Tag Archives: writing-publishing-journalism

Meet Alice Pfeifer’13, Associate Editor, St. Martin’s Press – Wednesday, March 24

Alice Pfeifer graduated from Middlebury College in 2013 with a major in English and American Literatures and a minor in Education Studies. A DC native, she moved to Portland, ME, after college to finish up two credits (having taken a semester off Junior year) and pieced together a number of part-time teaching jobs at the Waynflete School. Alice spent the following two years at a brand new STEM charter high school, first in administration and then as a humanities teacher. In the summer of 2016, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course, and soon thereafter began work in book editorial at St. Martin’s Press, where she works with bestselling fiction and nonfiction authors including Archer Mayor, Gregg Hurwitz, Natalie Jenner, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Senator Ben Sasse, and Kim Scott.

Click here to register in handshake for the Career Panel on Wednesday, March 24!

Click here to schedule your 1:1 chat with Alice Pfeifer!

Denver Publishing Institute informational webinar on Wednesday, February 17

Margaret Shaheen, Program Coordinator at the Denver Publishing Institute, will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, February 17th to discuss the kinds of opportunities the publishing industry affords and the training the Denver Publishing Institute offers.  

The Denver Publishing Institute is an intensive, four-week, graduate-level, summer program that provides a broad overview of all aspects of the publishing industry in lectures and hands-on workshops in editing and marketing. The faculty members are all professionals working in the publishing industry, and they cover topics from the role of the editor to marketing, from international publishing and markets to the work of the literary agent, from textbook to digital publishing. The 2021 Denver Publishing Institute will run from July 11th to August 6th.

Click here to register in handshake!

Wall Street Journal Newsroom Event – February 26

Join WSJ on February 26, 2021 at 12:00 – 1:00 PM ET to hear from top WSJ editors and reporters to learn about their daily roles, career journeys and newsroom experiences. The first event in the series will focus on “Bringing New Voices to the Newsroom,” which will explore the changes taking place in the newsroom, how they train their journalists and WSJ’s standards and ethics policies. 

Register for the event here!

This event is exclusively for members, but students can activate their memberships directly on the event page. As a reminder, Middlebury College Student Government Association has partnered with The Wall Street Journal to sponsor complimentary memberships for all students!

Students! ProPublica and The Pudding Want to Help Pay For Your Journalism Expenses in 2021.

They are giving 25 scholarships to help you attend a journalism conference and/or to support your work.

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

We are proud to announce our sixth annual scholarship program. This year we are teaming up with The Pudding, a visual essays online publication.

ProPublica, with additional support from The Pudding, will be sponsoring need-based scholarships for 25 students to attend an eligible journalism conference in 2021 and/or to contribute toward journalism related expenses such as subscriptions to news publications, software, FOIA fees, or equipment (think cameras, recorders, etc.).

Residents eligible to file a W-9 can apply. We especially encourage students from an underrepresented group in journalism — including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people and people with disabilities — to apply.

The $750 scholarships will go to students who would otherwise be unable to attend conferences or purchase supplies to support their education and ongoing reporting.

The following conferences offer great opportunities for networking and professional development, especially for those just starting out in journalism. Scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to meet ProPublica and The Pudding staff throughout the year at conferences (virtual or in person). Check out last year’s scholarship recipients.

You can apply for the scholarship here. The deadline is Feb. 22. Students have the option to select a conference as part of their application. We understand many have yet to announce dates and that formats may change, but we would still like to know which you are interested in attending.

  • AAJA, Asian American Journalists Association. Location and dates TDB.
  • AHCJ, Association of Health Care Journalists. Austin, Texas, June 24-27.
  • IRE, Investigative Reporters and Editors. Indianapolis, June 17-20.
  • JAWS, Journalism and Women Symposium. New Mexico, Sept. 24-26.
  • NABJ National Association of Black Journalists. Houston, Aug. 18-22.
  • NAHJ National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Virtual, July (exact date TBD).
  • NAJA, Native American Journalists Association. Phoenix, Sept. 15-19.
  • NICAR, The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting. Virtual, March 3-5.
  • NLGJA, Association of LGBTQ Journalists. Location and dates TBD.
  • NPPA, National Press Photographers Association (Northern Short Course). Location and dates TBD.
  • ONA, Online News Association. Location and dates TBD.
  • SND, Society for News Design. Location and dates TBD.
  • SRCCON, organized by OpenNews. Location and dates TBD.

Every year, we share what ProPublica is doing to increase the diversity of our newsroom and of journalism as a whole. These scholarships are a small but important step to help student journalists from underrepresented communities take advantage of everything these conferences offer.

High school, college and graduate students are welcome to apply. You must be a student at the time of application, but it’s OK if you’re graduating this spring.

Questions about the application process? Want to contribute to our scholarship fund to send more students to these conferences? Get in touch at adriana.gallardo@propublica.org.

Q and A with Alums in Publishing Industry!

Are you interested in a publishing career? There’s more to the industry than screening submissions and marking up manuscripts.

Four Middlebury alumni who have worked as editors, agents, reporters, and writers shared their insight into the multi-faceted world of publishing. They opened up about the most relevant trade publications worth following, their best advice for interviews, and getting the most out of any experience.

