Notes from June, 2015

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
—John Donne


Greetings to our Green Writers Press Community,

My daughter, Emma, is doing okay after such a tough car accident June 4th. Next Thursday, I will help get her settled in an outpatient rehab apartment in NYC. I am in awe of her strength and so proud of her spirit—her cousin, Molly, a junior high English teacher at Horace Mann, is also doing well, and both girls will be walking after Labor Day! I am trying my best to get things back up to speed with the press and it is going well—it is great to be back at work after a month spent at Yale-New Haven Hospital. I am so fortunate to be part of a community of understanding writers, editors, printers, and readers! Our books may be a bit delayed—but not by much! The big news is I have the help and support of two fabulous interns, An Nguyen (from Bennington College) and Flannery Wiest (Smith College). Thanks to everyone for the prayers, meditations, thoughts and kind words.

Here is what Flannery has to say about becoming an intern with the press, and how she got here:


Flannery Wiest, GWP summer editorial intern, has a nice view from her daily reading in Northampton, Mass.

Flannery Wiest, GWP summer editorial intern, has a nice view from her daily reading in Northampton, Mass.

By early April, the panic was a familiar friend.

“Make sure to fill out your forms for an internship stipend,” said the emails from my university.

“How’s the internship search going?” asked my parents over every phone call.

Just fine, really.

Every morning I eagerly opened my email, sure that finally, finally, one of the New York publishing houses would have replied. Talking myself out of this conviction became easier as the weeks passed, and in its place rose an all-encompassing worry.

Desperate, I emailed my program director, and he threw me the name Green Writers Press and an email. I did some research, sent in an application, and before the day was out had been offered a position for the summer.

“You had good timing,” said Dede when I talked to her in person.

Little did she know.

I could tell from our first conversation that not getting an internship in one of the big New York publishing houses was one of the best things that could have happened, and two weeks of work hasn’t proven me wrong. This is not your typical office dynamic; I have been welcomed wholeheartedly into a community, and couldn’t be happier to have such a personal, enthusiastic environment in which to learn and work.

Two weeks, and I’ve already learned so much. I’ve dipped my toes into so many pools: reading manuscripts, searching for rights and permissions, writing press releases, querying reviewers, looking over submissions and sending out their replies. Conversations with Dede and my fellow intern, An, go between the specifics of our current projects and broad lessons about the publishing industry. As both an aspiring publisher and a creative writer, I feel like I’ve miraculously gotten access to the do-and-don’t-secrets of the trade, and collect them gleefully for the time—if it comes—when I start submitting my own manuscripts. Above all, I know I’m doing actual, important work, and I appreciate that more than anything else.

A few months of panic and uncertainty were worth it; I’m ridiculously glad my inbox remained empty. Who wants to live in New York, anyway?

—Flannery Wiest, Editorial Intern/GWP