Intern Reflection: Sarah Colley


Sarah Colley, Summer Intern 2016

Sarah Colley, Summer Intern 2016

I came to Alive Literary Agency this summer with little understanding of publishing or the work of agents, and while I know that there is much left to be discovered, I leave Alive very familiar with the publishing world. At the beginning of the summer I didn’t know what I would do with my English degree—now, I feel comfortable and confident that I could land a career in the publishing industry, and that thought excites me.

From day one it was evident that everyone at Alive believed in me. I was given projects that an agent might work on—no coffee-and-bagel runs, no “busy” work. Every task that I was given had purpose, and I was told how each fit into the publishing process. These various projects challenged me and served to grow my writing and communication skills. I was shown the nuts and bolts of a literary agency; I was able to peruse real contracts and read brand-new book proposals. I was invited to sit in on conference calls with clients and publishers. I had meaningful conversations with the agents where they answered all of my questions about publishing and life. I did a fair amount of research and I learned invaluable industry secrets that I’ll never tell! Not once this summer did I feel excluded or inferior to anyone; instead, I was treated like a member of the Alive team.

As much as there was to learn at Alive, I also spent a good amount of time outside of the office, at publishing houses. I had the opportunity to visit NavPress, David. C. Cook, and Waterbrook. With each visit I was warmly welcomed as a friend and invited to observe and ask questions. On these tours I was able to see the inner workings of a publishing house and the various parts of the publishing process, from marketing strategy meetings to brainstorming sessions with authors.

I am incredibly thankful to Alive for this opportunity. Everyone I interacted with this summer was invested in my future, and all were eager to give me the knowledge and tools that I will need to succeed in the publishing industry. I learned more than I thought possible and I caught the spark that everyone here seems to share: a passion for words and the belief in their potential to impact the world we live in, for the better.