Internly Insights #2: How to Snag an Internship

Today I had my first meeting with my agent and several other interns in Brooklyn. Getting there was an experience because it was my first time going to Brooklyn by myself. I didn’t end up getting lost – thank god – but I did get extremely paranoid about getting off at the right stop.

Overall it was fun and very laid back, and I basically just learned more about my position and expectations. I was also asked what I wanted to get out of this experience. For me, it is really about learning more about the relationship between the editor and agent: from selling pitches to what goes on during the editorial process. I saw a bit of this at my previous internship at Scholastic, but I do want to learn more about the relationship between agent and editor. Book chat also ensued of course.

Since I really didn’t do much this week, I’ll continue on with a question that most readers of this feature had:

Little Wonder Lauren asked:
I’m also curious how you landed the internship. I’m out of school and looking for a job, but I really would have benefited from getting an internship like this years ago. Since several of your readers are interested, you might describe how you get an internship in the literary world.

Farrah asked:
Where did you look for internships? How did you land one?

I desperately wanted an internship this spring semester and I started my search at the Career Center at my college. If you’re in school, I definitely think that the career center is a good place to start. Not only should the staff there be helpful with revising your resume and cover letter, but they would probably help you out with your initial search. I obtained my first internship at Scholastic from school.

I recently went to an info session for an internship at Penguin which was useful because the representative talked about what they were looking for in an intern. I did end up applying there but I didn’t hear back from them.

I came across the internship I have now at I love that BookJobs includes internships at literary agencies. I honestly never thought about getting an internship at a lit agency until I came across listings at the site. After reading the descriptions, it sounds just as engaging as an editorial job as a publisher. I would definitely advise to others not to limit themselves to publishers but also look for internships in lit agencies.

A company or agency’s website is also a good place to look. Most established publishers have a page dedicated to careers with information about internships.

Of course, it would help if you live in New York City. A lot of publishing jobs are in the city but there are a few scattered throughout the country. My current internship is computer-based so we do have some interns that live in the West Coast.

Make sure you do your research. Look into the publishing company or the lit agency before you apply. Are you interested in what they publish or represent? It extremely helpful to be interested in the kind of books that the publisher or agents represent because ultimately, that’s what you’ll be working with.

When it comes the time to sending out your cover letter and resume, have some one proofread before you send it out! This goes for any job really, but it looks unprofessional to have typos and even worse, the wrong company on your cover letter.

Questions? Comments? I’ll address anything you’re wondering about internship-related things all at my next Internly Insights post!

Previous Internly Insights:
#1: First Assignment


  1. Hey, Cialina! It’s Kristine, your fellow intern, and one of the west coasters. :) Great post, and, if I may, I’d like to put in my two cents as well.

    Another great way that you can find internships is through social media. I found the internship through Twitter, when the agent posted that they were looking for an intern, and linked to that BookJobs post. As a matter of fact, I found TWO agents at the same time who were looking for interns to help them out, but this one was the one who ultimately came back with a positive response.

    It doesn’t hurt at all to put yourself out there. Following agents, publishing companies, editors, and even authors can put you better in line with finding an internship that may suit your fancy.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kristine! I heard that the internship position was posted on Twitter today when I met up with the agent. I didn’t know that.

  2. That’s interesting! I never knew you interned for Scholastic! That’s pretty awesome! I’ve always wanted to intern at a publishing company, but they’re nowhere near me. :(


    Is there really a red moleskin at the Strand? Hidden between books on the shelves?

    1. Aw that’s too bad. :(

      Ok, there isn’t one hidden in between books on the shelves… that I know of, at least, but they sell them at the Strand.

  3. Awesome insights, and fabulously helpful, as always. :D I actually just pulled a bunch of “intern wanted” ads off of Bookjobs, and plan to apply for them this weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Congrats again on your position. It sounds totally awesome. :D

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