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.
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.
One of my favorite story authors is H.C. Hsu, whose short works are evocative and disconcerting. This brief excerpt is taken from the story “What Else” in Love is Sweeter:
The teenager turned her head to Renee, slipped the earphones off, tossed her hair to the side, and looked at her. A pair of big, clear, moss green eyes, ponds of which one could see straight through to the bottom.
“Could you watch my bag for a second?” Renee asked, getting up to set her bag on the chair.
It was a soft voice. Supple, like down, delicate, feminine. But it was definitely a male voice.
Renee couldn’t help catching another glimpse of the face from which the voice stemmed, a stalk of dandelion, words blown into the wind. It was a very elegant face. Long, white like a pumpkin seed, thin pale pink lips. Green eyes, hair the color of a wildfire in an autumn forest—striking, was the word that came to mind.