Hi Catherine, I'm wondering if you have any opportunities to apply for internships with either a literary agency or a publishing house? I worked in book publishing years ago and it's an exciting, dynamic environment where you are exposed to such a great range of ideas, topics and personalities. At the time, we used to have what was called 'slush' parties where all the newbies would get together and review the unsolicited manuscripts that were mailed in without a literary agent, once a month. If there's a publishing house or literary agency near you, and/or if there are limited internship opportunities, perhaps you could see if you could sit in on a slush party or two and have a chance to chat with folks about their experiences.
Valerie recommends the following next steps:
- Check out this list of literary agencies in CA - maybe there is one close to you https://literaryagencies.com/literary-agencies-in-california/