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Iconic Women of Literature

Monday, March 9th, 2020

In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, I’ve decided to reflect on some iconic female figures in literature.  Each of these individuals offers her own interpretation of what it is to be a woman and provides us with valuable lessons that we can implement—even if just in little ways—into our everyday lives.

Jo March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

As one of the most popular coming-of-age stories to date, Little Women offers plenty of lessons in love, charity, and compassion.  Jo March, the ‘boy’ of the group, adds a fourth and equally important value to the list: independence.  Despite the expectations of women at the time, Jo happily pursues her career in writing and is in no rush to find a husband.  She decides to transform Plumfield into a private school on her own and is never discouraged from chasing her dreams out of fear of appearing unladylike.  Although Jo ultimately settles down with Professor Bhaer, she does so on her own terms, showing readers that women can maintain their independence no matter where their lives lead them.

Denver in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

While she is not the main character in Toni Morrison’s chilling novel, Denver is nonetheless an important one.  Concerned by her mother’s deteriorating health and mental state, Denver leaves her home after twelve years of confinement to search for help.  With no guidance and minimal education, Denver finds her old teacher, Lady Jones, and is not only able to return home with food and supplies but also find a job for herself.  Denver’s strength is no small feat. She must defy her mother’s previous orders, venture out into the world without aid, and finally admit to Beloved’s malignancy—despite the fact that Denver believes she is her sister’s spirit—in order to save her mother’s life.

Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre 

Brontë’s Jane Eyre describes the hardships and struggles of the title character, an orphan brought up largely by her cruel aunt and an abusive headmaster.  Jane exhibits admirable bravery throughout the book. From leaving Lowood to become a governess to fleeing Thornfield to returning to profess her undying love for Rochester, Jane constantly follows her instincts, even when she does not have an exact plan.  Known for her iconic line, “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me,” Jane Eyre offers a depiction of personal bravery that all people can emulate.

Maya Angelou in her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 

Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings recounts the countless instances of racism, trauma, and horror that Angelou endured throughout her young life.  Despite such innumerable atrocities, Angelou’s memoir is a portrait of her own perseverance. She emerges stronger every step of the way, with a new lesson learned or another harsh reality accepted.  In the end, Angelou depicts herself blossoming as a confident, young mother and a strong, driven woman.

Happy Women’s History Month! Until next time, 

Charlotte Beaurontё

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

“All my heart is yours,” Books

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020
In my opinion, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers one of the prettiest views in the city.

Hello readers!

 I am one of the new interns for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press for the next few months!  I am very excited to share my thoughts, experiences, and, of course, good reads with you from time to time.  As a lover of classic literature, I’ll be going by the nom-de-plume Charlotte Beaurontё.  Jane Eyre was one of my favorite books from high school and it helped me understand why “the classics” are so everlasting.

Seeing as this is my first blog post, I find it fitting to offer a brief introduction of myself.  For the past four years, I have spent most of my time in New York going to school. I truly believe that New York City is a center of all things, and I love having easy access to so many museums, libraries, parks, and neighborhoods all at once.  While I live in the Bronx, my weekend travels often bring me to SoHo and Greenwich Village to relax in Washington Square Park, do a little window shopping, or scope out my new favorite coffee shop. Speaking of coffee, I would not be here without it.  I am a firm believer that coffee is its own food group, and the quickest way to my heart is a La Colombe latte.

When I’m not in the city, I’m home in New Jersey spending time with my family.  We are avid hockey fans (Let’s go Devils!) and love attending games together. My siblings and I all played different sports growing up, which perhaps explains my minor competitive streak (that or the fact that I’m the middle child). We also have an adorable West Highland terrier, Bella, who is the true favorite child, whether my parents will admit it or not.

While I often feel like I am running from one activity to the next, I love to make time to slow down, light some candles, and curl up with a good book.  I am constantly looking for new places to read and hope to explore some new libraries this semester.  My favorite thing about books is the fact that they allow you to learn about different cultures, lifestyles, time periods, and even worlds that you might not otherwise be able to.  While I’m a sucker for classics, I love the increasing levels of diversity in modern publishing. I hope to see this trend continue and am interested to watch how the industry changes.

Whenever I visit The Strand Bookstore in lower Manhattan, I spent a great deal of my time (and money) in the poetry section.

I can’t wait to explore all facets of publishing at Beaufort this semester and am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you!

Until next time, 

Charlotte Beaurontё

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

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.

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