This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Madison Holler, COL ’24
This summer, thanks to the grant given to me through Career Services, I was able to continue my internship at Tiny Fox Press, the number one publishing press in Florida. The grant allowed me to stay in the Philadelphia area in order to mitigate COVID-19 travel concerns as well as provide me a place to live with stable internet to meet the nature of this online internship. Through this experience, I was able to gain more insight into the publishing industry, a career area that I am highly interested in after my time at the University of Pennsylvania.
During my time as an intern this summer, I focused on going through submissions via our submissions box email, reading through requested manuscripts, developmentally editing manuscripts, copy editing books, and directly working with authors. I was able to gain insight into the submissions box even more this summer; every day, I was able to read through submissions of people pitching their books. I learned what made a query great and what made a query not as great while sifting through each submission and either accepting or rejecting it.
I also gained insight into reading through requested manuscripts. In this process, I would read manuscripts that we potentially wanted to take on and look at them through both the lens of a reader and as someone in the publishing industry. I learned many helpful skills in order to understand what makes a manuscript great and worthy of publishing. Additionally, I was also able to participate in developmental editing and copy editing. I worked with the team at Tiny Fox Press to discuss parts of the manuscripts that did not work and how to fix those parts; as a result, I was able to assist in publishing many amazing books. For some of the books, I also participated in the copy editing stage; I went through and did specific line edits in order to assure the quality of the reading experience for its future readers.
During this summer, on our weekly Zoom calls, I was also able to talk directly with literary agents and the authors that we were publishing. It was amazing to learn about the details of the publishing industry that I had initially never thought of, such as the role of literary agents as well as some of the behind-the-scenes marketing that authors participated in. Throughout this process, my communication skills grew; talking to industry professionals as well as working with the Tiny Fox Press team every week aided me in learning to speak my mind freely whenever I had an idea and to also work with others to form well thought out concepts for books.
I thank Career Services and those who donated to this summer grant for enabling me to take steps forward in my future career. I am truly indebted to this experience, and I believe that it will provide me with much of the experience and knowledge that I will need to start a career in creative industries such as publishing