Brandon Buechley is a Creative Writing major at Ball State University.
He recently took part in the New York Arts Program, where he worked with DAW Books, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House.
He also worked with the Manhattan-based Guerrilla Lit Reading Series.
We had the opportunity to talk to Brandon about his internship experience in New York City. Here’s what he had to say!
Your English skills are valuable
The New York Arts Program accepts students with skills and passions in all the liberal arts, creative writing included. My English major was obviously a contributing factor in my acceptance into the program.
I was able to present a few pieces I’ve worked on in Ball State courses, showing the program coordinators what I had to offer.
The program tends to have more artists and media specialists than creative writers, so I think the skills I brought to the table certainly helped me stand out.
You can get a taste for the city, and the publishing industry
New York City is always on the go, and my work days reflected that.
I worked five days a week at DAW Books, and no two were the same. From filing through the “slush pile,” to corralling posts for DAW’s social media accounts, I got a taste of the industry from the ground up.
DAW is a very small, independent publisher, meaning they divide work amongst many other publishing houses. Thanks to this, I’ve had valuable experience in nearly all departments, like assistant editorial work and contracts.
You can help lit mags further their appeal
With Guerrilla Lit, I only met once a month during the scheduled readings. My responsibilities with this internship solely consisted of online work.
I’ve done a large amount of their social media and did research on readings around the city, taking notes and compiling innovative examples of how they can further their attendance and appeal.
Advice for the English major
My best advice would be to get ahold of any opportunity you find.
The English major provides skills you can apply to nearly anything if you look at it from the right angle.
When I transferred to Ball State, I assumed I would do my course work and graduate with little knowledge about the professional world.
Little did I know, I would soon be provided with an opportunity to gain priceless professional experience. And I’d get to spend a semester in New York City, something I’d only ever dreamed of.
In short, you won’t know what comes next until you take the initiative. Opportunities are everywhere. You just have to start looking.
If you’re interested in spending a semester in New York, you can contact Brandon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Campus Liaison Professor Cathy Day at email@example.com.
Prof. Day is also holding a Application Workshop on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 4 PM in 361 Robert Bell. Bring a draft of your admissions statement.
If you would like to stay updated on the New York Arts Program, or want to talk with past participants, you can connect on Facebook.