Jordan Hanley: Getting Lost in the Book Room

Posted by Jordan Hanley

Let me preface this by saying this is the first internship I’ve had, and I’m not ready to leave! I’m a pretty busy English major and senior in college, and consequently I’ve done quite a bit of academic writing. However, I’ve never written creatively or with any other real purpose than for the ever elusive A.

Here at Quirk, I’ve had the opportunity to write Q & A sheets for authors, press releases, and BLAD letters (which go out to others in the publishing business). These writings, while heavily edited by the professionals upstairs, often start with an intern. Writing creatively but concisely is the key to having more of your language used in the final product, so get those imaginative juices flowing! I found the writing aspect of this internship the most interesting and challenging of all the tasks appointed to me. Academic writing is often dry and colorless; at Quirk, the opposite is true. (Thanks for preparing me for life, college.)

Okay, get ready for geek overload. I honestly enjoyed everything I did here, but my favorite part of spending time in Quirk HQ was just being around so many books. I found that if I needed a quick break from the task at hand, the perfect antidote to writer’s block or a sore back was to walk around the book room for a few minutes. Quirk has some really interesting titles— seriously, check out Yum Yum Bento Box, Tiny Food Party, and Breakfast for Dinner. Talk about food porn! The pictures are the best part.

Quirk is small and everyone is friendly here. I get the impression that there are a lot of young intern faces in and out of here on a regular basis, so make yourself memorable. Say hello to everyone and express interest in what is going on at Quirk! It may sound cliché, but follow the requests of Nicole, Mari, and Eric explicitly. You’re only here for a short amount of time and there’s a lot to do. The sooner you finish that mailing, the sooner you’ll (hopefully) be given another, more stimulating task.

And seriously, ASK QUESTIONS. I can’t think of any one caveat more important than this. In order to have a good experience at Quirk, ask all the questions you can think of. Ask everyone you can where they started and how they ended up here. Ask about their experience. Check those places out. Just because you’ve been hired as a marketing and publicity intern doesn’t mean your sole interest has to lie here. For example, my interest lies in editing. Jane is an editorial assistant at Quirk and sits at the receptionist desk; she is more than kind and has sent me multiple links which will hopefully lead me to another internship.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re confused by the tasks given to you. Ask for clarification! The server may seem confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is easy enough to use.

Have fun and enjoy your time here. Express your interest in upcoming titles and familiarize yourself with the backlist. There’s so much to learn here, so absorb as much as you can! Good luck!

Jordan Hanley—Fall 2012