My experience with Filles Vertes Publishing began with a submission. In early 2018, I finished a middle grade manuscript and began to send it off to editors and agents. One of the editors was working at FVP and sent in my submission. Then came my first request for a full (a huge highlight for me after a sea of rejections). Ultimately, that editor rejected my manuscript. However, I appreciated her feedback and continued to follow her on social media.
A month or so later, that editor put out a call for an editorial intern. I wanted to be a writer, not an editor, but I knew this was an amazing chance to learn about the publishing industry. I applied and was soon very proud to be an editorial intern at a real publishing company (!!).
As an editorial intern, I was able to read manuscripts from prospective authors. This gave me an invaluable view of the process because I was able to see what really worked and what didn’t. I was able to look objectively at these pieces of work and apply those lessons to my own work. Rejection was no longer a dirty word. As a writer, I often thought of the dreaded slush pile but I didn’t really know what that meant until I worked in publishing. There were times when I recommended a book be rejected even though I personally loved it. Sometimes a story isn’t right for the market. Or the plot is amazing, but the writing just isn’t there yet.
A rejection was rarely me saying that I didn’t enjoy reading it or that I hoped the book never saw the light of day (although I did get one or two of those). A rejection was usually because there were too many good books. Publishers don’t reject books that are only 40% ready to be published because they are trying to be callous or they aren’t willing to work with the authors. Publishers reject those books because there are so many books that are 70% or 80% or 100% ready to be published. Coming to terms with what rejection truly meant is one of the best lessons I learned as an editorial intern.
In May of 2018, I wrote up a marketing document and sent it to the owner of FVP. It was simple; an itemized list of suggestions for improvement on the publisher website and I pointed out a few broken links on the site that I thought could be fixed. I wasn’t really expecting much from sending the document, I just hoped to helpful. To my surprise, the owner (Myra Fiacco) got back to me and asked if I would be interested in joining the marketing team. It wasn’t long before I was learning about advertising campaigns, social media for business, and even data analytics. I never would have expected to be in marketing and I certainly didn’t expect to love it so much. I jumped with both feet in.
I had the opportunity to work with so many amazing bloggers, interview authors, and even write articles for the company. I put my PowerPoint skills to good use, I completed a course in data analytics (a topic that was previously a mystery to me), and I navigated the fires of social media. I’m really proud of how much I’ve developed over the past year.
But at some point, I started to miss writing. I miss working on my Sci-Fi serials and I’d like to take another look at that middle grade manuscript that started it all. There isn’t enough time in the day to work for multiple companies and myself. I am going to keep working as a freelancer, but I am going to shape it around my writing schedule.
So, as much as I have loved working there, I’ve decided to leave Filles Vertes Publishing. It’s been a year since I first began at FVP. Everyone within the company has treated me well and I’ve learned lessons that I will carry with me forever.
I’m so thankful for the time that I had and for the people that I’ve had the pleasure to meet.
If you want to have an experience like I did, I would encourage you to apply for the internship program at FVP. They take on new interns twice a year (click here to find out more!) and it’s certainly worth your time. I will say that, like most things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Turn in your assignments on time, be hungry and take on as many projects as you can comfortably do well. Mostly, try not to be frustrated when you read a manuscript that isn’t quite there yet, because we were all that writer once.