Kent State University Press Internships
Established in 1965, the Kent State University Press (KSUP) is a professional publisher of scholarly books and journals. Our books are distributed around the world, and we have earned a reputation for being a quality small press. We publish circa 35 books per year as well as two journals, Civil War History and Ohio History. Our publishing program features American historical and literary studies as well as regional-interest titles, military history, foreign relations, creative nonfiction, and anthropology/archaeology. (See kentstateuniversitypress.com for more information.)
The Press operation is divided into administrative, acquisitions, editorial, marketing, and design/production departments. Undergraduate interns work primarily in the acquisitions and editorial departments. But, as part of the full publishing experience, they also work with the Press’s other units in order to get a feel for the larger process of bookmaking.
The internship is designed to give motivated students excellent experience within a publishing environment and to enhance and complement their study of language, literature, and history. As evidence of the success and effectiveness of the program, over the past 10 years 13 KSUP interns have graduated and secured jobs within academic and trade publishing houses.
- Senior standing is preferred. The spring of the Junior year is a good time to begin the application process. Applicants will need to have a GPA of 3.5 in his/her major and an overall GPA of 3.2, but we do make exceptions with strong faculty recommendations. We limit the number of interns to two or three per academic year. Outstanding Sophomore applicants will be considered; however, preference is given to Seniors.
- A two-semester commitment is required. There is a tremendous amount to learn and do—much more than even two semesters can accommodate. The editorial production of a book takes 10–12 months, so in order for students to see a project from manuscript to bound book, interns need to be in-house for two consecutive semesters.
- While students should be interested in learning more about careers in publishing, a clear commitment to or even understanding of publishing is not required. This internship should help them decide whether they will enjoy the work and are suited to it. It is not necessary that the student be an English or History major, but he/she should have a solid grounding in composition and grammar, be detail oriented, have excellent analytical skills, and be able to work independently.
- Interns are required to work at the Press 10 hours each week, between 9:00 and 5:00 Monday through Friday. There is no evening or weekend work; all hours must be worked at the Press offices. We are more than willing to schedule hours around class schedules and leave it to the student to determine his/her schedule. We also ask students to make up time missed due to absences. Interns are not required to work during University breaks and holidays.
- It is essential that interns be confident and comfortable with computers. The editorial department uses PCs; the other departments work on Macs.
Course Credit and Faculty Sponsorship
- Interns earn three Independent Investigation credit hours (graded, not pass/fail) per semester. Selected applicants are interviewed and then notified of their assignment.
- Interested applicants are to have a publishing faculty member "sponsor" their internship. The faculty member will register the student for the semesters and also assign the grade as determined by the Press. We see this faculty-student relationship as important in helping to place the work of academic publishing within the context of the intern's chosen major, be it History or English. Contact between the intern and his/her faculty sponsor should include at least two meetings during the course of the semester. The hope is that a dialogue will take place between teacher-scholar—who sees publishing from "the other side"—and student-editor about the work of (and relationship between) editor and author. If a student is unsure of how to secure a faculty sponsor, he/she should consult with the department's coordinator of Undergraduate Studies, who may also serve as a sponsor.
- The KSUP editors will be in contact with the faculty sponsor throughout the internship and will write progress reports at the end of each semester.
- Acquisitions. Students will become familiar with the Press's publishing program by working with the acquiring editor, assisting in correspondence (rejection letters, submission information, etc.), writing reports on proposed projects, researching outside evaluators, and helping prepare information for quarterly Editorial Board meetings.
- Manuscripts. At first students are asked to do such mundane tasks as checking to see that all pages are present in an author’s manuscript, that notes are numbered properly, that bibliographical information is correct, etc. In this way interns become acquainted with the beginning steps of copyediting and become aware of the attention to detail that is required.
Since editing has specific symbols, we spend considerable time going over how to mark a manuscript correctly—how to insert, delete, transpose, etc. Since a typesetter/designer will be reading the symbols, it is important they be accurate.
Interns will work primarily with The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) and MLA, though there are other styles we use in our copyediting work. Early on there will be some learning exercises to familiarize them with these styles.
Electronic editing is also introduced, including disk preparation, online editing techniques, comparison program operation, and textual correction strategies. His/Her level of computer proficiency will determine how much of this sort of editorial work an intern does.
- Proofs. Interns are introduced to the typeset page when they are asked to mark specific errors using proofreaders’ symbols. Later, they will check to see if the typesetter has incorporated the corrections and check for any new errors introduced. These assignments serve as a good starting point for the next stage of the internship, proofreading. By the end of the first semester, students are usually given a set of page proofs and a master copy of the manuscript to do a word-for-word proofreading. This is where they become familiar with our style guides and learn to use them for problem solving.
- Editing. During the second semester, interns will begin simple copyediting assignments. An assortment of other copyediting tasks will also be assigned, including reconciling authorial corrections to an edited manuscript. Work with journal articles is a good place for early practice in copyediting and basic text markup.
- Indexing. Interns will be asked to perform a variety of editorial work with compiled indexes, including cross-checking, blind-checking, alphabetizing, subcategorizing, making pagination corrections, etc. Simple index compilation may be assigned in the second semester.
The Application Process
Secure a faculty sponsor, who then signs the application.
Complete the application and send to the Press (address on application). While there is no deadline (we will accept new intern candidates up to the first week of school each Fall semester, we encourage you to apply early, as it’s a competitive program.
Secure two letters of reference (one can be from your sponsor); have the letters sent directly Press.
Press editors will contact eligible candidates to schedule an interview.
Selected interns will be notified.
- Press editors will contact faculty sponsors to get course registration under way.