“and that is why you should intern with Penguin.”
Applause trickled through the lecture hall. Every student still had a thousand questions, and a certain desperateness probably sparkled in our naïve, publisher-wanna-be eyes.
I was at the Pace University downtown campus because a friend had randomly forwarded me information on a meeting with Penguin publishing house recruiters. Skipping my bagel, I jumped in the shower and began the trek towards greater knowledge in my given field.
What was my given field?
A younger woman from The American Publisher’s Association was making rounds at the meeting, asking each student this very question.
“So what most interests you?” Becca inquired, grinning at me. I looked down at the list of possible internships. Publicity? Online? Ebooks?
“Eh, Editorial?” I tried to reply like it wasn’t a question. Truthfully the decision between a magazine, a publishing company, or a literary agency for an internship has yet to be elucidated. Never the less, Penguin recruiters were smiling at me, and the last expression I wanted to show was that of the irrevocably confused.
Now – here’s a little back story.
Editors at publishing houses are not the same as newspaper copy editors. You don’t even need to be punctuation obsessed. Erase that image of an old man with horn-rimmed glasses, pouring over manuscripts in a dark room, looking for hanging participles.
Not me. Only sometimes. And sans pipe.
In fact the majority of the editorial department’s work results from acquiring stories, maintaining a profitable author list, overseeing contracts, and being the general advocate or promoter of a book they enthusiastically believe will succeed.
I could do that… right?
"Yes, I'm interested in editorial."
After a brief question and answer session, my friend Mauricio and I headed towards the subway. The 6 train would be barreling through the tunnels at any second, and it was almost time for my class uptown to start.
So let the usual New York race begin… down the stairs, through the turnstile, down more stairs, avoid that woman, say sorry to the man you bumped, zip up your book bag because some random person told you it was open, say thank you to the random person, get on the platform for the subway… and then run into Becca, the woman from The American Publisher’s Association, on the 6 train.
We talked about the meeting. Mauricio and I listened eagerly to her advice about the field and asked a few more questions concerning the the general internship process. She had worked in several aspects of the industry, making her anecdotes all the more appealing.
Then, quite suddenly, we were being invited to a Random House Publisher’s cocktail party.
To be continued.
Random House lobby