My two internships follow very different paths of publishing. I chose to take them both on to choose: do I see my future with academic publishing or a literary press? My current answer, which I probably should have anticipated, is that I’m drawn to both. I love developmental editing, the larger editing for stories, but developmental editing in the academic sphere is pretty much covered by peer review. I can only plan to get the chance to work with texts so deeply with literary publishing. At the same time, I love being a part of academic publishing’s important, interesting conversations. I’m excited to know I’m helping to facilitate these huge, detailed conversations, even if it’s in a small way. My compass points back to literary publishing again, however, when I consider grad school. At this point, I’m planning to either take a gap year or — something I never would have considered as a freshman undergrad — not go altogether. Not having a grad school education would certainly halt my upward mobility in academic publishing — or at least it would in acquisitions. Things get more complicated when I consider the different departments (departments I didn’t fully know existed before my internship). One way I could stay involved that is seeming more and more appealing to me as I learn more would be through copy editing. I could copy edit (a position that’s freelance for most academic presses) and stay involved. During the school year I plan to talk with copy editors and learn more about their freelance positions.
It’s very hard to decide what kind of future I want to aim for, but the hands on experience both internships are giving me is helping immeasurably.