From the other side: reflections on internships

I had a checklist I needed to complete in order to graduate from college: Fulfill the requisite number of courses in the English major to prove competency in American and British literature. Pass, with a high enough grade to prove I can do more than count to ten, basic math. Demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. And most important of all (at least in the eyes of a future employer), complete an internship. Internship. The word can strike fear and bring excitement, depending on which side of the aisle a student stands on. With most employers requiring college students to have some kind of experience upon graduation, the competitiveness of these positions has risen in recent years. On the other hand, for those students without a clear-cut idea of what they want do when they graduate, choosing an internship can be a daunting task. I knew by my junior year of college that I wanted to make a career for myself in the publishing industry. With my focus on and interest in editing, I chose to intern at Oak Knoll Press—the only antiquarian publishing house in the United States … and it just so happens to reside in my home state of Delaware. While I value my time at Oak Knoll Press, the lessons I learned while interning there have little to do with the publishing industry. As an undergraduate intern, I focused on the small picture: earning a satisfactory grade; keeping my supervisor happy; pleasing my coworkers. I learned the everyday nuances of office life, but I failed to think ahead at how my time at Oak Knoll...

Guest Blogger: Editor Cindy Sproles

She’s not an editor at Bling! … but she’s very important to the world of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I’ve invited Cindy Sproles to come and tell you all about her non-fiction arm of LPC. FROM CINDY SPROLES: Welcome to the world of non-fiction. I’d like to tell you I could take you to galaxies far away where legions of star battles ensue, but that would be fiction. Instead, my goal is to immerse you into the world where information is but a touch of the Kindle away. Let me introduce you to my world – the world of non-fiction – SonRise Devotionals and Straight Street Books. When Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was born, our first book was Spirit and Heart: A Devotional Journey. Little did we know what God had in store for this small arm of Christian Devotions Ministries. We quickly found when you say yes to God’s work, the surprises never cease. Spirit and Heart: A Devotional Journey was the beginning. It was the training ground for what God would grow for the future – SonRise Devotionals. Over the last three years, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and SonRise Devotionals have published some 35+ devotional books. These books would become the stepping-stones for the continued growth of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Since our heart has always been to teach others about God through the simplicity of a devotion, LPC has remained faithful in seeking out and publishing devotional books that reach every facet of individuals. From parenting to aging. Exercise to eldercare. Laughter to heartache – SonRise Devotionals touch everyone wishing to develop...

Guest Blogger: Editor Deb Haggerty

  THE ART OF EXCEPTIONAL EDITING  by Deb Haggerty ed•it \’e-dət\ vt [back-formation fr. editor] (1791) 1 a : to prepare (as literary material) for publication or public presentation b : to assemble (as a moving picture or tape recording) by cutting and rearranging c : to alter, adapt, or refine esp. to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, p. 396) Editing is the icing on the book “cake.” After the author has labored with blood, sweat, and tears great effort to produce a manuscript, the editor takes a hand to make the manuscript as perfect as can be. The obvious first step is to read the document. In the “old” days, we’d do that with a red pencil in hand—making notes along the way as to what needed to be changed, tightened up, or deleted. We’d look for clichés and tired illustrations as well as grammar and punctuation errors. And typos—amazing what misteaks mistakes exhausted fingers can produce! Today our job is much the same, except that we labor with Track Changes instead of a red pencil or pen. The computer has made editing both easier and more difficult. Editing is easier because we can make a suggested change, undo the change, and make another change with the click of a mouse instead of trying to write between the lines. We can add comments that are easily read and then deleted when answered or the problem is fixed. We can instantly reformat pages or quotes. This ease has a difficult side as well. Because the changes are so easy, we can...

Announcement: Diamond Awards

I know from first-hand experience that contests can be an outstanding opportunity to shape the career of a writer. Benefits can include: Prestige. Attaching your name and project to an award adds a certain amount of cachet to your writing resume. Opportunity. Entering a contest where agents and editors serve as judges puts your work in front of them in a way that leaps over their slush piles. If you final – or even win! – you may also have the added bonus of garnering the interest of an agent or getting that novel into print. Increased Professionalism. Preparing for a contest hones skills like writing toward a deadline, revising and polishing your work, and (finding the worst case positive!) developing a more casual relationship with the possibility of rejection. For these – and many more – reasons, I am so excited to share this news! 2015 not only marks the release of our first novels – Mercy’s Rescue by Debra Holt in November and Catch of a Lifetime by Candee Fick in December – but we’re also kicking off what we hope will become an annual event: THE BLING! DIAMOND AWARDS will highlight excellence in contemporary romantic fiction. The contest will provide three finalists the opportunity for unbiased feedback on their work by professional editors and agents. In addition, one winner will win a Grand Prize Package to include priority consideration toward the possibility of a contract with Bling! Romance for publication of their book. For more information on deadlines, contest entries, and final round judges, you’ll find all the specifics on the Contest page. Sandie Bricker, Managing...

MEET & GREET: Heritage Beacon Books

Historical fiction is a reliable and much-loved genre for readers. Although Bling! only publishes contemporary fiction, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas has the bases covered. I’m excited to introduce you all to Ann Tatlock, Managing Editor of Heritage Beacon Historical Fiction from LPC.   FROM ANN TATLOCK:  Unless a way is found to travel through time by wiggling through cosmic wormholes, our best hope for experiencing history is through stories. But what a journey a well-written story can be! Historical fiction writers have the remarkable opportunity to resurrect the people and events of long-ago eras, making them come alive in the reader’s imagination. At Heritage Beacon, we print powerful stories that serve as that vehicle of time travel for those who long to visit the past. Let me tell you about a few of the times and places to which our books will take you: Our first book, “The Yuletide Angel” by Sandra Ardoin, rolled off the presses in October 2014. This popular novella carries you to the fictional town of Meadowmead at Christmastime in the 1890s. Through it you will experience one young woman’s courageous search for independence, and her desire to help others in spite of danger to herself. January 2015 brought the release of our second book, “Laurel,” by Susan Craft. This book transports us even farther back in time, to 1783 and the turbulent days just after the Revolutionary War. When a young couple’s daughter is kidnapped, they embark on a journey to find her. And what trials and adventures they encounter along the way! Ever wonder what it was like to be a patriot...

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