as the London Book Fair. 
  • Represent the organisation at relevant events and on panels to raise our profile and promote our aims. 

 Other 

  • Oversee cashflow and accounts. 
  • Ensure that hard and digital materials are efficiently archived for the British Library on a regular basis. 

The salary is £38k-£40k (pro-rata) depending on experience and will involve a commitment of 3–4 days each week, at least 2 of which will normally be spent in the Wasafiri office in Mile End. It will also involve some evening and weekend work, and occasional travel. 

Closing Date:   10 January 2022

Interview Dates:  mid to late January 

Start date: April 2022 desirable 

Please apply with a one-page (max.) letter explaining why you want to work for Wasafiri with an outline of what you would bring to the role, and a CV. Attachments should be included as Word or PDF documents. 

Please email your application to danny@thinkselection.com 

Please also direct any queries regarding the position to the same address. 

Only candidates with permission to work in the UK can apply.  

Wasafiri is an Equal Opportunities Employer and we welcome applications from all members of the community. We are particularly interested in candidates whose background and lived experience is reflective of our writing community. 

We do not discriminate on grounds of age, disability, gender, marital status, maternity and pregnancy, race, religion, class, or sexual orientation. 

Person Specification 

Criteria 

Essential 

Desirable 

Skills  

 

 

  • Demonstrable management and leadership abilities 
  • Editorial skills, including commissioning, editing and writing 
  • Ability to work with and develop digital strategy 
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills 
  • Experience with submission, peer review and IT systems  
  • Experience of planning, managing, working within budgets 
  • Ability to speak at/chair literary events /public presentations on behalf of the magazine 

 

  • Events organisation and public engagement 

 

 

 

Knowledge 

 

  •  Specialist knowledge of contemporary international writing and writers 
  • Knowledge and experience of working with literary and cultural partners/networks locally and globally 

 

 

 

  • Networks (contemporary writers/arts/publishing) 
  • Arts funding opportunities and structures 
  • Academic collaborations 

 

 

Relevant experience 

 

 

 

 

  • Leadership/management 
  • Fundraising 
  • Publishing/arts background  
  • Reporting to and collaborating with delivery to diverse stakeholders 
  • Working with online submission database  
  • Commissioning writers 
  • Office management   
  • Bid writing 
  • Online /digital arts 

 

Disposition 

 

 

  • Strong interpersonal and team-building skills 
  • Flexible approach to work and adaptability 
  • Proven commitment to diversity 
  • Initiative and energy 
  • Strong management and leadership skills 
  • Collaborative approach 

 

 

 

 

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