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Showing posts from January, 2012

playing for the house: an editorial assistant on the dangers of going agent-free

A few weeks ago, INTERN received an e-mail from an editorial assistant at a New York publishing house who had recently had a distressing—but telling—experience with a brilliant manuscript, an unagented author, and an offer that had "poor sucker!" written all over it. Unagented writers, take note...
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I want to be clear—I love my job. But this isn't a post about how hard won it was to get an editorial position or how great it is to work with authors or make decisions that will impact a book that people will read. This is a post about the less glamorous part of the job. This post is about the money.
It feels so long ago that I had the good fortune of finding something in slush, that strange and hopeful pile of paranormal love and dark futures. But what I found was a quirky memoir with an itchy, infectious voice. My boss "Steph" read the partial and loved it. So with butterflies, I emailed the author to ask if it was still available. I know authors feel like the wallflower…

where INTERN lives now

Two weeks ago, INTERN and Techie Boyfriend moved to a small town in northern California, where they are renting a shadowy nook on the grounds of a failing ecovillage. INTERN has passed through this town many times on cold and wet hitchhiking trips up and down the coast, but never dreamed she would live here. Now, she's the one waving at hitchhikers, but never driving far enough to take them anywhere they want to go.

It's a very good place place to be a writer, or anyone on the lookout for stories. You can sit in the coffeeshop and listen in awe and dismay as baby-faced highschool seniors discuss their upcoming bachelorette parties, or eavesdrop on pot growers griping about how much further the price of a pound plummets each year.

You can linger in the cluttered aisles of the tiny health food store while a barrel-chested back-to-the-lander expounds on his methods for harvesting wild yeast for homemade ginger beer. You can walk down the road to drink unusually strong gin and ton…

dinner with literary agents

Over the holidays, INTERN had the hallucinatorily good luck of being invited to dinner with an entire table full of young, up-and-coming literary agents. INTERN hardly made a squeak the whole evening, so content was she to be a fly on the wall to their conversation (she was also trying very hard not to drip tomato sauce down her shirt.) Today, INTERN would like to share with you a few observations from that delightful evening.
It's a reaaaally small world.
Everyone says publishing's a small world, but nothing brings it home more than a roomful of agents from different agencies going "Did you get that query about the time-traveling tabby cat?" "Yeah!" "Me too!" "So did I!" "I requested the full!" "What did you think of the sample pages?"
You will be pleased (and, INTERN hopes, not surprised) to know that the above exchanges never consisted of making fun of someone's query or manuscript, but were made in the spirit of …

a very happy New Years update!

Huzzah! 'Tis twenty-twelve! INTERN hopes you all had a very happy New Year full of sparkly hats and treacherous discount champagne. INTERN had a fine winter holiday during which she went 99% laptop free. Now that she's plugged herself back in, here's the news:

1. In a few days, INTERN and Techie Boyfriend will be moving to a highly dubious "ecovillage" in Northern California, where they will be contractually obligated to engage in a weekly drum circle with their newfound "community". Said ecovillage features such eco-friendly amenities as an "outdoor shower" (actually a rusty bucket full of rainwater) and a shed full of hula hoops. Why is INTERN moving to such a place? 'Cause that's what you get for surfing the housing ads on Craigslist at 2 AM on Christmas Eve after Techie Boyfriend's mother has mixed you too many pomegranate martinis. That's why.

3. INTERN got a Nook for Christmas and so has officially dipped her paw in the e-b…