There will be trolls, bullies, and stalkers

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When you’re new to social media, the prospect of dealing with trolls, bullies, and stalkers might be intimidating or even discouraging. Don’t be discouraged. Be prepared.

You’ll escalate a problem or an attack with a knee-jerk response online. Devise a plan of action, and then stick to it.

Take a screenshot of the abusive comment. You might need it later, if the comment is deleted.

Your emotions will cloud your judgment. Know so in advance. Before you do anything in response to a problem that isn’t criminal or threatening, ask a neutral third party whose opinion you value to assess the situation. Another person’s perspective can give you insight that on a normal day you’d have for yourself.

Slow down. Sleep on it, if possible. It takes time for a flood of emotions to subside.

The best advice you’ll ever receive is, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Trolls, bullies, and stalkers bask in others’ reactions. If you react, you’ve giving them exactly what they desire. If you don’t respond, there will be nothing to keep them coming back. Frustrated, they’ll search for prey elsewhere.

You absolutely don’t need to have the last word. Why not let the abusive comment speak for itself? Readers recognize comments written by trolls. Once in a while, they even come to the defense of the person who’s being harassed.

If you’re a victim of cyberstalking or have received an online threat that makes you fearful, contact the police and ask to make a report of the incident.

Bookmark these, so they’ll be handy if you need them

Stalking Resource Center
A Program of the National Center for Victims of Crime

10 Tips for Handling Twitter Trolls
by Alex York, Sprout Social

Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?
by Kristen Lamb

Lessons from Amy’s Baking Company:
Six Things You Should Never Do on Social Media

by Kelly Clay, Forbes

There’s Only One Thing To Do When The Internet Calls You Fat
by Jessica Plautz

5 Ways Writers Kill Their Credibility Online
by Lucy V. Hay, Bang2Write

Trolls just want to have fun
“trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism”
by Erin E. Buckelsa, Paul D. Trapnellb, and Delroy L. Paulhus, Personality and Individual Differences

Suffering Fools
by J.A. Konrath

You’ve Got Hate Mail: How to Deal with (Annoying) Critics
by L.L. Barkat

Still looking for a journalism or book publishing internship?

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Photo courtesy of Tim Gouw

Listed below are a few places to look for journalism or book publishing internship opportunities. These should prompt you to think of other possibilities. Don’t limit yourself. A simple online search using the term “publishing internships” will return pages and pages of search results for internships at individual publishing houses.

Some of these sites and some publishers’ websites will permit you to set up email alerts notifying you of new postings in your specific areas of interest.

BookJobs.com

Creative Hotlist

Ed2010

Editor & Publisher Jobs

InternJobs.com

JournalismJobs.com (Look in the menu under “Job Type” for “Intern.”)

Media Jobs Connection

Mediabistro

PEN America

Publishers Lunch Job Board

Publishers Weekly Job Zone

Publishing Interns

I once landed an unadvertised internship by immediately following a kind-hearted literary agent’s advice to contact a specific young editor at a publishing house. Out of nowhere, I appeared on the editor’s radar at precisely the moment a new project had been approved and several assistants were needed. It was uncanny luck, and the people who made the connections were generous. More commonly, you’ll submit scores of applications to find one internship. Keep an open mind. Don’t pin all your hopes on just one company.

On your campus or at your local library, you’ll find a textbook with sample internship cover letters. Monster and other sites provide examples online, too. More companies are starting to use online fill-in forms.

Arranging reverse interviews can help, if you find your letters are not getting the responses you want. It goes without saying, but you’ll get points for making a good impression.

Consider volunteering. You can make professional connections while donating your time to local chapters of organizations such as 826® or First Book.

Now, go! Summer break is just around the corner.