Monday, November 29, 2010

Intern 101: If you don’t like something, keep your mouth shut?? 

Hey Edsters!

An interesting situation presented itself this week. But before I explain, I should first mention that I blog outside of the magazine world — nothing serious, just a personal blog on issues that interest or infuriate me.

So this week, a pretty controversial article hit newsstands — one that (despite the magazine’s usual credentials) begs for criticism or at least an outline of how it fell short in its reporting and subject portrayal. And so while all would be perfect for an exciting and honest critique, there’s a catch: I interned with this magazine last year.

And so the dilemma: Is it job-hunting suicide to openly criticize a magazine you know you’ll one day approach for a job?

Monday, November 22, 2010

An Unofficial Q&A with my EAs — How Do I Land Your Job?! 

Hey Edsters!

So the two EA’s (Editorial Assistants) in my office are super cool, really young and totally friendly, and a few weeks back, they suggested we set aside a day where they could take the interns out for lunch (read: to the downstairs cafeteria, on The Mag’s tab). Today was the day, and so the two EAs, my co-intern and I all headed downstairs together for an hour-long lunch. (Which I guess is rare in itself, as interns in our office get 35 minutes and the EAs pretty much have to eat at their desks!).

Once we’d ordered our food and the corporate card was swiped, we found a table and settled into some casual conversation. It was really nice to see the relaxed side of my editors as everything from boyfriends to embarrassing high school stories was discussed. (Yes, my co-intern and EA share a history of marching band/orchestra!)

But after 40 or so minutes of chitchat, they opened the floor for questions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

With the Celeb Binder, Tabloids and Gossip are Just the Beginning 

Hey Edsters!

It’s been another busy day in the office, but what’s great about these days is 1. they fly by, and 2. I have another fun project to report back to you! Basically today I compiled two humongo binders with all the info, gossip and interviews you could ever want on Celeb A and Celeb B — aka The Mag’s January and February Cover Girls.

These binders, also referred to as professional bios or packets, are used at tons of magazines for all kinds of interviews, not just cover stories. They’re compiled (often by interns), for a freelancer, staff writer, or even an award-winning contributor who will review the binder before going into the interview. Mine started off with a color photo on the cover, as well as a list of what would be found inside the binder: Previous Profiles and Magazine Features; Q&As; News Coverage; Tabloids and Gossip; Performance Reviews and Critiques; and any fun tidbits or taboo topics the author should know to reference politely, casually, or avoid altogether.

Fun, fun, fun. At least for the first few hours.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Firsthand Tips from a Friendly Features Editor

Hey Edsters!

So just after I arrived at work this morning, the Features Editor rushed by and handed me a 16-page article. She apologized for the tedious project, but quickly explained that she couldn’t find the story’s original digital copy on her computer and she needed a transcription, pronto.

So I sat down with the article and started typing it out word for word. But I soon realized that as great as the topic was, the story wasn’t written in the typical Mag voice and it definitely included some odd sentence structure and a few grammatical mistakes. Obviously, it wasn’t my job to edit or alter the article in any way, but when I returned it to my editor, I did ask if she’d mind me asking a question or two about the piece.

She honestly surprised me by being super friendly and happy to talk about it, so I asked if the article was a freelance piece. When she confirmed that it was, I happily explained that I really enjoy editing and that it was pretty cool to see the raw copy that would eventually turn into a final print article.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spending $1,100: It's All in a Day’s Work

Hey fellow Edsters!

So every month, when the newest issue of The Mag comes out, bookstores, newsstands and subscribers aren’t the only ones anxious for their spanking new copies. In fact, when it comes to national magazines, among the first to get the new issues are all the other international editions of the publication. Yup — I’m talking The Mag in India, The Mag in Czech Republic, and The Mag editions in Japan and South Africa. They all get copies of the US edition shipped to their offices with love by the features interns in the New York Editorial Office.

The work is tedious and it’s the same every month. Basically, UPS forms are filled out online, specifying what’s being sent, how much it weighs, its declared value and how it needs to be delivered. And after filling this out for 25+ international editions, plus printing the labels, stuffing the envelopes and shipping off all the packages, you’ve definitely fulfilled your interning duties for the day.

But so today, as I was clicking and licking away, I found it super interesting that to send ONE COPY of the magazine, a one-pound shipment can cost anywhere from $60 to 130 USD!