1. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Intern-ship at Lit Agency/Publishing House?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jwatson, Feb 6, 2012.

    Has anyone ever had the pleasure?

    I'm going to do my best to get a position this summer, if anyone has any info on how they got in and/or what kind of things they had to do I would really appreciate it. I live in Toronto so there's quite a few places I can contact about this. I hoped someone with past experience could give me some tips/background info. Anything would be appreciated!

    J
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, it's 'internship'... not a hyphenate...

    while waiting for someone here with first-hand experience to show up, have you googled for info on agent/publishing house internships?... i'm sure you'd find some personal experiences there...
     
  3. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Hey maia, hope all is well!

    Yes I know. Spell check messed me up. I was on my phone and too lazy to go back and take the hyphen out!

    As for google, I have indeed looked around and found a couple things. However, I concluded upon my research that internships are not very common at publishing houses/lit agencies, am I right? I mean, I just don't see the usefulness for them hiring a student, unless it's really dull filing work (which it probably will be but I really hope not!). I noticed that there wasn't a single lit agency website that openly stated they had internships. However, some publishing houses did post on their sites that they do, so I'm guessing the latter is the more plausible option.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    interns aren't 'hired' since they don't get paid... they take the position just to gain experience/learn the ropes... so, if you can't afford to work for free, better give up the idea...

    and i doubt you'll find many agencies taking any on... you may find some just-starting-out agents willing to, though, if they aren't making enough yet to afford to hire people...
     
  5. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    That makes sense. I'm not overly optimistic, but I have to try! Thanks for your comments
     
  6. Jammy
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    Jammy Member

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  7. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, I did a two week long placement with a rather big publishing house in December. I learned a lot in two weeks, and my work ranged from reading the submissions folder, writing reports on submissions (on the back of which they'd either get rejected or looked at again by the assistant editor), packing up books to be sent overseas to buyers and manning the reception (that was scary). I worked in both the editorial and the rights departments.

    It's an awesome way to get experience and, if you're interested in working in publishing, it's vital that you get placements and an internship if you can find one. There's really no other way to learn the job.

    Oh, and try to find ones that cover travel expenses. Some internships do pay an actual salary, but most offer to cover your travel and lunch costs if not. They're getting free labour, remember, and if they're worth anything they'll have the budget to at least do you that courtesy.

    One more thing - interns are hired. This is a full-time position with masses of competition, and I've never heard of one that doesn't pay a salary if this is the case. For placements it's different because it's a short-term thing, but that's when they'd rather pay your travel costs instead. These are multi-million pound companies and they're usually proud enough to boast that they take good care of their team. An intern may not be official staff, but they're still a valued member. If you're with a company that can't afford you, then why would you work for them? Sign of a failing company and a useless internship.
     
  8. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    Hey there, thanks for this!

    I've decided to search for an internship with the help of my University. The school provides the placement in various places, however they are not paid, which sucks. But, it counts towards a credit for school, which is okay. Plus it's the overall experience I'm looking for combined with the chance to gain some contacts. Thanks for your comment, I enjoyed reading what kind of things you did during your 2 weeks. I had been wondering what kind of work I may have to do supposing I am lucky enough to get an internship.
     
  9. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're welcome, and best of luck to you. An internship is a pretty big commitment but it'll either be the making or breaking of you; best to make any mistakes early or, if it turns out you love it, then you'll have done yourself a great service. So many people coast through uni and come out having no idea what they want to do with their degree. It sucks that this one doesn't pay, but if it's nearby then maybe the travel costs won't be too severe? My placement was in London, a 1hr 30 mins commute, so I was relieved that my placement helped me out, even though it was only for a mere 2 weeks!

    Hope it all works out for you dude. I'm sure you'll love whatever internship you end up in.
     
  10. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    How do you get hired at something like that?
     

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