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Reaffirming My Passion for Publishing: My Experience at New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute

Reader reports, edit tests, P&L, SEO, book packaging, branded content. These are just a handful of topics I learned about during my time as a student of New York University‘s Summer Publishing Institute (SPI) this year. Over four weeks, I attended countless panels and presentations from some of the most successful professionals in the publishing industry, worked on two major group projects that gave me a real taste of what it’s like to work in the business, and put my learned skills into practice through a few real-world assessments. There was never a dull moment during our nine to five days in a classroom located in Midtown Manhattan, and my visit to Hachette Book Group a few blocks away was one of the highlights of the entire experience.

This once in a lifetime opportunity provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the publishing industry across various disciplines in book and digital media publishing. I went into the program thinking I only wanted to work in editorial, but once I learned about other areas like library marketing, sales, and publicity, I knew there were more career possibilities that I would be just as excited about.

While these thoughts were mainly inspired by the captivating and informative presentations and panels I attended, the group projects also played an important role. For the first half of the program, I joined a group of about twelve students, and we were tasked with creating a fake imprint and book. I was a part of the design team, and we worked closely with the editorial, integrated marketing, and sales/rights departments to produce a nonfiction imprint focusing on narratives that appeal to the human experience, and a cookbook from a fake influencer who incorporated her own memories growing up as a first-generation Japanese American into her recipes. Our combined effort on this project earned us the “Best Overall Viability in the Marketplace” award from a panel of judges, something we were all incredibly proud of.

During the second half, I worked with a different group of students to produce a local magazine, which we based in New England. We created a marketing and distribution plan for our magazine dubbed “The Bubbler,” which we paired with detailed graphics from our design team, and sample articles from the editorial team. We presented our brand to a panel of judges and received positive, constructive feedback. Both of these projects enhanced the appeal of this program, and I’m fortunate to have worked with some amazing people on them.

This reflection brings me to my last remarks on this experience. Many of the industry professionals mentioned that publishing is a close-knit community, and you’d do well to keep genuine relationships amongst your colleagues. The instructors and staff at NYU’s School of Professional Studies were incredibly personable and supportive of all of the students. They genuinely wanted to help us make connections and improve our professional images. I feel honored to call them some of my professional contacts, along with my fellow students. Two months after the program’s completion, we are still keeping in touch and supporting each other in our journeys into the publishing world. This is an invaluable piece of the entire SPI experience that I am grateful to have partook in, especially with the help of the Summer Program Scholarship that Sigma Tau Delta generously awarded to me.

If you are interested in the publishing industry, I highly recommend applying to the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. I feel confident this program has prepared me for a bright future in publishing, as it has done for countless others.

Nina Serafini
Summer Program Scholarship Recipient, 2023
Alpha Delta Iota Chapter
SUNY, Plattsburgh, NY


Summer Program Scholarship

The Summer Program Scholarship provides up to $1,500 for the purposes of attending a special summer program, in the student’s home country, which furthers the applicant’s engagement with Sigma Tau Delta’s mission. Qualifying summer programs must be at least three weeks in length and no longer than three months. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship and chapter service and must explain the relevance of their summer program to fostering their engagement with the English discipline, including literature, language, writing, or literacy.

Application Deadline: February 5, 2024 for programs in summer 2024

Past Summer Program Recipients

Spanish Immersion with a Summer Program Scholarship
Summer Program Facilitates Trip to Denver Publishing Institute
Summer Program Scholarship Supports Study in Greece
Summer Program Scholarship Funds NYU Publishing Institute Experience
How Can A Summer Program Change Your Life?

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