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Successful Interns: Bradley Englert

Our English department internship coordinator, Dr. Angela Jones, has helped build connections with many businesses and organizations over the years, providing students with a wide range of internship opportunities. While this is a fantastic resource, all students are encouraged to form their own relationships with employers to develop internships outside of the department. By doing this, English majors can truly customize their internship experiences and college education. You want to write scripts? Make connections with a local theater and become an intern. Want to facilitate newsletters and blog content for a business? Go out, find one, and talk to them about it!

Bradley Englert and his girlfriend Taylor Harrison.

Bradley Englert and his girlfriend Taylor Harrison.

Senior Bradley Englert did just that. A double major in creative writing and film, Bradley has been an editorial intern for John Joseph Adams (well-known editor, anthologist, publisher, and owner of both Lightspeed Magazine and Nightmare Magazine) since June 2013. If you have no clue who John Joseph Adams is, here is a short bio on him: He’s published over 25 short story anthologies both in the science fiction and fantasy genres, and he’ll be the editor for the upcoming “Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthologies. Lightspeed Magazine focuses on fantasy and science fiction short stories while Nightmare Magazine focuses on horror, and those both publish monthly online and in eBook form. He has worked with authors such as George R.R. Martin, Ursula K. Le Guin, Simon R. Green, Kate Elliott, Neil Gaiman, and Robert Silverberg.

Bradley is a perfect example of going out and finding your own internship. He had fantastic comments about his experience.

What kind of responsibilities did you have?

One of the many covers for Lightspeed Magazine.

One of the many covers for Lightspeed Magazine.

My responsibilities have grown throughout my internship. They first began with editing transcriptions and transcribing interviews with authors that would be used for publication in Lightspeed. Then I started doing some light editing on short stories that would be published in Lightspeed or Nightmare​, and then I got into slush reading. For those who don’t know, the unsolicited stories that are submitted to publishers are called “slush,” so I was going through however many stories a day and giving short summaries of them and my thoughts on them so that John could decide rather to accept or reject a submission. I’ve also done several interviews with authors about their short stories which were published in Lightspeed, and these interviews run alongside the stories when they are published. I was given the opportunity to learn both eBook design and print design using Adobe InDesign. Recently, I proofread John’s newest anthology, which he co-edited with Wool author Hugh Howey, called The End is Nigh. The tasks that I’ve been assigned have been varied and worthwhile, there was never any of the stereotypical coffee-fetching (which would’ve been quite difficult considering it’s an online internship), and it’s been an amazing introduction into the world of publishing.

Why did you choose to do that particular internship? How did you find the opportunity?

In February of last year I was internship-less, and everyone hears the horror stories of not finding internships, and also about how important internships are, so I started hunting around online. I’ve always loved editing, writing, and science fiction and fantasy, so I was really looking for any internship opportunity in those fields. I applied for what I could find at the big publishing houses, but at the time there weren’t too many summer internships going around. I came across Lightspeed​ magazine online, and I read some of the stories there, and they were all incredible. I dug around until I found John’s email address, and then sent him an email introducing myself and explaining that I wanted to work in publishing and that I would love to intern for him. Thankfully, he responded quickly, asked for a resumé, what some of my favorite short stories were, and which authors I liked. After some back and forth, he gave me the position, and I couldn’t be any happier with how it has turned out.

What did you expect going into it, and did it meet or surpass those expectations?

Going in I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I knew that it would be an online internship, but I didn’t know how that would work out, or if I would get enough experience. However, with the inventions of Dropbox, Skype, and other programs it wasn’t like I was totally removed from the publishing process and doing menial tasks, everything fell into place nicely. My time at Lightspeed​ has definitely surpassed my expectations, and it’s set me on great a path toward working in publishing.

Do you think it was a beneficial experience?

Absolutely. It’s been a wonderful experience, and it seems to be working out for the best. Before I had the internship, I wasn’t entirely sure what I would be doing or where I would be going after graduation, but that worry is kind of in the back of my mind now. I’ve got some great opportunities lined up in the near future, and none of them would have been possible without John and his guidance.

Did you ever encounter situations that you didn’t know how to handle?

There was never a time where I was totally freaked out about what to do because John is such a great guy to work for, and if I was ever confused then I didn’t need to be concerned about asking for assistance. He was ready for an answer and explained all of the tasks clearly. It was definitely nerve-racking at points, like when I first started interviewing authors because I didn’t want my questions to seem pointless or vapid, and I wanted to do well, so I was always making sure that everything was as close to perfect as it could be before I would submit it to John. Really though, all of the people who I’ve worked with through this internship have been awesome, and as long as I asked questions and made sure that I was on the right track then I never felt overwhelmed.

The Way of the Wizard-One of Adams' anthologies

The Way of the Wizard-One of Adams’ anthologies.

What advice would you give to current or future interns?

Don’t be afraid to cold email people and introduce yourself. I launched emails out to a few different publishers and editors, and all of them responded, either with good or bad news. It’s definitely an anxious time while you’re waiting for emails to come back, or if you’ve applied for internships to hear back from those, but the worst you’ll ever hear is “no.” It’s not as if they’ll threaten you or do worse for applying for an internship. Then, if you’re lucky enough to land one, do the best that you can and work hard. Try to impress those you work for with your work ethic, and always remember that you’re very lucky to have an internship! Don’t let that opportunity go to waste, and by the end of the whole thing you’ll probably find that it was quite a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

For more internship information or internship successes, visit these links!

English Department Internship Program

Saxon McCullough’s Story

Chantel Bowman’s Story


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