Emerald City Literary Agency is excited to announce an opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) to explore the career of a literary agent in a focused, 12-week intensive training program. ECLA recognizes that literary agents act as gatekeepers, and yet there are very few BIPOC agents within the industry. We are committed to fixing this imbalance. We know that providing a single internship can’t fix the disparity of representation for the whole industry, but it’s a tiny step we can take to be part of the solution.
While we hope this internship leads to a permanent position at ECLA, the emphasis is on training for the career in general. Historically, entry into the publishing industry required moving to New York City while working, usually unpaid, as an intern. These internships often focused on reader reports and screening queries, without providing training for the full duties of being an agent. This structure prevents many people from exploring (or succeeding!) in this career field.
ECLA represents exclusively kidlit books, from picture books through young adult. We are seeking a candidate who is well read and passionate about projects in that age range. It is perfectly fine if you’re most interested in only some of those age groups, or in specific genres. Each agent at ECLA focuses on the age groups and genres they are most passionate about.
A 12-week remote paid internship, with a 10-hour per week commitment. This internship does not require any in-person attendance or travel, however a computer and internet connection sufficient for Zoom meetings and other tasks is necessary. A stipend of $200 per week is provided. Some flexibility in the schedule can be accommodated, as we anticipate that candidates have other commitments (work, family, etc). ECLA agents are based in both Pacific and Eastern Time zones, and scheduled training is expected to occur in late afternoon or evening on a mutually agreeable day.
The internship has two facets:
- Training: Zoom calls (1-2 hours weekly) with the agency. Each call will include a presentation on such topics as:
- Reader reports: What is useful? How much detail should you share?
- Queries: What makes a query effective? How do you decide what to request?
- Market trends: What is selling? What is a “hard sell?”
- Submissions: How do agents submit to publishers? How do strategies differ from project to project?
- Creating industry contacts
- Publisher structure: Big 5, indies, imprints… and how to handle simultaneous submissions.
- Negotiations: Deal memo, auctions, pre-empts, etc.
- Contracts: Boilerplate language and contract walk-through
- After the sale: What to expect from the editorial process, marketing teams, etc.
- Subrights: Dramatic, Foreign, and Audio
- Clients: How to manage careers, whether unpublished, debut, or bestseller
- Screening queries
- Reading full manuscripts and providing reader reports
- Assisting with agency social media
- Assisting with website and database updates
HOW (to apply):
- Send an email to: InternAtECLA@Gmail.com
- Begin with an explanation (2-3 paragraphs) detailing why you are interested in exploring becoming a literary agent.
- List your top 5 favorite books. Emphasis on recently published picture books, chapter books, middle grade, or young adult, and a 1-3 sentence explanation for each book about why you love it.
- Share any relevant background or experience you might have. (And it’s okay to not have any! That’s what this internship is for.) A resume is not required but will be taken into consideration if supplied.
- After screening initial applicants, there will be a round of Zoom interviews for top candidates
ECLA is hosting an #ECLAInternship chat on twitter on Wednesday, March 3, starting at 4PST/7EST to answer questions about this opportunity. We will also periodically check the hashtag and answer questions as quickly as possible until we close to applications.
-We will be accepting applications until March 15, 2021.
-The internship is expected to begin approximately April 5, 2021.
This internship is not a permanent job offer. Upon completion of the twelve-week internship three potential pathways are:
- At the end of the internship period we will part ways and, assuming it’s warranted, we will happily provide a letter of recommendation for the participant to use for jobs in publishing. It is our hope that the education we provide during our bootcamp will prepare the participant for success in the industry.
- We may offer an extension of the internship. In this case, the stipend will also be extended.
- If they have excelled during the internship, we may offer the participant a starting position at ECLA as an Assistant Agent. An Assistant Agent position begins by co-agenting projects under the supervision of Mandy Hubbard or Linda Epstein, with a commission split. ECLA offers all agents opportunities for advancement and increased commission splits based on performance.