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Turning the page on a publishing career

February 9, 2011

Cialina (Twitter: @cialina) is a freshman member of Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College in New York City, where she intends to be an English and Media Studies double major. She also runs, a blog that discusses books and issues affecting publishing interns.

Last August, I felt like I had woken up from a fantastic dream. I had ended a spectacular internship at Scholastic where I learned the ropes of the publishing industry. I worked firsthand on manuscripts and sent out a ton of rejection letters. I learned the process behind publishing a book from the messy first pass pages to the blues, and I got a sneak peek of the changes a book jacket goes through. But most importantly, I got to witness firsthand the everyday life of a children’s book editor – an editor who was not only my teacher, but also my guide into the world of publishing. But, like any other internship, it had to come to an end.

After my first (and internship-less) fall semester, I decided that I needed to step back into the publishing world. Publishing is one of those fields where it is more important to have experience than an advanced degree, so it is imperative that I have as many experiences as I can.

I desperately wanted an internship this spring semester, so I started my search at my college’s career center. I attended an info session for a spring internship,which propelled me to look for even more internships online. During my search,I admit that I was intimidated by the education requirements. I’m a freshman in college, and some publishers and agencies asked that only juniors and seniors apply. But ultimately, that didn’t stop me. I sent them my cover letter and resume anyway.

And you know what? In the end, age didn’t matter. My previous internship at Scholastic not only proved to be an impressive factor on my resume, but also left me with a great set of skills that are helping tremendously with my current internship at a literary agency.

It’s never too early to start your career, and internships are the best way to put your foot in the door of publishing. After learning so much at Scholastic, I can’t even imagine how much more I’ll learn at my second internship. Good luck to all!