Unexpected Networking

This summer I was an editorial intern at F&W Media as part of the Craft Community and I was really surprised by how unexpectedly beneficial the internship was. I was only expecting a little editorial experience and a great addition to my resume. I walked into a barely working computer, a dimly lit cubicle on the opposite side of the office, and 50+ hours of shipping–but I met so many people.

I anticipateted meeting a few editors, maybe a few higher ups. I ended up meeting the entire staff to Writer’s Digest (a magazine I religiously subscribe to), a number of freelance editors and an ex-literary agent who moved into publicity. And the minute they found out I was an intern, all they wanted to do was help me out. I was collecting business cards and contact info left and right.

I can’t believe how lucky I got meeting the staff of Writer’s Digest. It only happened because my computer wasn’t working and I was using an available computer on the second floor in the middle of the WD community. I had the goofiest grin plastered on my face the whole week I was there, I felt like a groupie. Somehow I managed to find the courage to ask a few editors to lunch which resulted in an invite to a happy hour, and now I have all their business cards with a possible internship in the spring. Not to mention I’m working on a feature that will (fingers crossed) be in the January issue of WD Magazine!

The ex-lit agent I met is the craft community’s publicist who was visiting from the NYC office for two days. When she happened to walk by my cubicle (way off in the middle of nowhere) we got to talking and she asked about my internship and education. I told her I was in school for fiction and she tells me she used to be a literary agent in London. Unfortunately she was on her way to a meeting so we couldn’t chat very long, but she handed me a card and told me I could contact her any time with questions. I can’t wait to pick her brain for tips!

The most surprising connection I made was a freelance copy editor. One of my responsibilities as intern was to look up and hire available freelancers from the Freelance Binder. I hired this one woman once or twice, noticing that she had gone to the same school as me (but never mentioning it because I was all business). She noticed in my signature that I was an intern and started telling me about the time she spent as an F&W intern. After a little back and forth, she sends me an emails saying:

“Hang on to my contact info for work in case you need more publishing contacts when you graduate.”

and gave me all her contact info including email, work and cellphone numbers. I couldn’t believe it. She never met me, only communicated with me via email. It just goes to show how significant the community and association people feel when they find out you went to the same school or worked for the same company, even if it was years apart!

Only time will tell what will come of all this, but I am so thrilled to have had this opportunity and worked with such amazing people. Thank you F&W and the Craft team for a great experience!

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Filed under Publishing Industry, Working Girl

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