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Take a Chance On Me

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

As I’ve started to reflect on my time here at Spencer Hill and Beaufort Books, I’ve been remembering just how quickly the opportunity came to fruition. It had been less than a week since I moved from the middle of Oklahoma to a new apartment in Brooklyn in the hopes of securing my first internship in publishing. My entire family thought I was crazy, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they had taken bets on when I would return home. In fact, the thought of working in publishing hadn’t even occurred to me until I was already six months out of college, and it felt like I was racing the metaphorical clock to get entry-level publishing experience before it was “too late.” Though I have since learned that publishing is a very accepting industry that welcomes newcomers of all ages with open arms, I still spent every day scouring BookJobs for any opportunities I may have missed.

I was tending to my battered ego after a string of rejection letters came in (all in one day, to make matters worse) when I noticed a brand new posting for a fall internship at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill. I applied, and within a week I was sitting on the phone with Karen, discussing Beaufort’s catalogue and the various opportunities I could take advantage of as a potential intern for Spencer Hill Press and Beaufort Books. Karen and Megan took a chance on me, and by the next Tuesday I was sitting in Spencer Hill’s Flatiron District office as their newest intern.

It all still feels like a blur, but I couldn’t imagine a better way to be introduced to the publishing industry. Though I’m incredibly sad to be leaving SHP and its talented team of editors, I take solace in the fact that I gained an invaluable, first-hand look at what it takes to transform a rough manuscript into a polished final book, that I am never more than a quick train ride away, and that there are dozens of Spencer Hill and Beaufort titles that are still to be read.

I hate to say goodbye, but all good things must eventually come to an end. It feels fitting to wrap up with one of the most popular quotes from the character that inspired my pseudonym.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you’ll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey.”

-Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries

I am forever grateful to you, readers, for joining me on my journey at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press!

Cheers,

Mia ThermoBEAUlis

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. 

This is Farwell

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

Four months have never passed so quickly. When I started at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press in September, it felt like I had all the time in the world to soak up the experience of being a publishing intern. How naïve of me. New York City is so fast-paced that 14 weeks seem to go by in mere seconds. Nevertheless, in these 14 weeks, I have gained valuable experience and knowledge working with truly impressive and wonderful people. Taking a book from manuscript to publication is an arduous undertaking, but the people at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press do it with grace and skill. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from them, and parting ways with them is bittersweet.

Leaving New York City is equally as hard. I have gained so much from this incredible city. The confidence of navigating an often confusing and delayed train system. The determination of pushing through crowds of tourists when you’re late. The list goes on. Being here during the holidays has been a dream too! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and being here in the City to see all the lights and decorations has only deepened this sentiment. Of one thing I am certain, I will be leaving a part of my heart in this city when I go, but I know that I will be back soon.

I figured that before I say goodbye, I should probably leave you all with my recommendations of things to do in NYC. Check them out below!

  1. Get free tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers or another talk show

Sign up for a 1iota account to be put on the waitlist for a plethora of shows and events happening in New York. I went in early December to Late Night with Seth Meyers and saw Saoirse Ronan (Ladybird) and Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)!

2. Take a walk around Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO

I lived in Brooklyn Heights during my stint in the City, and it was such a great place to be. The neighborhood has tons of restaurants, beautiful brownstones, and is a short walk from the Promenade where you can get million-dollar views of the city skyline. Right next door is DUMBO, another great neighborhood with tons to do and incredible views.

3. Visit Times Square. Just go early

If you want to visit this tourist attraction without the crowds, I recommend going around 9 AM and not during the holidays. I went early in the morning at the beginning of November. No massive crowds. No lines at the Disney store. It was glorious.

4. See a Broadway show

I managed to see TEN shows on Broadway during my four months. I kept the costs minimal by entering the lotteries and joining the rush lines for plays that I wanted to see. My top recommendation is Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Morisette’s iconic album inspired the musical. It was a marvelous and emotional ride.

5. Leave the City

Although I love New York, there are so many amazing places that are just a short train ride away! I went to Connecticut to visit friends and enjoyed the change in pace from New York. Mystic, CT, is a quaint little town on the coast that is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the City. There are also beautiful places in upstate New York that are close by.

Well, dear readers, the time has come. Goodbyes are so bittersweet, but I am excited about what’s next for me. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope all of you have a joyous holiday season and a blessed 2020! Love hard, read often!

