Working as an Intern at Cornerstones has been an exciting and interesting insight into the publishing industry. Alongside Sarah and Isobel, I have been assessing the ELEVATE submissions for our July intake, which requires reading a one-page synopsis and a ten-page opening extract for each entry. ELEVATE pairs low-income and/or underrepresented writers with specialist editors who mentor them and help develop their work, and it has been amazing seeing the breadth of the submissions. We have had just about every genre from adult comic sci-fi to psychological dramas! I love reading, so being able to immerse myself in each manuscript was a welcome task.
When I wasn’t reading and sending feedback to ELEVATE candidates, I was able to get involved with Cornerstones business. My favourite Cornerstones task was our Edit Your Novel the Professional Way Open Day, a free online event in which Helen outlined what the course is and held a Q&A with alumni and editors. It was fascinating to hear the process of taking a book from concept to creation, and to see what the alumni and editors had to say about their writing process on the course.
One of the things that really sticks out to me about Cornerstones is how relational it is as a literary consultancy. Each author, editor, and agent who interacts with Cornerstones is met by a member of the team, and all the work I’ve done has been primarily relational – from making sure we have up-to-date contact details, to proofreading reports from editors to clients, to live tweeting and Instagramming. Most mornings we will check in and have a plan for the day, and the weeks have flown by as there is so much exciting work to do!
I am really grateful to the Cornerstones team for taking me on – it has been an invaluable experience. The ELEVATE scheme is such a great idea, and being able to see the beginning stages of manuscripts has been a real pleasure.