So one thing a lot of people here have been asking me is: how did you end up on Whidbey Island if you’re not from here?
A more pertinent question in my opinion, with the same answer, is how did I end up with an internship in the first place?
I don’t remember when I started looking for internships, but I think it was in November. I’ve known for years I want to be a published author; since getting to college I’ve decided to have a back-up plan and set my eyes on the publishing industry. And right now that back-up plan is more like the realistic plan.
Anyway, I decided the best way to start in the publishing industry is through an internship. I first tried to find an agency or publishing house near my parents’ house in Michigan, but guess what: that industry isn’t exactly thriving in Motor City (not to mention the other industries). My parents suggested that I ask my former writing teachers for suggestions because this world is nothing if not about networking. This did turn up one lead that unfortunately fell through.
Since my contacts in the publishing world were minimal at best, I had to give up that route (although my grandparents, who belong to a writing association, continued to keep an eye out for me). So I emailed agencies whose blogs I follow. I got a couple of interviews, but ultimately those fell through. Around April, I was getting nervous, so I went on Publishers’ Marketplace and started visiting the website of every agent listed (I only got through to the D’s, I believe. There are a lot of agents!) If it looked like there was the infinitesimal chance of it possibly being a good place for me to get experience, I emailed them asking if they by any chance wanted an intern.
This did get me a few responses, but luckily I landed an internship before having to panic anymore. Sometime during this process I found Andrea Hurst and Associates through the blog Guide to Literary Agents, emailed her, and my internship got set up. It was her idea to share me with WIWA and for me to come all the way out to Whidbey Island.
The moral of the story is that while contacts probably help a lot, they are not necessary.
As a side note, a lot of people also seem surprised that I would come all the way to the other side of the country where I know absolutely nobody just to do an internship. I myself was a little apprehensive that it would be a lonely existence. But I’ve moved around throughout my life, and the good news is that here everyone speaks English! All the people on Whidbey Island are so nice, friendly, and helpful that I slipped right into the community. After all, how can you feel lonely when you go grocery shopping at a market on the other side of the island and run into your boss?
Last thing I read: A manuscript under submission