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Saturday, August 02, 2014

 

Interning at Tethered by Letters

Not long ago an email from Meghan Miller found its way to my inbox, telling me about Tethered by Letters upcoming contests. Now I had never heard of Meghan Miller or Tethered by Letters but you know I love a good writing contest! I was all set to pass on the contest info to you when I noticed how Meghan signed her email: Meghan Miller, Publishing Intern. Sounds a little like a superhero, doesn't she?

What does a publishing intern do? When I was in college (back in the Stone Age) internships weren't as popular or plentiful as they are now so I know nothing. Is the Internet making it easier for students to connect to internships? What does an intern do?  I wondered and thought you might be wondering too so I asked Meghan a few questions about what the life of a publishing intern is like. And got you the skinny on the writing contests--enjoy!

WOW: Tell me a little about your education. Where you are attending school, how you chose your major and when you’ll be graduating.

MEGHAN: I am a senior at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) and will be graduating in Spring 2015. I am an English Liberal Arts major with a double minor in Writing and Media Studies. Currently, I am the President and Editor-in-Chief of The Crucible, UNC’s literary and arts magazine. Before I was an English Liberal Arts major, I was an English major with an emphasis in Secondary Education. After I realized I did not want to teach right out of college, I changed my major to English Liberal Arts. From my youth I have always been captivated in books and writing; I supposed I was destined to be an English major.

WOW: Is this your first internship?

MEGHAN: No, Tethered by Letters is the second internship I have participated in. Two years ago I was an Editorial Intern with the Fort Collins Magazine. Within this internship, I contributed to feature articles, interviews, wrote “buzz items,” and many clips.

WOW: How do you find an internship?

MEGHAN: Well, there are many ways people can find internships. I have been lucky to have connections with people who know about internships. I found my first internship with the Fort Collins Magazine through one of my professors, Laura Pritchett, who was an Editor with the Fort Collins Magazine.

I heard about Tethered by Letters from the current Administrative Director of Tethered by Letters, Courtney Fatur. Courtney graduated from the University of Northern Colorado two years prior to me and was also President and Editor-in-Chief of The Crucible before me. I told Courtney that I was looking for an internship and she highly recommended Tethered by Letters (at the time she was the Partnership Program Coordinator). This made my “internship hunt” fairly easy. After she gave me the recommendation, I applied for the internship and was honored, and lucky, to become a part of Tethered by Letters.

I believe the best way to find an internship, if you are a student, is through connections with your professors and peers. Usually, the English Department, or Journalism Department, will have a list of internships on their website or have a specific internship director. If you are not a student, I think researching opportunities online is a great way to go. Checking out local magazines and online publications is also solid because these places almost always have internship opportunities.

WOW: What made you decide to accept the Tethered by Letters internship?

MEGHAN: I was so excited to be offered an internship position with Tethered by Letters. I knew that Tethered by Letters would be an excellent professional opportunity to get my foot-in-the-door with the literary world. Not only did I know this would be a great foot-in-the-door, but I also knew that Tethered by Letters would bring me to a whole new level of understanding of the literary world. Tethered by Letters is in a really cool place right now. The company is growing fast and reaching global perspectives. Tethered by Letters in an international nonprofit literary organization that publishes quarterly.

WOW: Tell us a little about the work you do for Tethered by Letters.

MEGHAN: I have had an excellent opportunity to help Tethered by Letters with a variety of aspects. The internship requires that interns contribute basically to each department. That means I have done a lot of editing and copy editing, blog writing, marketing, event coordinating, website soliciting, author contacting, university partnership contacting, and soon, journal sales. I am beginning to do a lot more with the marketing and event coordinating. I actually just put together a fundraising event at Buffalo Wild Wings in Denver to be held on August 11th.

The internship is 12 weeks long and I am currently in my 10th week. Everything is online, however, a handful of the staff lives in the greater Denver area so we are able to meet sometimes (like at the fundraising event).

WOW: Do you feel internships are a valuable part of higher education?

MEGHAN: I believe internships are crucial to higher education. Internships give students invaluable professional experiences that they cannot receive in a classroom. In an internship, a student learns to communicate professionally, get out of their comfort zone, meet important deadlines, understand the responsibility of a “real” job, and much more. I feel very fortunate to have been able to participate in two internships during my time as an undergraduate. With both internships, I have learned an exceptional amount and I would not trade the experience for anything. I highly recommend participating in internships to everyone.

WOW: What are some of the most important things you’ve learned during your internship?

MEGHAN: I have truly learned so much in this internship. It is difficult to narrow down what I have learned. I suppose, some of the most important things I have learned include efficiency, confidence, professionalism, communication, and not taking “no” for an answer. Of course, I have also learned effective ways of editing, writing, planning, and marketing, too. I believe these are all skills that will benefit any future professional endeavors.

WOW: What is your dream job after graduation?

MEGHAN: Ah, the infamous question. Well, naturally, I would love a publication to just hand me an Editor-in-Chief position and be good to go. However, this is likely not going to be the case, and I will probably have to look really hard for a job. I have a couple jobs in mind that I would be ecstatic if I were to land them. I would really love to find a job with a magazine or literary journal working in the editorial department. Another would be working for a company as a copy editor. I would also be very open to marketing or copy editing for a company. Also, I hope that I am able to continue working for Tethered by Letters on the side. Other than a job, upon graduation, I am also hoping to attend graduate school and receive a masters in Rhetoric and Composition. This fall I will be taking the GRE, applying to schools, and crossing my fingers.

WOW: I'm sure we'll all cross a few fingers for you here at WOW. Finally, could you tell us a little about Tethered by Letters' upcoming contests?

MEGHAN: We are currently accepting submissions for our short story contest (1,000 to 7,500 words, open genre), flash fiction contest (55, 250, 500 words), and poetry contest (max of three pages per poem). TBL strive sto publish writers with engaging stories, vivid characters, and fresh writing styles. All winners will be published in Tethered by Letters' Spring 2015 Quarterly Journal. All finalists will receive free professional edits on their submission and be considered for later publication. The prizes are $250 (USDA) for the short story winner, $50 (USDA) for the flash fiction winner, and $100 (USDA) for the poetry winner.

The deadline for all entries is September 30, 2014. Entry fees are: $10 for Short Story Contest, $4 of three entires for $10 for the Flash Fiction Contest and $5 or three entries for $12 for the poetry contest.Winners will be announced in November. Multiple entries accepted. International submissions welcome. You can learn more about the contests at http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission or by contacting Joe Reinis at jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com. Good luck to all our authors!

Jodi is a WOW Blog tour organizer, always looking for her next WOW author--no matter who their audience is. Contact her at jodi@wow-womenonwriting.com. Right now she's torn between two WIPs: a historical fiction and a YA. Could it be writer ADD? Her blog Words by Webb is at http://jodiwebb.com

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