Isabelle Bleecker ’88, Founding Agent, Nordlyset Literary Agency

Krista Karlson ’17, Managing Editor, Active Interest Media

Peter Knobler ’68, Writer

Carolyn Kuebler ’90, Editor, New England Review

PCA Hannah McKenzie ’19 asked Isabelle, Krista, Peter, and Carolyn about the best strategies for entering and succeeding in the field. Take a look at their tips!


Hannah: What trade publications should students follow to understand the current trends?

Carolyn: Literary Hub and Publishers Weekly

Isabelle: Publishers Weekly is the best for the American market and The Bookseller for the UK. Both also have free daily newsletters. Online, Publishers Marketplace is a terrific resource for jobs. Also, Michael Shatzkin has a blog about changes in the industry. And last, Shelf Awareness is a free e-newsletter primarily for booksellers but with some industry news.

Krista: Columbia Journalism Review and the New York Times media column

Hannah: What books should students read regarding the history and future of the industry?

Carolyn: If you really want to dig deep into literary magazines more specifically, there are some really interesting books on the subject: The Little Magazine in America (1979), The Little Magazine in Contemporary America (2015), Paper Dreams (2013)–there are others!

Isabelle: Andre Shiffrin’s The Business of Books and Jason Epstein’s Book Business. Though both are a bit old now and lament the loss of a more golden time, they give some lively history and are by great editors. I don’t think there’s any book that describes what’s going on now well, especially the growth of the self-publishing and electronic and audio books. For the future of the industry trade magazines are better.

Krista: It really depends what your goal is. Letters to a Young Journalist by Samuel Freedman is decently helpful for people who want to work at a newspaper, although somewhat outdated since the media landscape has since changed dramatically. Congratulations, Who Are You Again? by Harrison Scott Key is good for people who want to write a nonfiction book or to freelance. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is meant for novelists but has some good, transferable advice that could apply to freelance journalists.

Hannah: What are some digital/technical skills you look for in entry-level candidates?

Carolyn: While we don’t expect everyone to have experience working with the same programs we work with, we do like to see a demonstrated ability and interest in learning new technologies. Software we use includes the usual Office suite; some Adobe programs, like InDesign, Photoshop, etc.; and website publishing, such as WordPress. More and more we’re interested in audio editing experience, too. As for editorial work, a familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style is nice, but not expected, for newcomers. For being a manuscript reader, participation in creative workshops is helpful.

Isabelle: The general Microsoft Office software set–Word and a familiarity with how to use the review tab is helpful. Excel, for the business side of things. It’s helpful to have some database experience as there’s a lot of data on the nuts-and-bolts side of the business. It may seem obvious, but if you want to be in the book business, first and foremost you need to be a reader. Ideally of the genre in which you want to work. And the more, the better.

Hannah: Do you have an interview dos or don’ts?

Peter: It’s most effective to be direct and candid. I try to control the impulse to be crafty; the most productive interviews I ever gave or took were undisrupted by calculation or doubt. Say what you’ve got to say; if your interviewer doesn’t want the person you are, you’re best not to waste your time at that job.

Isabelle: Be ready to talk about what you’re reading and to pitch a book (depending on what you’re going for). Present yourself as a problem solver. And in looking at job listings, think beyond editorial. There are lots of great opportunities in book publishing in sales, marketing, publicity, subsidiary rights. I started out in editorial and production and then moved to selling subsidiary rights–this is the business side of publishing and it entails licensing book content to other publishers, which earns money for the publishers and authors beyond book sales. Becoming an agent is a great combination of those experiences–I develop projects with my authors and also sell their book rights to print and audio publishers around the world, as well as for film and TV rights, among other rights. It’s dealmaking and creative work that makes every day stimulating.

Hannah: What is one key to success in the industry?

Krista: Persistence. You’re going to receive a lot of rejection. This was really hard for me to adjust to at first. It’s not personal. The more you push through rejection and learn from it, the more rewarding it will be when you have a success.

Carolyn: Willingness to try your hand at marketing or other areas of publishing, even if what really drives you is editorial acquisition and content shaping.

Isabelle: Publishing is not a well paid industry, but there is rarely a dull day or dull colleagues and that makes it very satisfying in the long term. It does often demand long hours and a willingness to jump in and take more things on. Putting in extra time can lead to success. Also, be deliberate in your choices. Aim to work for a publisher–or website, or news outlet–whose publications you really admire and can support.

Hannah: Any final tips to share?

Isabelle: Publishing jobs are very competitive. Internships give you a definite edge. Also, participation in any kind of book or writing-related activities–staffing a journal, working at a bookstore, interning for an agent. Those will give you a leg up.

Krista: Every experience is a learning experience. I worked for a year and a half as an editor at a fishing magazine, even though I had very little interest in fishing. But I had an amazing mentor and I learned a ton about journalism. I came out of the experience with very tangible, transferable skills, and way more confidence than when I started.

Carolyn: Don’t be afraid to ask people you know to ask people they know to help you locate some leads. A personal note from someone can help a hiring manager who’s looking at a lot of equally qualified (and overqualified) applicants. You could also contact literary magazines (or presses) who are looking for volunteers and get some experience that way. Also, more and more nonprofit presses are offering what they call editorial fellowships, for entry level candidates, in an attempt to diversify the field of publishing. Look for these, and ask around!


If you’d like to get in touch with these accomplished alumni and others, you can reach out to them on Midd2Midd.