The Editorial department were lucky enough to have the charming George Lester with us in the last couple of weeks. We asked him for his thoughts on doing work experience at Templar...
As a wannabe writer-type person I can think of no better place to spend time than at a publishing house. The information you gather here simply by sitting and reading through submissions is astronomical! Believe me, even I didn’t realise just how much I would get out of this.
I’m currently on day eight of nine (random number of days... Easter interrupted, very rude!) and have been asked to reflect on my time here, likes and dislikes, highs and lows, etcetera and so forth.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
...sorry about that. It might have been wise for me to read other blog posts made by previous interns, for points on structure and whatnot, but I have opted to wing it. What could possibly go wrong? (He says!)
So, I’m a twenty-one-year-old Drama and Creative Writing student, Waterstones Children’s bookseller, writer of two YA books (they aren’t published yet, please!) and reader of all things teen and middle grade. This work placement was an absolute godsend! What better way to learn about the publishing industry than actually being in it? Answer? There is no better way. I’ve read many posts online outlining the ins and outs of publishing, the dos and don’ts, but there is nothing quite like sitting at your desk (oh yes, you get your own desk – I think that was what I was most excited for!) and learning from the people that actually do it.
My main job in my time here was to sit at my desk (my very own desk) and read through the slush pile. As a budding writer there is no better place to be. Why be told about the pitfalls of publishing when you can see them unfolding before your very eyes? It is here that you learn just how to submit work. In the slush pile you can see people doing it marvellously well and horrifically badly. You can view trends in writing and use your own knowledge of books; you can make decisions on what you are reading.
But it wasn’t all slush pile, oh no, there was some other fun things to do too. I got to do bits of writing here and there, as well as some image research for some upcoming books (all very top secret, hush hush and all that).
The only thing that I don’t like about doing an internship at Templar is the simple fact that I have to leave. I don’t want to go. While I despise early mornings with a burning passion, and early morning commuters do my nut in, I am more than happy to endure those pains to come here. Everyone here is so nice and willing to answer all of my questions about publishing and getting published and whatnot. Believe me, there were a lot of questions.
I was even privileged enough to read some early releases of their fiction titles that are in production: The Jade Boy by Cate Cain and Ways To See A Ghost by Emily Diamand. Both of these are marvellous and you’d be lucky to have them on your bookshelf. Just saying.
So I say to you, dear reader, that if you do an internship here you are very much a part of the team. No matter how short your time here, you are made to feel welcome and like you are being helpful. It’s marvellous!
And if you’re fortunate enough to get a shot at an internship here, don’t mess it up. Work hard and you will reap the rewards. Go to meetings, talk to people in production or fiction or picture books or whatever area you are interested in. Ask questions and you will get answers. The knowledge that I have gained here is like nothing I have read anywhere on the internet or in books about publishing or even the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook.
I suppose this is the closing of a chapter with Templar Publishing – a rather fun-filled chapter, I must say. I’m rubbish at ended blog posts. I should be banned from doing them so I don’t have to end them.
Or I could just carry on writing
Ramble on for another few pages
Bye, and thanks, Templar people! It’s been great fun and a marvellous opportunity! :)