Into the Woods, But Not Too Fast

First, the good news!

I’m delighted to mention that the fairy tale webzine I’ve written for, Enchanted Conversation, is starting 2011, bigger and better than ever! Kate, the editor-in-chief, was feeling rather overwhelmed this year. Not surprising since she has to juggle a magazine and teaching at the University of Indiana South Bend. So the original plan for 2011 was to cut back on issues and only have one theme for the entire year. But she’s had some fantastic luck that has made it possible for her to completely upgrade the webzine. It’s getting a new website, more themes, and will be paying their authors more. Check it out at the new web address: http://www.fairytalemagazine.com/

Now, for the not-so-good-stuff. I’m afraid I might get a little bit whiny in this post, so forgive me ahead of time. I honestly don’t think I deserve things handed to me on a platter and I don’t mind working hard for what I want. It’s just…

Has anyone else noticed that internships seem to be rather expensive? It’s nearly the end of Christmas break for me and they’ve been on my mind a lot. See, most publishing jobs are in New York City (I would estimate around 85%), which is probably the most impossible place in the U.S. to find affordable housing. Where do I live now? In California, across the country from all those opportunities. But this is where the irony comes in because for twenty-one years of my life I lived where? ~sigh~ Upstate New York.  At the time, Syracuse felt a million miles away from The City (believe it  or not, I’ve never actually been to NYC). But now I wish…oh, I don’t know, I feel like there’s something I should have been able to do there, but I doubt any publishing company would have accepted a high schooler and I didn’t have any job experience the summer after freshman year.  Now I see all these fantastic chances to break into the business, but I can’t take advantage of them because it would be far too expensive.

It’s expensive not just because of the housing, but because these internships don’t generally pay you money. I mean, if I could, I’d LOVE to work for a publishing company for nothing (temporarily at least). It’s my dream job after all! I would be giggly-girl excited to fetch coffee and make photocopies for free at Scholastic or Harper Collins just so I could be around the business and learn a few things. And if I was allowed to manage the slush pile on occasion, I’d pretty much be in heaven. If I could do that, I would. But the funny thing about being a college student is that none of us can afford to spend a summer in NYC your parents aren’t exactly eager to throw down another chunk of money for your future.

Also, my family isn’t really keen on sending me far away for an extended amount of time because they kinda miss me after I’ve gone to college across the country. The few internships that are paid are competitive enough to deserve a reality tv show because they’re for huge companies, so for a girl from a unknown Christian college, I don’t really have a chance (trust me, I’ve been trying).

So what to do? Well, I’ve been trying to find an internship in California because LA and San Francisco do have a few choices, particularly literary agencies, which is very exciting.  I think I might be able to get a paying job on the side and take one of the unpaid internships. If I have to, I’ll spend the summer working somewhere non-publishing related and save up the money to do something better in the fall. Until then, I’m still querying my novel to agents and I have my gig with the fairy tale webzine, which is making me a little money. I’m taking a creative writing class this semester and I hope to crank out a bunch of short stories to sell during the summer. I want to start writing stories that are a little more marketable, so I’m going to try leaning away from the fantasy and sci-fi for the class. It’s time to branch out and see if I can be a little more Laurie Halse Anderson/Jodi Picoult and less Tamora Pierce. We’ll see how that goes.

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