The Art of Publishing & Marketing
Location: Rose O’Neill Literary House
When I was a prospective student in the throes of touring campuses and doing interviews, I was instantly infatuated with the Rose O’Neill Literary House. As I was making my decision on a college, I remembered when I had walked up the steps to the sprawling porch and followed a small crowd into the foyer. The hub of all things literary was one of the first—and frankly, the most important thing—I had seen thus far.
Fast forward a few years, when, as a senior, I saw the application for Press Intern come out again. I texted my friend.
You were the Press Intern once, right?
Yep!!!! she answered.
I’m thinking of applying.
For the past few years, I had held positions that seemed to circle around the Literary House (and, by extension, the Literary House Press). I had worked as News Editor for The Elm, the college’s student newspaper, and then became Editor-in-Chief. I became prose editor for The Collegian, the College’s undergraduate literary journal. Over the summer, I screened fiction for Cherry Tree, the national literary journal based at the College that ran out of the Literary House Press. All of these positions helped prepare me for the central goal of the Literary House Press: to disseminate the voices from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. I was excited for the opportunity to work with an organization that did that.
Having been on the editorial side of a newspaper, I was familiar with what that concept looked like; but dipping into that aspect of an entire press—while considering things like marketing and promoting the Press—was new and exciting.
That Same Friend who pushed me to apply was sitting on the floor next to me when I got the email offering me the position. I, in a haste to absorb it, read it wrong first and thought I had kindly been rejected. I started to say so, until my eyes finally found the “Congratulations!” I went through a range of emotions in a very short amount of time.
Since then, I worked with the Social Media & Marketing intern, Mai Do, to come up with some ideas to drum up excitement for the release of Cherry Tree, Issue 4 and think of ways to keep that momentum going throughout the next few months. It’s not hard to come up with promotion ideas when you truly believe in the things the Literary House Press produces. Our brainstorming led to the idea to utilize an artistic representation of Literary Shade—a section unique to Cherry Tree—and make a letterpress print out of it.
As this internship has continued, I’ve been able to take the foundation of the Press Intern before me and design a new catalog featuring Literary House Press items from this year. It has been educational and insightful learning how to lay out a book; getting to turn my hands purple mixing ink to get the perfect shot for the cover; and meeting with Literary House Director, James Allen Hall, and Assistant Director, Lindsay Lusby, to discuss the various drafts.
Ultimately, when I walk up to my computer at the window each week and make myself a cup of tea in a Lit House mug, the initial excitement of being a part of a place like this resurfaces. Over the next month, I’m looking forward to the final draft of the Literary House Press catalog, and seeing the print come to life.