HarperCollins has opened applications for its second “New to Publishing Information Session and Networking Event.” Hosted by the HC human relations department at the company's New York headquarters, the aim of the event, the publisher said, is to "enhance our talent pool with people truly passionate about books and publishing but who have not, for a multitude of reasons, had the opportunity to do an internship in publishing." The event doubles as a crash course in publishing for attendees, and will be held January 9 of next year.

“After the tremendous success of our pilot event, I look forward to meeting even more passionate and diverse talent," Carolyn Zimatore, director of talent acquisition at HC, said in a statement. "It is my hope that this event continues to be a pipeline for our summer internship program and entry-level roles.”

Applicants to the program must submit an essay answering a few questions around their passion for books and publishing in lieu of a resume, and applicants are asked not to include names on the essays. Applications must be received at HC by October 31.

The idea, Zimatore said, is to help fill entry-level roles with people who are passionate regardless of their previous experience or proximity to the New York book industry hub—a conscious effort to break from publishing's somewhat infamous "it’s not what you know, it’s who you know" hiring paradigm.

HC hired six participants in the event into full-time roles, some of whom came via HC's summer internship program. Last year's event received 600 applications, and 35 applicants were invited to the full program.

"Speaking one on one with a seasoned professional was such a rare and gratifying experience," Amina Iro, now an editorial assistant at Amistad, said of the program. "I was able to connect with [my interviewer] on several fronts, and it felt less like an interview and more like an opportunity to make a genuine connection with someone in an imprint/industry that I wholly believe in."

While the event isn't geared explicitly toward diversity in the industry, "It does bring in a diverse overall group of folks," Zimatore said. "We’re bringing in people based on their passion for publishing, and having someone submit an essay is an interesting way of getting new talent to publishing, people who are maybe completely new—career changers, folks not from the New York City area, so there’s also geographic diversity.... What we’re looking for are not your traditional publishing candidates.”