As a midsized general trade and children’s book publisher with more than 2,500 titles in print, Pelican Publishing Company offers interns a complete overview of the publishing industry. This includes experience in the sales, editorial, promotion, and production departments. Internships are available year-round and last a minimum of 10 weeks. Arrangements are sometimes made to work less due to school requirements, or more according to the intern’s wishes and availability of office space.
Deadlines for submission are as follows:
Summer Internship—April 15
Fall Internship—October 1
Winter Internship—December 1
Spring Internship—February 1
Pelican offers an intern the opportunity to learn the basics of the publishing industry, receive hands-on experience, and polish communication talents in an intimate, supervised atmosphere. The internship requires an individual who is both responsible and versatile. An effort is made to show the variety of skills needed to work in the industry.
Pelican offers two different internships:
All Pelican internships are unpaid.
College Credit: Interns can receive college credit (usually equal to one class) for their time at Pelican. Arrangements must be made with a college advisor.
Hours: Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pelican prefers that interns work 32 hours per week. Part-time internships are also possible.
Books: The intern should be familiar with Pelican’s lists of titles. (See www.pelicanpub.com.)
Reports: The intern will be responsible for writing a daily report covering tasks accomplished.
Meetings: In most cases, the intern will attend weekly departmental meetings.
Resources: All interns are encouraged to read the trade journals and magazines to which Pelican subscribes to learn about the industry. Copies are received in-house for such publications as Publishers Weekly and ForeWord Reviews. All industry magazines Pelican receives are available to interns.
Please note that internship space fills up quickly, particularly for the summer months. Only applicants in consideration for a position will receive an interview.
Specific information about each internship follows below. Regardless of the program to which the intern is applying, all applicants must submit the following:
- Cover letter
- Clear indication of available start date and desired end date.
- FOR STUDENTS: Every intern applicant under the age of 21 from outside New Orleans must include a letter from his/her parent or guardian indicating that he/she knows the student is applying for an unpaid internship in New Orleans.
Applicants for the Promotion Intensive General Internship or the Editorial Department Internship should also include a nonfiction writing sample in English, no more than two pages. Poetry will not be accepted.
Submissions can be sent via e-mail in Microsoft Word format. Attachments should be numbered and named per the applicant’s last name. For example: Smith1.doc, Smith2.doc. E-mail submissions should state the total number of included attachments.
Supervised by the promotion director, this internship has an emphasis on book promotion and copywriting. Assuming a full 5-day workweek, the breakdown of time by department would be approximately as follows: editorial ½ day, sales ½ day, production ½ day, promotion 3 ½ days.
Interns will assist staff to engender interest and excitement in Pelican titles to ultimately generate sales. This is accomplished by book reviews, feature stories, broadcast interviews, mentions in print and electronic media, advertising, and special-event promotions. Interns will have the opportunity to create promotional materials, including online press kits and e-mail blasts, conduct media research, and learn what it takes for a book to be reviewed from manuscript stage through finished book.
While this is not a writing-intensive internship, interns have the opportunity to work closely with Pelican’s trained publicists and most are able to leave the program with a writing portfolio. As with all assignments, writing tasks will be assigned on an as-need basis. Over the course of the internship, each intern will learn how promotional writing differs from academic writing, creative writing, and analytical writing. The following list of tasks provides a general overview of the different activities but does not strictly define all an intern will do during his or her time with Pelican.
*An interest in reading
*Reliability and punctuality
*Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
*Ability to work independently
*Internet research and word processing skills
*Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
*Flexibility to perform a variety of overlapping tasks
*Detail oriented, self-motivated, and team oriented
Representative Promotion Tasks
Writing: tasks are heavily dependent on skill level as assesed by benchmark testing - draft promotional copy for reprinted titles, author biographies, and pitch letters.
Media Research: Update existing and identify new media outlets for specific books from Internet research and the use of Pelican’s media databases.
General Research: Everything from the A to Z of a particular ingredient to finding contact information for prominent authorities on a given subject.
Review Processing: Includes recording and filing reviews and preparing review copies for shipment.
Mailing: Preparation of materials to reviewers; forwarding material to Pelican authors.
E-mail Blasts: Assist with creating e-mail marketing materials.
Data Management: Assist with maintaining Pelican’s database, including contact information for individuals in the media such as editors, producers, and freelancers. This consists of Internet research and telephone verification.
Office Work: Filing, occasional light hand-work, copying, and other clerical tasks as needed.
Other Departmental Tasks
Sales: Database maintenance; customer lead research; researching the school and public library market; reviewing Pelican title information on Internet retailers; accessing wholesaler databases to analyze inventory and sales information; assisting with author tours; providing sales history for periodic meetings.
Editorial: Manuscript review; submission evaluation; returning rejected manuscripts; proofreading (depending upon skill level); checking corrected proofs; checking books at the blueline stage; copyediting author indexes.
Production: tasks are heavily dependent on skill level - formatting posters, page corrections, etc., based on production specifications and style sheets; routing proofs; copying jackets and layouts; preparing book mock-up materials; updating the production report.
Send materials to be considered for a Promotion Intensive General Internship to:
Supervised by the editor in chief, this position focuses on the stages of reviewing and editing manuscripts.
The task of the editorial department is to help acquire new titles for the company and to prepare contracted titles for publication. This is accomplished by critiquing submissions, editing manuscripts and computer disks (manuscript editing, line editing, and copyediting), checking artwork for accuracy and relevance, proofreading the typeset books, editing indexes, checking typesetters’ corrections, checking the books’ layouts, and checking the printers’ bluelines. This staff works closely with the production department to put manuscripts and artwork into correct book form.
* An interest in reading
* Detail oriented, resourceful, self-motivated, and team oriented
* Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
* Able to work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment
* Reliability and punctuality
* Familiarity with Microsoft Word
* Facility with Internet research
The ideal candidate will have two years of college courses and be working toward a degree in a related field or an equivalent background.
Representative Editorial Tasks
Manuscripts: Returning rejected manuscripts.
Manuscript Review: Reading and writing a critique of a manuscript Pelican is considering.
Queries: Reading initial submissions to determine if additional material should be requested.
Proofreading: Reading typeset books for typographical and formatting errors.
Clerical: Filing for CIP data and copyright; faxing letters; miscellaneous typing/computer inputting.
Final Type: Checking corrected proofs and layout. An editor will supervise.
Bluelines: Checking projects at the blueline stage, following a detailed checklist.
Artwork: Reviewing sketches and final artwork for editorial accuracy.
Indexes: Copyediting and proofreading author indexes.
Editing: Under editorial supervision, the intern will “practice edit” a children’s book or any other project that may be in the schedule.
Send a résumé and two-page essay sample to be considered for an Editorial Department Internship to:
Editor in Chief
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster St.
Gretna, Louisiana 70053-2246
Intern Application Checklist
- Cover Letter
- Indication of the program to which intern is applying
- Clear indication of available start date and desired end date
- Writing Sample (as appropriate)
- Design Samples (Production Internship only)
- Parent Letter (for all student applicants from outside New Orleans)
For additional information or questions, call Antoinette de Alteriis, promotion director, at 504-368-1175 ext. 331 or e-mail her at email@example.com.