In the first half of 2015, I did a sub-editing internship for Spineless Wonders, a small Australian publishing house.
As it goes within the creative industry, I first encountered Bronwyn Mehan—the editor-in-chief of Spineless Wonders—at a poetry reading event whilst already interning for the South Coast Writers Centre. Internships beget internships. I initially did some submission-reading work for Spineless Wonders (panning for nuggets of gold amongst slews of unsolicited short stories), until they coordinated a large team of interns for their large project, Michael McGirr Selects, a series of digital long stories.
The project itself was interesting to work on, as it gave me the chance to read and proof already-selected and edited quality fiction, and provided an insight into the many tiny steps that must be taken between acceptance and publication. We were separated into pairs and given two stories to work on together, and I was blessed with the beautiful Sofia Casanova as my partner, whom I have since worked with, and who has a stunning book blog well worth checking out.
After the long process of quadruple checking each story for errors and the delicate task of making grammatical suggestions to authors where necessary, the group came back together to help choose cover images for each story. After that, our work was done until the launch, with the exception of participating in online book club discussions of each story, mediated by Spineless Wonders. If there is anything to be said for internet book clubs, it’s that you can comment on your observations whilst on a treadmill at the gym. Hurrah for this generation of technology and multitasking. I can’t wait until I’m composing poetry whilst helping my future husband give birth.
The launch itself was a pleasant evening; we were able to meet Michael McGirr himself and to hear live readings from the stories we helped bring to online publication. You can read a blog review of the event on the Spineless Wonders website if you so wish, and if you’d like to see a particularly unflattering shot of me trying to look like I’m casually discussing modern fiction authors I’ve never heard of.