English 453

Shenandoah Internship/ English 453                                                      Fall, 2013

English 453: Internship in Literary Editing will again be offered (for juniors and seniors) by Shenandoah editor R. T. Smith during the fall term of 2013.  Class meetings and individual office work will take place in our new suite of offices at 17 Courthouse Square.

If you were already taking 453, what might you be doing this week as an intern in the magazine’s office? You might be helping out with proofreading or logging in and examining manuscripts submitted for publication.  You’d certainly be participating in a weekly seminar, discussing the literary community and the history and possibilities of the literary journal, both print and on-line versions.  You’d be discussing the purposes and formats of book reviews and preparing to write a book recommendation of your own.  You might also be reading and assessing short stories and poems submitted by both novice writers and well-known figures from Robert Wrigley and Claudia Emerson to Joyce Carol Oates.  You might be polishing up a news release or some creative work of your own. 

Other activities for interns include making presentations on literary journals, reading articles in which editors explain their choices and copyediting accepted manuscripts.  You might be helping to choose finalists for prizes and actually discussing which work will appear in the spring, 2013 on-line edition of this sixty-year-old source and archive of literary art.  And you’d take your turn posting Poems of the Week on the campus notices, contacting bloggers about new features in Shenandoah, corresponding with contributing writers, spreading the word about Shenandoah’s new digital profile on social networking sites.  You would be blogging from our Snopes site, posting your ideas and responding to readers on matters ranging from the language controversy of Huckleberry Finn, the supposed shrinking audience for the short story, chick lit and chuck lit, the poetry of political engagement, poetry slams, movies made from books and the many crazy things writers say.

In short, an internship at Shenandoah is valuable to anyone interested in the writing and publishing world, anyone who wants to refine his or her own writing and anyone who wants to make a difference at a crucial moment in the evolution of an established and respected but evolving literary journal.

This course may be applied to the English major or Creative Writing minor or serve as an elective credit.  For further information about how to sign up, contact the editor at rodsmith@wlu.edu or drop by the Shenandoah offices in at 17 Courthouse Square.  We promise you the grand tour, and you can touch our Virginia Governor’s Award for Achievement in the Arts.