Last year I wrote a post on where to get started looking for internships in publishing. That post lists different tips on ways to do general searches and how to extend your search. Make sure you check it out after reading this one! Here I’m going to get more specifics and give you some links to publishers and literary agencies that frequently provide internships and tell you the difference between ones that are in-office and ones that are remote.
Decide: In-Office or Remote
Completing an in-office publishing internship will be really valuable if you’re serious about breaking into the publishing industry. However, most of these internships are located in New York City and most of them are unpaid. If you can’t move to NYC and afford to live there for a couple months without a salary, however, there are other options. Literary agencies and some smaller publishers offer telecommuting internships. Just make sure you check the location for any internship you apply to, or ask if a location isn’t specified on the posting (this happens way more frequently than it should!).
First Stop: General Listings
If you’re not entirely sure what type of internship you’re looking for yet (publisher vs. literary agency, editorial vs. marketing), these general listing websites are a great place to start. Depending on the site, you can filter by field, by location, etc. Make sure you check all the sites, too, because some companies will cross-post to multiple sites while some will post only on Publishers Marketplace or Bookjobs.
On Bookjobs you can search “job listings” or you can search “internship listings.” Make sure you do both, as some companies will post new positions on the job board. If you’re looking through the internship listings, you have to go through to the company website and make sure the internship is still being offering because these postings are not frequently updated.
The Big Five Publishers
These publishers are considered to be the big players in US trade book publishing. Their internships are offered only in-office, so if you don’t live in NYC you may be stuck applying only to their competitive summer internships. The upside is that many of these publishers pay interns; the downside is that everyone has heard of these companies and everyone wants to intern for them. The competition will be fierce.
Many smaller publishers also offer internships. This is an incomplete listing of mostly in-office internships, but you should Google any publisher you are familiar with in order to find if they offer any intern opportunities and if they do so remotely. Some small presses, instead of having a static webpage devoted to internships, will seasonally post about internships on their blogs and social media accounts.
When people think of book publishing, they often default to thinking of trade book and fiction publishing, but there are also lots of internship opportunities at academic presses! This list is not exhaustive but is a good place for you to start.
- Columbia University Press
- Oxford University Press (USA)
- Rowman & Littlefield
- W. W. Norton & Company
- The AAUP Jobs List (for nonprofit scholarly publishers)
Literary agency internships can be a bit harder to come by. Some agencies will post internship opportunities on the general job listing websites linked to above, some will advertise only on their own websites, and some will post seasonal openings only on their blogs or social media. In many cases, you have to be actively looking for these positions in order to find them. The upside is that literary agencies tend to be more open to offering telecommuting internships than publishers are. (The downside is that being a remote intern in these cases means you will often be assigned no other tasks than reading manuscripts from the slush pile and writing readers’ reports, so you may not get as good of an inside look at the agency as you would like. The other downside is that all of them are unpaid.)
Some Remote Literary Agency Internships
- Bent on Books (They post sporadically, so follow the blog and apply as soon as a position opens. They often close to applications after only a couple days.)
- Corviserio Agency
- Folio Literary Management
- Holloway Literary Management
- P.S. Literary
- Triada US (They seem to have taken down their internship page, but it may be worth contacting them.)