A Day in the Life of a Brink Intern
Words By Ally Geist
Hello, lovely readers! My name is Ally, and I was one of Brink’s Fall 2019 interns—and I loved every minute of it!
If you have stumbled upon our little corner of the internet for the first time, you might not know that F(r)iction is a part of a larger organization called Brink Literacy Project. Brink is devoted to “utilizing the power of storytelling to positively affect the lives of people on the brink. Through our education, community, and publishing divisions, our nonprofit works worldwide to foster a love of literature, increase literacy rates, and use storytelling to empower underserved communities.” As part of an education-oriented organization, we have two remote internship cycles each year! Seeing as our Fall intern applications are now open, I thought I would walk you through a day in the life as an intern at this quirky little publication.
Starting the Day
I check my email and Slack messages every morning. Slack is the platform that all Brink employees use to communicate with each other. It makes everything a lot easier, since we are in all corners of the globe! On Mondays, I open a new email from Kaley (our intern coordinator), read through our assignments for the week, and take a quick look at her feedback from the week before. This helps me mentally plan how I’m going to spend my time for the rest of the week. I have three to four projects on my plate at any given time, and a few different people to send assignments off to, so it definitely requires some organization! I usually check in once or twice a day with the other interns, bounce ideas off of them, ask any questions I need to, and just generally talk to them—we’ve become friends over these past few weeks!
After breakfast, I’ll usually spend an hour or so on outreach projects, whether that’s looking for a great new author to interview, requesting an advanced review copy from a publisher, looking for places to post about Brink’s and F(r)iction’s overall awesomeness (including any current contests), or just finding generally cool humans who might have something to add to Brink. I’m currently working on tidying up a Q&A with an impressive emerging Canadian author!
The internship is essentially divided up into two six-week sections. For the first six weeks, all of the interns have pretty much the same tasks. We learn the same things, get the same editorial training, go to the same meetings—it’s lots of fun! It’s nice to have your own little group of people to take your first timid intern steps with. In week seven, we all start to do our own tasks. We still have the same core responsibilities, but we take on departmental projects that are aligned with our particular interests. This helps us leave the internship with new skills that are the most important to us. Because I’m passionate about editing and author outreach, I decided to focus on writing blog posts and finding authors who might want to collaborate with us. Other interns have chosen to do an accessibility review of our publication’s website, whereas others have focused on reaching out to people who may be interested in writing blog posts, creating a sampler of our publication, fine-tuning editorial descriptions to send to F(r)iction artists, and more. The options are pretty well endless, and it’s been amazing to dive deeper into our passions.
Throughout our internship, we typically have one meeting every one to two weeks. For the first six weeks, we met with a couple of different senior staffers, including Mia, who deals with our creative nonfiction submissions. We had the opportunity to ask her any questions we had about Brink and her approach to editing. We also had a meeting with Andrew, who handles most of our F(r)iction submissions and passes them along to editors each week. We got to learn more about their roles and what the publishing world really looks like.
We have various editorial tasks throughout the internship. Editorial differs from Editing in that editing involves line/stylistic/copyediting and grading slush pile submissions, whereas editorial work involves creating online content for F(r)iction. All interns write book reviews for F(r)iction Log, and we craft Q&As for two to three emerging authors as well. Because of the nature of my departmental project, I’ve been engaging in a lot of editorial work, and have written several articles for F(r)iction Log.
Editing tasks vary depending on what stage of the internship we’re at. The internship really trains us to be quality editors, so it’s a gradual learning curve.
At the beginning of our internship, Kaley would send us a few pieces of writing at the beginning of the week. We read through them, suggested edits, drafted letters to the authors. We sent all these edits back to Kaley, and she gave us super helpful feedback to help us hone our editing skills. In week seven, we were officially given the title of Junior Editors (and I only fangirled a little over it…). As Junior Editors, we read a few stories per week, sent to us by the fabulous Evan, Brink’s Editorial Director. He passes along stories from general submissions for us to review and grade, and we draft letters with feedback so that the authors and senior staffers can know what stage the story is at.
The internship teaches you so much about many different aspects of the publishing industry. I definitely feel like a more well-rounded editor than I was at the beginning of the internship, and I feel more prepared to communicate with a variety of different authors and publishers. Each week—each day!—is different, which makes this job all the more fun.
Thinking about applying? Keep in mind that you’ll need to have some pretty good communication and time-management skills, since this internship is remote. If you are only interested in books or genre fiction, then likely this internship isn’t quite the right fit for you. But if you are passionate about stories, getting underrepresented voices out there, publishing quirky pieces, and learning more about how the publishing world works, then APPLY APPLY APPLY!
I can honestly say this internship has been one of the best parts of my year. Launching that publishing career? Check!
If you have any questions about the internship, feel free to message us! Our team would love to chat.