Since its launch in 1992, the New Press—a nonprofit publishing house—has proudly run an internship program “explicitly designed to diversify a notoriously monochromatic industry,” explains executive director Diane Wachtell. The internship aims to “give young people of atypical backgrounds that crucial first step—the basic publishing experience, the knowledge, and the confidence necessary for securing an entry-level job in publishing.”
According to Wachtell, well over 500 people have served as interns under the program, with hundreds having gone on to careers in publishing, as well as education, social reform, and related not-for-profit work. She notes that since 2013, seven New Press interns have entered the publishing industry.
New Press accepts 12 interns each year, with one new intern starting at the beginning of each month and working in the program for three months at a rate of $10.10 per hour. Taking monthlong rotations through three departments (development and academic marketing, publicity and marketing, and editorial), they each work a maximum of 20 hours per week, in case they need to supplement the internship with higher-paying work.
The interns are recruited at career fairs and via ads on sites such as www.bookjobs.com and www.idealist.org. Program coordinators Ben Woodward and Meredith Sheridan—themselves former New Press interns—interview candidates and offer career guidance, resume help, and references as needed. “Diversity is one of the most important considerations in our final decision,” Wachtell points out. “In addition to ethnic diversity, we have had international interns and interns with physical disabilities.”
Former interns have landed at Scribner; Hachette; Little, Brown; Routledge; Riverhead; Maria B. Campbell Associates; and Penguin, among others, holding positions such as publicity assistant, production editor, editorial assistant, marketing assistant, and editor-in-chief. Former interns Ben Woodward and Tara Grove currently work as associate editor and education editor, respectively, at the New Press.