So Much More than a Summer: An NCTE Internship

Just when I had prepared myself for another summer spent oscillating between my bedroom and some nondescript restaurant I would have to sell my soul to for the next four months I received an email with the power to change everything. I had been selected as the summer awards intern for the National Council of Teachers of English. When applying, I expected nothing different from the hoards of rejections and all too frequent radio silences I’d become accustomed to. That singular acceptance changed the course of my summer and opened my eyes to new opportunities and passions I could explore in my senior year.

So, what’s an awards intern, like what do you do? soon became the question of the summer. Awards, to me, became an immersion into the world of literary collaboration and celebration. Looking through student literary magazine submissions, reviewing different children’s books and authors that were to be celebrated, organizing a network of people all passionate about the art of reading and writing, and putting them in direct connection with each other. NCTE became a place that offered me much more than an alternative to folding pizza boxes all summer. It showed me how impactful each individual can be in creating a community that celebrates every contribution that comes its way.

None of this, of course, would be possible without the warm welcome of the NCTE staff, especially my primary supervisor Ashley Sisk. Upon my introduction to the group she said with a smile, “This is Sophia, she comes from a family of teachers, so she’s in exactly the right place!” This is true, and a huge motivator for my application, but the fact that Ashley remembered that detail about me from our initial interview months ago foreshadowed what a special and attentive community NCTE would prove themselves to be.

At one point supervisor Sarah Miller prompted me to take a look at the current information and format for NCTE’s Mock Book Award, which she told me had been on hiatus since the pandemic. She asked me to look over the current guidelines, make suggestions, think of edits, then deconstruct it and build it from the ground up. Consider it a creative exercise, she told me. I found it thrilling. The opportunity for change and accessibility, catering to the teacher’s needs and student engagement was  an experience like no other. I was able to propose a plan that included drafting lesson plans to be integrated with core curriculum, as well as introduce multiple layers to the competition both inside the classroom and beyond.

The staff was welcoming and excited to hear from me about new ideas and saw my internship as an opportunity to connect me with other organizations and mentors. Even my unprompted proposal for the TikTok-ification of NCTE was met with support and possibilities. My internship at NCTE, made possible by the Sigma Tau Delta NCTE Internship partnership, was so much more than a way to spend my summer. I feel so grateful for everything I learned and was able to collaborate on during my time there, and know it will only continue to serve me as I look forward to graduation and move into the nonprofit literary sector.

Sophia Grausso
NCTE Internship Recipient, 2023
Alpha Chi Omicron Chapter
Fordham University, NY


NCTE Publishing Internship—Summer 2024

Sigma Tau Delta encourages undergraduate student members with interest in book and journal publications and/or publishing operations to apply for the NCTE Publishing Internship.

The internship opportunity will be held over six weeks (15 hours per week) from early July through mid-August. The intern will attend publishing meetings and work on various projects, including copyright permissions, metadata, print on demand fulfillment, and project tracking. Depending on the experience and career goals of the successful applicant, other duties such as marketing support and manuscript preparation may be assigned.

In addition to these projects, the intern will spend some of their time with key NCTE staff from other departments to learn about day-to-day NCTE operations. NCTE is a fully remote organization, so the intern must have access to a computer, video camera, and reliable internet connection.

Stipends from Sigma Tau Delta and NCTE

  • Sigma Tau Delta will award the NCTE intern a $300 stipend.
  • NCTE will provide the intern with a $1,000 stipend.

The intern will also receive a one-year complimentary NCTE membership after successful completion of the program, as well as a certificate of participation.

Application Dates and Notification

Applications will be accepted through AwardSpring through April 15, 2024. The internship will be awarded by May 23. Questions regarding the online submission process should be addressed to [email protected].

Past NCTE Internship Recipients

“What’d I Miss?” Returning for an NCTE Internship in the States
The Quarter Life Crisis and My Internship with NCTE
Unconventional and Invaluable: My Time as the NCTE Communications Intern

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