Guest Blog Post, Ellen O’Brien: Literary Internships

Photo courtesy of Holy Book

Internships are a great way to get involved in the world of literature, but it can be hard to know where to start and it can take a lot of research. That’s why we did the research instead! Here are the top ten literary internships for aspiring writers and editors:

  1. The Paris Review
  2. The New York Review of Books
  3. Penguin Random House
  4. Harper’s Magazine
  5. Tin House
  6. Milkweed Editions
  7. Coffee House Press
  8. Dzanc Books
  9. McSweeney’s Quarterly
  10. BOMB

Plus, here are a few tips for conducting your own internship research:

1. Everything varies widely, from compensation to time commitment.

Many internships are designed for college students: they operate on a semester schedule, require 15-20 hours of work per week, and offer college credit in lieu of money. But most lit mags and presses don’t require you to be a student, and there are many (including 6 of the 10 on this list!) that offer hourly pay or a stipend.

2. Many literary organizations are located in New York City, San Francisco or Washington, D.C.

If you don’t already live in one of those cities and you’re not interested or unable to move for a three-month internship, be sure to check out your local literary scene. Most cities and universities have presses and lit mags, and it never hurts to ask if they have a position open! 

In addition to internships, many lit mags offer volunteers the opportunity to review submissions; while not as involved or structured as an internship, working as a reader can be a good way to get experience in the field before applying to positions with more responsibility.

3. Research the actual responsibilities of the job. 

All of my top 10 internships offer hands-on editorial experience, but there are also literary internships that focus on marketing, design or events. While those can still be useful experiences, it’s important to consider what you want to get out of the internship and what work you’re actually interested in doing.

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Superstition Review

Superstition Review is the online literary magazine produced by creative writing and web design students at Arizona State University. The mission of our journal is to promote contemporary art and literature by providing a free, easy-to-navigate, high quality online publication that features work by established and emerging artists and authors from all over the world. We publish two issues a year with art, fiction, interviews, nonfiction and poetry.
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