Richmond student to represent the British Library at the London Book Fair

Florence Hall.

An aspiring writer will represent the British Library at the internationally acclaimed London Book Fair later this year

Florence Hall, a talented Year 12 English student at Richmond Sixth Form College, was offered the opportunity after impressing Rebecca Nuotio, publishing manager of the British Library, with her passion for books and the publishing industry.

17-year-old Florence is looking forward to being a representative for the renowned British Library.

She said: “This is an incredible honour and opportunity and will provide me with specific experience in the publishing world.

“Rebecca stressed the need for experience and how much it is valued by employers, whether that be an internship, working in a bookshop or volunteering, it is all beneficial.”

Florence is already building up a portfolio of experience and loves working as a volunteer in the book room at Oxfam, in Richmond.

Part of her role involves sorting through the donations, from which she is learning more about which books sell and which ones don’t, how to recognise first editions and first prints, as well as contributing to her community, especially in these difficult times.

Florence is studying A-levels in English language, English literature, mathematics and classics and hopes to read English literature at Durham or at an Oxbridge University.

Miss Weston, lead teacher for English, said: “I am delighted that Florence has been given such a fantastic opportunity – this is in no doubt down to her passion and enthusiasm for English literature and her commitment to pursuing her goal of working in publishing.

“Florence is one of the most well-read A-level students I have taught; her intelligent, critical observations about her reading and her willingness to engage in debate and discussion about the subject beyond the A-level syllabus, are attributes that will take her far.”

In addition to being invited to represent the British Library, Florence has also been offered the opportunity of a Zoom meeting with Bloomsbury, a leading publisher.

Alongside her work at Oxfam and her connection with the British Library, Florence is now focused on her future career in publishing and is building a more defined idea of what field she may be able to go into.

Florence said: “I find the world of publishing and editing quite enticing, as I think it would be so gratifying to work closely with authors.

“My discussion with Rebecca at the British Library has given me a lot to think about, as well as more determination to find a career I enjoy.

“I am hugely grateful to Ms Mannion, careers leader, who made the amazing introduction with the British Library and to Mr Tait, of the Areté Learning Trust, for his support in setting up the meeting with Bloomsbury.

“Although I look forward to my future and time at university, I do love being at sixth form, as I find that I am able to constantly expand my knowledge around literature and I feel that I have already learned so much from my wonderful English Literature teachers, Miss Weston and Mrs Wand.”