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Can you get an internship at a publishing company?

I'm not in college yet, so it might be a little early for me to be asking, but I'd really like to be a copy editor for books and I was wondering if I could get an internship at a publishing company in the future, to scope out the environment and get more experience with the job. Will I have opportunities for this in college? If anyone has ever interned at a publishing company, what is it like? (p.s. I mean a publishing company specifically for books/novels, not really a magazine or newspaper or more journalistic organizations.)

writing writing-and-editing creative-writing editing editor internships internship interns publishing publishing-company copy-editing books novels novel-writing

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Stefania’s Answer

Hi Catherine, you've chosen a wonderful career path! Doing internships will be a truly valuable part of your college experience. And one that opens many doors. You will have that opportunity, but it's a great idea to start researching early. Do an online search for publishing houses in your area and take a look at potential internship opportunities. What are the requirements? What is the job description? This will help you prepare and position yourself for future internship requests. Research popular interview questions and if there are specific areas that you need to improve, work on improving those skills. I would also research what the current challenges are in copy editing so that you can have a leg up on the competition and position yourself as a solution. Good luck to you!

Thank you so much for your response! Now I have a better idea of what I need to do to get the internships I desire :) Catherine T.

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Allison’s Answer

There are definitely internships available on this career path. I'd look for positions called "managing editorial intern" or "production editorial intern." If you're able to spend the summer in NYC, you'll have many more options, but there are also a few trade publishers in Boston, Nashville, Chicago, and San Francisco, and academic presses at many colleges. Look for listings on,,, and individual publisher websites. If you need to stay in LA, look for other copyediting opportunities -- the skills can cross over, even if you're not working on books. You could also consider taking a copyediting class.

Our managing editorial intern does a lot of administrative tasks (like any intern) but also gets some experience going through pages and observing how the managing editor and production editors work, and how they coordinate with freelance copyeditors.

Allison recommends the following next steps:

Look for internships in the managing editorial department on,,
Look into taking a copyediting class

Thank you so much for your advice! I also saw your comment on my other question and it was incredibly insightful, so thank you again! Catherine T.

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