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Interning at Freight Books

June 1st, 2014 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Interning at Freight Books
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During my second semester as a student of the MLitt Publishing programme I chose to take the Publishing In The Workplace module. Publishing students hear this time and again: your best chance of working in the publishing industry is to get an internship and, well, work in the publishing industry. After applying to various publishers in Scotland I was fortunate to be offered a part-time editorial internship at Freight Books.

LookupGlasgowPocket_270.270A fairly new imprint of Freight Design, one of Scotland’s leading communications consultancies, Freight Books focuses on publishing ‘high quality fiction for an English-speaking readership’ and also produces Gutter magazine for new fiction.

My email correspondence with Robbie Guillory, Assistant Publisher, was surprisingly informal, and the welcome I received on my first day at the office was much the same: the small team, no larger than a dozen people, was friendly and inviting; there reigns a quaint, café-like atmosphere in the office, which is located on the third floor of an old building in Glasgow’s Merchant City. On the second floor landing a painted sign on the wall says ‘Keep going, gas masks will be provided at the top’. Panting, I made it to the top floor. ‘Where’s my gas mask?’ I asked Robbie, who laughed.

My first task was both simple and terrifying: I was handed a freshly printed typescript and asked to copy-edit it. I was given a sheet with proofreading marks and the Freight Books style sheet, then left to my own devices. Gradually the nerves subsided (‘What if I ruin this beautiful typescript and they hate me and make me leave?!’) and I began to really enjoy myself.

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Over the course of nine weeks I copy-edited typescripts, read through the slushpile to pick out the ‘wows’ from the ‘mehs’, bonded with Archie, the office dog, prepared a couple of author contracts and wrote a few introductory lines for an upcoming publication. Not once was I asked to make coffee (but I was frequently asked if I wanted a cuppa, which is always nice).

The most exciting part of this internship was to look at the AIs (Advance Information sheets) and see a couple of titles in there that I copy-edited. In a few months’ time I will walk into a bookshop and those books will be there on the shelf. And I’ll have the privilege of saying I was part of the fantastic team that made them happen.

The experience I gained from this internship will reflect on my CV and, most importantly, I gained heaps of confidence and feel enthusiastic about applying for jobs in the Scottish publishing industry.

(photo credit: Freight Books)