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The 2022 Publishing Fellowship

Hi there, Emily taking over the blog again.

It’s kind of wild to type all of this out again, because this time last year I was pitching the concept of the fellowship to my boss and in some ways it felt like a dream I couldn’t really visualize. I had so many hopes for what it could be, but nothing came close to what it ultimately turned into and now I get to do it all again!

For those who are new here, or even if you had followed along before and got lost in how this evolved, I’ll start at the beginning. I spent so much of my early career searching for learning opportunities and experience in publishing that just wasn’t offered to me in school. I struggled with having to find my own resources and pick through the internet for how to do basic things I was just never taught. I didn’t have a whole lot of mentorship or guidance, and I noticed how little that sort of support was for people who weren’t already in publishing. So, when I got the opportunity to be secure and in a solid place, I knew I wanted to lift others up along the way. There’s a literacy and learning curve that is just sort of expected for people who want to be a change and a powerful impact in publishing, and my hope is to give as much access to that as possible.

As a literary agent, I work with incredible authors and build some of the smartest and most important content I’ve gotten the chance to work with in my life now. I have access to publishing professionals across the industry and have the ability to get resources I know for a fact I wouldn’t have even known existed without my current job title. Now, I’d like to open that all up. The fellowship is my way of offering a transparent, accessible, and resource filled guide to publishing for people who maybe always wanted to be a part of it or are making a big leap from an untraditional background.

Some of us want to be here because we love books. Some of us want to be here because we want to make tangible change. And some of us just want to be surrounded by storytelling and heal and feel a drive to do good, bring out good, and make art. However you come, the goal is to give you the space to explore that desire and cultivate a community you decide.

The fellowship runs from February of 2022 to July of 2022, after which fellows are partnered up with a mentor who works within a role the fellow has discovered they love and receives one on one mentorship with an industry professional. During the fellowship with me, fellows will get a crash course in publishing. We will dedicate each month to a particular field (agenting, editorial, marketing/publicity, sales, etc.) and will meet weekly as a group to learn all about the industry. Once or twice a month, fellows will get the chance to attend digital panels with industry professionals associated with that month’s theme and network while also getting professional development advice.

This is not an internship or a part-time job. This relationship is meant to work with you and your goals. You do not work for me. As I work on special projects within the agency, you can collaborate with me, but learning and practice is at the forefront.

Overview of What You Would Get From Me/The Fellowship:

  • Hands on and direct experience with projects. You will get the chance to shadow me, learn about the life of a book, contracts, marketing campaigns, networking with professionals/authors/influencers, and practice building your skill sets.
  • Development of common industry concepts like wish lists, P&Ls, pitches, cover copy, social media campaigns.
  • A dynamic support system within the BookEnds agency and others. I will meet with the group as a whole weekly, but also will meet individually at least once a month to check up on how your goals, needs, and desires evolve.
  • Monthly professional development opportunities with industry professionals, such as BookEnds President Jessica Faust. These calls/seminars would range from looking at agenting and editorial to marketing and publicity.
  • Support and preparation for entering the job market. We would collaborate on cover letter approaches, resume design, and creating a solid network of connections.

What You Are Expected to Do:

  • Discuss with me, at the beginning of our time together, what your specific goals are and create, with me, actionable ways we can begin to start those foundations.
  • Pitch and develop a single project that will serve as your “capstone” of sorts. No, this isn’t school, but the goal is to give you the resources and space to develop a larger project that can propel you in your career afterwards. Past projects have been podcasts, Youtube channels to follow writing goals, and social media communities for marginalized groups.
  • Communicate with me and commit to a weekly time for collaborating. No you are not in school and life happens, so it’s your choice what events you attend, however, we are looking for people who want to make the most out of this experience, so if you think you might not be able to be there much, please reflect on if applying now is right for you.
  • Maintain a professional relationship with myself and everyone you meet through this role. I’m big on not crossing boundaries.
  • Come open minded, prepared to do research, and will follow through during the duration of our time together.

This is a remote opportunity and we will communicate via Zoom for meetings, and phone calls, WhatsApp, or whatever is best for both of us for other needs!

In this role as a mentor, I vow to hear you and support you. I also ask that those interested in applying think critically about the way they work with others, because while I will work with you on your individual goals, this is still very much about community and rising together.

I said this last year, but it is worth repeating: I am a Black woman. I am vocal about my intention to advocate for and champion marginalized voices and work. I do not work with neo-nazis, white supremacists, fascists, or racists (whether the “color blind” type or the overt discriminatory kind).

Okay, if you are interested in applying, click this link here: PUBLISHING FELLOW APPLICATION

Applications are open until December 31st by midnight PST.

Because of the nature of the applications, I will only reach out to people I would like to set up a call with. Emails for interviews will go out, at the latest, by end of the day January 15th.

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6 comments

  1. Due to a number of personal reasons I missed quite a few of the BookEnds posts in the second half of last year. Did you do a follow up one on what it’s meant for the fellows careers? the experience would be invaluable for those wanting to get into the publishing industry.

    1. We don’t have a follow-up on the fellows’ careers but all six of them are certainly thriving. In fact, one of the fellows is now an associate agent at Bookends—Ramona Pina! And I’m Michelle Rajan, a 2021 fellow, and I’m a literary assistant at BookEnds. Kiana Krystle is now represented by Naomi Davis, and Elba Luz is represented by Emily Forney. Finally, Kaitlin Smith is a managing editor at Wrongdoing Magazine!

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