Meet Imogen, one of our Spring interns!
Over the course of 10 weeks, beginning in March, I’ve been working virtually with The Emma Press on a placement focusing on marketing and publicity. My experience here will form the basis of my MA Publishing dissertation as I reflect on what I’ve been up to as well as the publishing world more widely.
So, what has it been like interning for an indie poetry press? Well, let me tell you!
The Emma Press publishes the type of books I love – beautifully illustrated and curated titles with a focus on representing all kinds of voices – and this has made my experience all the more enjoyable. I’m an editor for an LGBTQIA+ literary zine, Ergi Press, so I have a real interest in short, accessible writing forms like the pamphlet which hark back to DIY methods and expressive cultural movements.
Speaking of pamphlets; my main project was working on the marketing and publicity for Pamela Crowe’s upcoming poetry pamphlet, The Bell Tower. It was really exciting to be involved in the process: I delighted in writing social media posts and was oddly satisfied populating spreadsheets for our PR ‘hit list’. There was never a lack of things to do in my allotted time (3 hours per week) and I felt supported along the way. Each Tuesday, I would hop onto Zoom to discuss my designated tasks with Emma, before cracking away at the work at my desk with a cuppa by my side.
The placement was varied; I did all sorts from sales and market analysis to writing a press release. But I have to say that my favourite task was writing draft blurbs because of the learning curve. It turns out, blurb writing is tricky!
Across the 10 weeks, I feel as though I’ve learnt bucketloads, including that publicity is right up my street – a complete surprise, given that I’ve always been introverted! The placement has given me a unique insight into how small presses operate; the atmosphere is so much more intimate than what I would expect from a larger publishing company. I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with authors and try my hand at many different things. Hence, if you get the chance to work for an indie I’d say just go for it!
A big thank you to York St John University and my lecturer, Rob, especially for organising this placement and application process. This has really been a highlight of my MA experience.
You can find me on my bookstagram @imhidinginabook where I post reviews and book recommendations aplenty.