Summer internships for writers

For younger viewers interested in getting some experience in the publishing world, I thought I’d share my experiences this past summer. First, I did an internship with Joggling Board Press, a small historical publishing house in Summerville, SC. Even though I was bummed at first I hadn’t scored work at the major publishing houses in New York City like Penguin or Scholastic or anything like that, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I ever had. Because there were so few people in the office, we all instantly bonded and became family. I didn’t just fetch coffee and file paperwork – I was a huge part of the publishing process for our current projects, whether it was discussing with authors and illustrators, offering edits to working manuscripts, or helping to pick a cover. My boss, Susan – knowledgeable, kind, caring – sat across from me every day, dropping information like how different book spines were put together or enhancing my vocabulary. I worked there for about four weeks, and enjoyed work every day.

For the second half of my summer, I stayed in my aunt’s house in New York City and commuted twice a week to Talcott Notch Literary Services in Milford, Connecticut. Though my impact was relatively small – I sorted through unsolicited email queries – it really gave me a glimpse into the professional, competitive publishing world where there are no apologies and no second chances. I’m not going to lie, it’s a cutthroat industry and with the hundreds of queries pouring in daily, it’s much easier to see why I got rejected so many times and illustrated how hard it is to make it big. Nevertheless, the three hour commute each way gave me ample time for reading and writing, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would (considering I had to wake up at 6 on those days!)

If anybody has any questions regarding summer internships or these two companies specifically, feel free to contact me directly through this website and I’d be very happy to help!

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