Still looking for a journalism or book publishing internship?

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.

Creative Hotlist


Editor & Publisher Jobs (Look in the menu under “Job Type” for “Intern.”)

Media Jobs Connection


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.

Simple daily checklist for aspiring authors

If you intend to make creative writing your profession, then clock in to the job at least five days a week. You won’t need to be reminded to do the writing part. Don’t clock out until you’ve also accomplished all five of these marketing and business-related tasks each workday:

  1. Put in place one component from the Platform Hub graphic created by Anthony Puttee. Recognize that your online presence will require maintenance, because some of its components involve ongoing efforts. Eventually, put in place will become maintain and update, but first you must put the component in place.
  2. Multiple choice—pick one:
    • Submit or pitch a short piece of writing for publication somewhere.
    • Apply for a fellowship, residency, or grant funding.
    • Send out a book review request (when the time comes).
    • Invite someone to guest blog on your site.
  3. Learn something new related to the craft or business of writing. If doing is the way you learn, then get hands-on.
  4. Do something nice for someone in the book publishing ecosystem. Be inventive. Write a fan letter, comment on someone’s blog, review a book, attend and be supportive at an author event, write a blogpost, send out a podcast, give advice. Be generous, and you’ll be remembered.
  5. Add a new person to your list of professional contacts. Categorize or tag, file, and back up the data, so you can locate contact information when you need to ask for a return favor, such as a book review, advice, a blurb, or a referral.

Structure these five tasks as a daily checklist. After a few weeks, you’ll be surprised by how efficient you’ve become at getting them done each day. It will become second nature. If the work seems onerous, then you probably don’t want to make creative writing into a profession. You’ll be much happier as an amateur, concerned with no one’s expectations but your own.

Photo courtesy of Cathryn Lavery