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Kalem Office, Istanbul. Image: Priyanka Mistry

Weston Jerwood Creatives Bursaries participant Priyanka Mistry takes up International Placement in Istanbul

30 October 2018

Priyanka Mistry is a current participant on the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme, and took up her role as Marketing Executive at Bradford Literature Festival in January 2018. She has recently returned from a four-week working residency at Kalem Literary Agency in Istanbul, Turkey, in preparation for the Tanpinar Literature Festival. The placement was supported by the British Council.

Priyanka kept a work diary over the course of the month, identifying new skills and perspectives to take back to Bradford, as well as reflecting on her own personal professional development.

‘What have you done? This week the workload was very quiet, so I tried to learn more about the authors that Kalem represent and researched them so I could pass them to the BLF programming team. I also prepared meetings for myself and the BLF director with Yapi Kredi Publishing and Can Publishing, two of the biggest publishing companies in Turkey.

What kind of experiences have you had? This was the first time that I had been taken to a meeting with high level staff members of an organisation. It was an interesting experience to see how they interact and try to build a link between publishing and BLF. On my last day at Kalem we held a leaving party with authors, the Kalem team, the BLF team and the British Council in the Kalem office. It was very nice goodbye, and a great way to introduce some of the authors to BLF that BLF may be programming in their 2018 festival.

What has surprised you? I was surprised at how close I had become to the Kalem team, and I miss them dearly! My experience in Istanbul will always be with me, and I hope to visit again soon.’

You can read more about Priyanka’s experience of her International Placement on her blog.