With gratitude,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared post with Beaufort Books.

Welcome to New York!

Friday, September 6th, 2019
Manhattan skyline, August 2019

Hello fellow book lovers!

I am the newest intern here at Beaufort Books & Spencer Hill Press! Over the next four months, you’ll be seeing periodic updates on the blog about my latest bookish adventures and NYC experiences. For this brief time as a blogger, I’ll be going full James Bond and using the alias of Captain Beaumerica (I am a Marvel fiend and cannot be stopped). I am so thrilled to share my thoughts, musings, and lessons learned with you all!

I think it is only appropriate that this first post serves as an introduction to myself. Below you’ll find a list of a few of my favorite things.

Favorite Book:

One thing to know about me? I will never lie to you. I have so many favorite books. I’m not a parent, but I imagine that choosing your favorite book is not unlike trying to choose your favorite child. For the sake of time and your sanity, I won’t list all my favorites, but here is my default:

Divergent by Veronica Roth – This book isn’t a groundbreaking novel with an ultra-diverse cast, nor is it an underrated gem that everyone will love, but as a lost middle schooler this book was exactly what I needed to read. It brought me comfort and guidance during that complicated time of adolescence. It was an influential book that shaped the rest of my school experience. I could talk for hours about the first book in this series and the injustice of the film adaptation, but instead I will just encourage you to read it for yourself. Come share in the heartache.

Favorite Movie:

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I have several favorite movies… Here’s a few:

The Way Way Back – A coming-of-age story starring Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. This film is so heartwarming and emotional. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Truman Show – I love Jim Carey. He did a phenomenal job in this movie, but honestly, when does he not?

The Entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain Marvel. Black Panther. Iron Man. Too many to name. I love them all with the passion of a thousand Suns.

Favorite Place:
In May of 2019, I spent two weeks in Southern Oregon and Northern California. They are easily my favorite places in the World. If I could hole up in the California Redwoods to write for the rest of my life, I absolutely would. These massive trees brought tears to my eyes and made me emotional in a way that I never thought trees could. I consider it a travesty that the Redwoods are not on the official Wonders of the World list.

Favorite Thing About NYC (so far):

The subway. I consider myself I great driver, but I highly dislike it. Not having to drive everyday is a blessing that I never want to lose. Also, the bookstores. So. Many. Bookstores.  

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me! I am so excited to be a part of the Beaufort team and interact with you via Beaufort social media. Check back soon for more updates!

Your Favorite Hero,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

Two Sides to Every Story

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Hello — another intern here! A bit about me: I am headed into my final year at a liberal arts college in New Hampshire, where I am studying both English and Elementary Education. Ever since I was young, I always wanted to be either a teacher or a book editor/publisher due to my love of reading. Therefore, for my pseudonym, I thought it would be fitting to choose an author who connects to both of my passions, so I’ve decided to go under the pen name Beauld Dahl, after a fascinating person who happens to be one of my favorite childhood authors.

Coming from a small town in Vermont (and by small I mean you could fit 6 of my town’s entire population into the Empire State Building and still have a little room left over before hitting the maximum occupancy), Manhattan is about the biggest 180 degrees that I could make from my normal lifestyle. Even living here for just a week so far, I’ve come to realize that I have split myself into two identities, the small-town teacher, and the city-dwelling publisher. Part of me misses rolling green mountains, drives through the countryside with the windows down, and the overall laid-back feel of Vermont (and no, it’s not part of Canada). A different part of me loves the patchwork of skyscrapers, the hustle of the city, and the fact that I can walk to any store I can think of instead of driving at least an hour away. Though I’ll admit, sometimes I get a little unnerved by the lack of trees on my walk to and from my internship, but that’s nothing a trip to Central Park can’t fix.

Vermont is known (“known” being a loose term here) for three things: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Cabot cheese, and maple syrup. While we consume our fair share of dairy products, my family’s affection is for the latter.

Every late winter and early spring, we go into the woods, hang buckets and tubing among the maple trees, collect their sap, then boil and filter it until the sticky, sweet substance we put on our pancakes and waffles is produced. This picture was taken during the second largest snowstorm ever recorded in Vermont, when I trudged through over two feet of snow and could barely see further than the length of my arm through the rapidly falling flakes. Apart from the sounds of my footsteps, I was blanketed by complete silence.

