Sarabande intern Danika Isdahl shares a tip for surviving awkward questions during the holidays.
"So, what’s next for you?”
It was Thanksgiving 2013, and we were all seated around the dinner table. My aunt was the first to ask The Question—a natural one, considering I would graduate with my B.A. in English in just a few short months. I managed to mumble a bunch of stuff including the words "grant project" and "make it through finals" before shoving a giant forkful of mashed potatoes into my mouth. My aunt, appeased, changed the subject, but I was left wondering in sudden dismay: what was next?
In college, my interests were decidedly literary. I was the editor of my college literary journal for three years and boosted our funding each year. I filled the rest of my waking hours with the aforesaid grant project, which involved (miraculously) writing a full-length short story manuscript. Despite all this, when it came to my plans post-college, I had only a vague notion of myself in a pair of killer black pumps chatting by the water cooler about the latest fiction titles for monetary compensation. The clearest part of that picture, unfortunately, was the shoes.
Perhaps you're anticipating a similar question at your family dinner this year. May I suggest you don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to find a solution like I did? After all, nothing will impress a table full of relatives like being able to say you're pursuing a high-profile internship at an award-winning independent publisher—which, in the end, became the “what’s next” for me.
As a Sarabande intern, I've been able to learn from some of the best in the business. Interns at Sarabande gain comprehensive exposure to the independent publishing world—from manuscript acquisition to starred reviews— and learn how their specific skill sets can be applied in this field. And, yes, sometimes I even wear killer black pumps.
We're accepting applications now through December 15. Visit sarabandebooks.org/internships for more details and to apply.