Spineless Wonders loves its interns! They have been responsible for some of our terrific online campaigns, exciting digital products, creative booktrailers and many, many high quality published stories and articles. Our popular online bookclub was inspired by intern, Melissa-Jane Fogarty who now runs her own editing business and our terrific newsletter, Sluglines, was first set up by intern, Carrie Leach. Many of our interns have gone on to secure jobs in the publishing and related industry.
We recently caught up with some of our former interns and asked them to look back at their internship/work experience with Spineless Wonders and tell us about any highlights and anything they found useful from the experience. We also asked about other internships they have undertaken.
Of course, we are curious about what happens to our interns, so we asked what they are doing now – workwise, in any further study or training as well as other interests outside of work. We asked what they were reading or writing. And finally we asked them to look towards the horizon and say where they see themselves in the future.
We are delighted to bring you the first in an ongoing series on our interns, Where Are They Now.
I interned with Spineless Wonders in 2013 as a part of my Master of Publishing university degree and there’s no doubt that it was the most enjoyable part of my study because for the first time I got to be really hands-on in the publishing industry.
I worked on the women’s long story competition, The Amanda Lohrey Selects series, where I created the ebooks for the shortlisted stories that were released fortnightly. I only had knowledge of InDesign from my university study (which really wasn’t much) but part of what made the internship so great was that Bronwyn Mehan (publisher at Spineless Wonders) allowed me to dive right in and just have a go. I made some mistakes and my first releases were certainly not perfect, but it didn’t matter because each time I would correct those mistakes, fix it up and do better the next time.
I liaised with the authors involved and that really built up my confidence, not only because were all so lovely, but because as a student of publishing I had such a love of books and their creators (and still do!) that I felt a little intimidated, so being able to communicate with these wonderfully creative people really prepared me for the industry.
Bronwyn was always open to new ideas too so when I pitched the idea of an online book club she was more than happy to try it out, and it really was a great way to encourage not only the reading of the stories but the understanding of them.
Spineless Wonders was the perfect stepping-stone for the running of my own business (MJ Editing) where I work as a freelance editor and proofreader for a couple of small publishing companies as well as a bunch of independent authors that come my way via social media and word of mouth. I now liaise with publishing companies and authors on a regular basis and I am always coming up with new ideas to further my business.
I have such a love of the publishing industry – the books, the creators and the stories – and there are so many new and exciting ways that people are accessing writing, so my goal for the future is to continue freelancing, but growing and adapting to the ever-changing environment.
In addition to my editing, I am also working on a children’s book series that I hope to begin publishing this year, as well as a bunch of other novels that I will get around to finishing in the coming years. So plenty of exciting things ahead!
Former Spineless Wonders intern, Melissa-Jane Fogarty, is a freelance editor and proofreader for MJ Editing. Melissa regularly works with publishing companies Fontaine Press and Publicious as well as with independent authors and on genres ranging from literature, sci-fi, self-help, young adult and children’s stories covering both fiction and non-fiction. Melissa lives on the Central Coast of NSW with her fiancé and two dogs. You can contact Melissa via email: email@example.com or through her website: mjediting.com/
I first started interning with Spineless Wonders as a part of my publishing masters degree at Sydney University. At the time, I had already been interning in the marketing department of a Big Five publisher for a few months and was interested to see how the experiences would compare. With the other publisher, my role had mostly been to help out on a variety of things – I did lots of different tasks for lots of different people each day. My internship at Spineless gave me the opportunity to take control of a brand new project; I was given a lot of responsibility and variety in my work which gave me a huge advantage after university.
The project I worked on was an email newsletter to showcase the upcoming events and releases in the Spineless Wonders calendar. It gave me the opportunity to use and develop the three main areas of interest I’d been studying at uni: design, writing and technology. I felt very lucky to be offered an internship with that level of variety, in areas which I loved to work in. I loved the amount of control I had with the project. I had the freedom to design images, write articles and choose software according to how I thought best for the newsletter, with Bronwyn providing valuable feedback and suggestions.
The experience working there also proved invaluable to me in my work. Now, I’m working in design and communications at a company in Sydney. What I do now is similar to what I worked on during my internship, with a lot of creativity and independent work involved. The internship experience has definitely helped me out a lot here!
In the future, I’d like to continue writing. Reading and writing are two big parts of my life and I loved
the experience I had in my internship. After working at Spineless Wonders, I would definitely love to explore working in publishing again.
One of my main roles during my internship with Spineless Wonders was the promotion of the microliterature anthology Writing to the Edge and its contributors through the SW blog and social media platforms. These were activities that I had previously had very little experience with and the opportunity to explore these outlets in a professional setting was invaluable. A particular highlight was working with Hootsuite, the social media management system. This was my first experience with Hootsuite which became incredibly helpful in semester two of my masters when an assessment required a hypothetical marketing plan.
Most recently I have read Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing both of which I would recommend if you have not already explored them. While I’m currently planning a 2 month trip around Europe and intend chasing the dream of working in publishing as soon as I return.
Evelyn Araluen Corr
I began with Spineless Wonders in 2012 with the relatively unclear idea that I wanted to be involved with the publishing industry. My goal was to work in the area of interactive ebooks when I had completed my degree, or one of the many degrees that I wanted to take. I came across Spineless Wonders through one of my father’s friends, Julie Chevalier, whose novel Permission to Lie was published by Spineless Wonders in 2012. I loved the idea of a publishing company so invested in the future, and the new and exciting developments which have been revolutionising the way that we read. I really enjoyed making book trailers for some fantastic publications; although when it was first suggested to me I didn’t even know what a book trailer was. Click here for an example.
My career trajectory has changed slightly since I began interning with Spineless Wonders. I finished my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English last October, and have since begun a PhD at the University of Sydney, focusing on Indigenous and Postcolonial writing. In February of this year I had the opportunity to present at a conference with the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, where I discussed the importance of social media spaces for contemporary Indigenous scholarship. My paper, although focused on the demographic of Aboriginal writing, was still greatly informed by what I had learnt during my time with Spineless Wonders.
Throughout my time at the University of Sydney, I have edited, and written for several journals and newspapers at my University of Sydney, such as Honi Soit, http://honisoit.com/author/evelyn-corr/, Hermes, and ARNA, again using skills I had developed throughout my internship. In my spare time, not that I have much as a postgraduate student, I slowly continue to write a novel which will probably never be read, and update a blog approximately once a year, despite my original plan of weekly posts. I’m very grateful for my involvement with Spineless Wonders, and hope that the publishing industry continues to embrace an exciting and accessible future with the enthusiasm of SW.