Within the past week, it has been upwards of 90° in Manhattan, with nothing but a faint breeze between the high-rises. I have two options: walk everywhere in the blazing sun, or take the subway, where wind refuses to enter, and the heat is somehow even more stifling than above ground. I typically choose the streets, ignoring the stench of cigarettes and the shrills of sirens, where I bear witness to some of the world’s most iconic sites that millions dream of visiting and a skyline like none other.

In both circumstances, I wonder how something so unpleasant can also be so thrilling and beautiful at the same time. I also wonder how one can love both experiences just as equally.

Since I have already student-taught in multiple classrooms and loved (nearly) every second, I thought that interning at a publishing company would help me decide what path I would pursue after graduating. However, that decision has become exponentially more difficult now that I see how much I would enjoy living in the Big Apple permanently.

Stay tuned to see where my internship at Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill Press takes me over the next few months!

Until next time,

Beauld Dahl

 

 

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.

 

Manuscripts

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Reading an unpublished work is kind of like going backstage after a show. Backstage lacks the polish of the finished product. You can see the mechanics of the magic, and yet somehow it doesn’t take any of the magic away. The ropes and pulleys, the props and cast-off costumes betray the hours of hard work that the show concealed so well.

Manuscripts have the same essence as what lies behind the stage door. They are not perfect, but with a little work they have the potential to be just as beautiful and heart-wrenchingly good as any Broadway production.

About a week into my internship, I was asked to read some of the manuscripts in our submissions portal. I was thrilled. This, I thought, is what publishing is all about. My excitement died down a little bit as I began sifting through the entries and didn’t immediately discover the next Harry Potter. Nonetheless, I was reading unpublished material, and it fulfilled every dream I’d had of interning at a publishing company in New York City.

I’ve been honored to be able to work with a few manuscripts over the course of the summer. As an intern, I’m not making big changes or drastically shaping the future of the American novel à la Maxwell Perkins—don’t worry. Most of the time I’m just an extra pair of eyes to look over the edits and make sure they were made correctly. But even in such a small capacity, I’m still incredibly excited every time I’m asked to help with one of the books. For one thing, I love reading more than anything, so it could never be boring. For another, even though I’m providing only the smallest help I still feel important. I’m saving the world one Oxford comma at a time. Most of all, it is a privilege to see an artistic process take shape as the manuscript becomes a book. I imagine a stage manager or a producer feels the same way, watching their play go from script to stage. For publishers, it all begins with a manuscript.

–Caroline, Intern

*This is a joint post between Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill

Grammar Makes a Difference

Friday, May 27th, 2016

Hello, all. I’m one of Beaufort Books/Spencer Hill’s newest interns, originally from North Carolina. I wanted to share some thoughts I have on grammar: the good, the bad, the ugly.

One of the things that makes reading so enjoyable is the fact that a specially arranged amount of letters and punctuations all come together to create a vivid picture, story, or idea. They flow together in a way in which we don’t even have to think about all the details, just what the details are communicating. However, when the letters and punctuations don’t follow the rules of communication, my brain makes an annoying stop. I’ve always noticed the rules of grammar, but I became cursed during an editing class in college. Suddenly, I can’t read for enjoyment without mentally turning off my editing brain. I reread a book after the class and almost threw it across the room because I suddenly noticed that the grammar was abysmal – so much for getting sucked into that story-line again. When my teachers had to divert from the lesson plan to remind people about basic grammar rules for their papers, I groaned and rolled my eyes. How are people making these mistakes?

Hemingway is one of my writing heroes. He was famously recorded telling F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can.” People don’t need flowery stuff to understand what you’re saying. Get rid of all those excessively repeated references and please don’t use so many exclamation marks. If you use an exclamation mark after more than 50% of your sentences (or *cringe* more than one), I’m going to get tired of reading everything in such an excited tone. Talk to me like a person. Grab my attention in other ways.

Please read what you write! Mistakes happen, but I get seriously concerned when your sentences are missing chunks or you’re using “are” instead of “our.” Make your writing as much of a pleasant experience for the reader as you can. Of course, many people will go on rants about the proper uses of “your/you’re” and “there/their/they’re,” but the grammar rule I wish people knew was the difference between “apart” and “a part.” It really is a big difference.

Now that I’ve said my piece, let’s just think about how amazing it is that, just by following the rules of the written English language, we can convey an elaborate picture, evoke emotion, and argue a point. Really, the written word is fascinating.

–Rebecca, Intern