This past semester, everything in my life changed. I decided to pursue a different career field, I graduated college, and all my friends scattered across the country. Though all equally stressful, the first one weighed on my mind a lot—I had spent four years studying to be a teacher only to realize it is not the future I wanted for myself after student teaching. After a lot of reconnecting with my love of reading, an idea dawned on me . . . what if I pursued publishing? What if my forever job was bringing more books into the world for book lovers like me to curl up with every night? After a long process of applying for over thirty summer internships (after a similar number of rejections from spring internships), I received an email from Penguin Random House (PRH). After lots of patience and rounds of interviews, the day the email arrived telling me I got the internship I jumped around the kitchen screaming at the restaurant I was working in.
I had the privilege of being an editorial intern for the Razorbill imprint last summer. This specific imprint is under the umbrella of Penguin Young Readers and specializes in some children’s books and picture books, but mainly graphic novels, middle grade, and young adult novels. The editors I worked with loved the mystery/thriller genre and all around looked for exciting adventure stories. I read a lot of YA for my degree and it is my favorite genre to read for fun, but I don’t tend to read a lot of mystery/thrillers so I was nervous the first couple weeks. How would I give advice to editors on whether or not a submission showed promise if I wasn’t super familiar with the genre? Luckily, my supervisor (who is the editorial assistant for Razorbill right now) helped me every step of the way. She gave me resources to help me better understand the market, she gave me samples of her own work as mentor texts, and always took the time to look at the work I was doing and provide feedback. Handling submissions and crafting reader reports turned out to be a really accessible skill to learn in editorial, and I got to do submissions for four different editors! On top of this, my team included me in weekly acquisition meetings and I learned so many different skills needed to work in editing such as writing descriptive copies. My internship with PRH last summer has made me feel so much more confident not only about my skills to be an editor, but also about my choice to pursue publishing.
Finally, and perhaps most important, the company culture at Penguin Random House was the best—everyone I interacted with was so warm and welcoming, always available to chat and impart their knowledge to you. I was able to connect with a lot of people all across PRH and in all different departments to network and learn about the array of work that goes into publishing a book. Everyone I met with expanded my view of what publishing is behind the scenes and opened my eyes to all the avenues I can pursue in this career field. Not only this, but everyone I met with wants to see me succeed—that is a feeling like no other and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect place to start my journey in the publishing industry.
Penguin Random House Internships
Fall 2024/Spring 2025 Internship
The Penguin Random House internship program offers candidates the opportunity to work in the Penguin Random House Adult & Children’s divisions, attend weekly professional development programming, and learn about the world of publishing. This program is intended to provide opportunities for racially/ethnically underrepresented groups in the publishing industry. Active chapter members interested in learning about the world of marketing in book publishing are encouraged to apply. No prior publishing experience is required.
Fall/spring interns will work remote for 14 hours per week at a pay rate of $20/hr. Intern schedules will be flexible to account for candidates who may be located in a variety of time zones.
- Fall 2024/Spring 2025 PRH Internships Likely Offered: Marketing and Publicity
- Internship Dates: ten weeks in fall 2024 and ten weeks in spring 2025
To apply for priority consideration, applicants must apply BOTH to Sigma Tau Delta’s AwardSpring platform AND Penguin Random House’s Application portal by the following due dates:
- Application to Sigma Tau Delta for priority consideration: February 5 at 11:59 p.m. CDT
- Full application to Penguin Random House: TBA
Past Penguin Internship Recipient Blogs
The Summer I Turned Into a Penguin: My Surreal Time as Penguin Young Readers Intern
Exploring the World of Children’s Publishing with a PRH Internship
Hidden Heroes: Working as a Production Editorial Intern at Penguin Random House
Interning at Penguin Random House through Sigma Tau Delta
An Internship Like No Other: Perseverance and Publishing at PRH
Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together: My PRH Internship
The One Where I Remotely Interned at Penguin Random House
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to Apply for a PRH Internship
Saying ‘Why Not’ to a Career at Penguin Random House
Publishing in the Time of Covid: My Virtual Internship at PRH
Not So Random Memories from My PRH Internship
Making Protagonist Choices: My Internship at PRH
Perfect is Penguin: My Internship at Penguin Random House
My 140 Hours Interning at PRH’s Razorbill
How an Internship Shaped my Career
Spending Summer in an Igloo: My Editorial Internship with Penguin Random House
Interning at Penguin: Life of a Book Nerd
The Halfway Point: Penguin Group (USA) Summer Internship