Meet the Intern: Olivia Loggia
Where do you go to school?
I’m a rising junior at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.
What are you studying?
I’m double majoring in Creative Writing and Spanish, along with a dance minor.
What kinds of books do you most like to read?
I love contemporary YA, or really anything with a super strong voice. I can also get into dystopian societies, thrillers, mysteries, and fantasies! Some of my all-time favorites are: Before I Fall, If I Stay, The Thing About Jellyfish, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Bell Jar.
What led you to BookEnds?
I’ll start off by saying applying to internships can be overwhelming—it’s really hard to know where to begin. I knew I wanted exposure to publishing, and potentially a career in publishing in the future, and the only way I thought I’d have a chance at breaking into the industry was an internship…thus led me on my journey to find BookEnds.
Here’s a breakdown of what excited me about the publishing world and agenting, and what set BookEnds apart from other agencies:
Publishing (in general): As a big reader, I wanted a taste of the book world from the opposite side, the team of people who work to bring books onto the shelves. Truthfully, I was excited about any chance I could get to work with books!
Agenting: I really didn’t know much about agenting prior to this internship. I’m interested in both marketing and publishing, and was curious about the way agenting might be a combination of the two—you get to develop close relationships with clients whose books you’re really passionate about, and then advocate for them to the rest of the world. I also really liked that by nature, agenting has a creative component attached to it—you get to read!
BookEnds: What specifically excited me about BookEnds was it’s close-knit, and yet simultaneously far-reaching team. I knew that in office I would be working closely with James and Jessica F., which would give me the opportunity to learn from them directly, and develop skills necessary in a small team. But outside the main office, BookEnds actually has a big team, something that I think sets it apart for other literary agencies. Taking on a diverse range of genres and a wide audience, I knew that BookEnds would give me the opportunity to gain a holistic sense of the agenting world. Since I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do in the future yet, this was especially important to me.
What has surprised you the most about your internship at BookEnds?
I’ve been most surprised by how willing and eager the BookEnds team is to answer my questions and interact with me, even though I’m only their intern. Not only do I feel valued at the agency, but I feel like my voice genuinely matters, and is seriously considered when the agents make decisions. (It’s pretty cool to think my opinion could have an impact on real books!)
What have you enjoyed the most at BookEnds?
My favorite part about interning at BookEnds is the numerous and varying opportunities the team gives me to offer my input on what they are working on.
A huge part of this is reading submissions, both from current clients, and potential clients. I have been given picture books, middle grades, YA, adult—BookEnds lets me cover it all. As someone studying writing in school, I’m familiar with reading my peers’ work…so it’s a big deal to look at actual authors’ work! Knowing that the feedback I give has the potential to transform a submission into a successful, published book has been a huge motivator for me, and made the process extremely rewarding.
But the opportunities to share my opinion don’t end with the writing submissions! I also have been asked to give art direction, social media suggestions, and contract revisions, all of which were also super cool. I really like visual layout (collaging, scrapbooking, wall art, etc.), but I don’t have any formal experience with critiquing it, so looking at art was an awesome experience. In general, I really just love learning from all of the agents, especially those who took the time to work with me one-on-one.
What do you think authors or other prospective interns might like to know about the BookEnds team?
Interns: APPLY. DO IT. LIKE ASAP. There seriously isn’t a more supportive or welcoming team of people out there.
Picture me on my first day, nervous and not sure what to expect. Little did I know I’d be shown around the office by a frolicking Buford (the lovely office pup), warmly welcomed into the headquarters office banter by James and Jessica F, and surprised by Slack messages (Slack’s our messaging app) from the rest of the BookEnds team saying how excited they were to have me. Talk about a greeting that calmed the nerves!
Once you’re acclimated, this is a team of people who want you to succeed, and who do everything they can to make your internship match your interests and passions. I am especially grateful to James, who was so flexible and eager to mentor me throughout this experience—his enthusiasm was contagious, and his spirit motivated me to try as many new things as possible.
Not only that, but at BookEnds, the intern is part of the team. You sit in (and participate!) during meetings, you have phone call meetings and brainstorm sessions with agents, and you’re included in all of the daily correspondence via email and Slack. There are so many opportunities to learn: by listening, through access to conversations (meetings, emails, Slack, etc.), and by the numerous hands-on experiences as well.
For anyone interested in the publishing world, or agenting in general, I would highly recommend this internship. Even if only a tiny part of you is curious—just try it! I could really talk for hours about how rewarding this experience has been.
Authors: BookEnds fully dedicates itself to its clients, and for that reason I would encourage any author looking for an agent to submit here. When BookEnds is your agency, you don’t just have the support and knowledge of your personal agent—the entire team is backing you up. The agents are super inter-connected, and are constantly strategizing to ensure that their authors can maximize their potential. Feedback is personalized, agents are accessible and easy to work with, and the agency has years of experience behind it.
Need more convincing? Check out everything BookEnds does on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and even this blog! The agency is extremely committed to making the agenting world more accessible and “user-friendly” for authors, whether or not they’re part of the BookEnds team. Just imagine how helpful they would be if you were actually on the team!
What advice, if any, would you give future BookEnds interns to either make the most of their experience, or survive the BookEnds Team?
Say YES more often! If you’re asked to try something, even if you aren’t sure you’ll like it, say yes anyway. You don’t know what you don’t know. So try new things, and find out from experience if you like it or not. After all, your summer at BookEnds is going to fly by—take advantage of the opportunity actually be a part of a well-respected agency like BookEnds. You’re inside a real agency!!!
Besides that, ask questions. Think of questions that you genuinely want to know the answer to, don’t fall into the trap of asking questions just to ask questions. Ask questions that will get you to the place you want to be in several years; utilize the incredible resources you have available to you (aka an entire team of fabulous literary agents!).
After nearly completing your internship, what are your thoughts on being an agent or working in publishing in general?
My internship at BookEnds was invaluable exposing me to the world of agenting, and really given me an appreciation for the work literary agents do. Not only is there the creative component of assessing submissions, and revising client work, but there’s also a business side! Agenting requires negotiating, compromise, and teamwork, and if successful, an agent can develop incredibly strong relationships with their clients. This kind of networking, and blending of creativity and business is super impressive to me, and something I would definitely be interested in the future. (Besides, you get to read as part of your job! Ten-year-old me is flipping out at the thought).
Beyond agenting, no matter what I end up doing, I will never forget the positive energy and go-getter attitude that the agents at BookEnds all shared. Their enthusiasm for their clients, and constant support for one another was extremely admirable, and created the type of atmosphere that I dream of working in one day. They were excellent role models for me throughout this internship, and I am so proud to be able to say I interned here.