FAQ for Colleges

What is the prospective timeline for this program this fall and winter?

Agate is asking colleges to communicate their interest in participating by December 1. During the months of November and December, Agate will be supplying the application information of Agate-vetted candidates to participating presses. The presses’ decisions are requested by December 21 about taking on a candidate for a training internship in the first five months of 2024. Prospective training interns will be asked to start by January 15 or so, exact dates TBD and to be worked out with individual presses. Agate will be launching its Publishing Basics discussion sessions in early February.

How does a training intern qualify for the program?

Agate is seeking candidates through a national network of colleges and universities, for periods roughly coinciding with the traditional fall and spring semesters. 
  • Candidates should be enrolled students in good standing that have completed at least half their junior undergraduate year. 
  • The program will also be open to enrolled graduate student candidates (many participants in Agate’s on-site program have been graduate students).
  • Applicants must supply a resume and a cover letter, and may also be asked to submit at least one nonfiction writing sample of no more than 2000 words in length.
  • Agate will serve as a first reviewer of candidate applications, and maintain point-of-contact communication with the university career centers and programs supplying candidates. 

How does a participating independent publisher qualify for the Training Intern Network program?

Interested presses must meet the following criteria.
  • At least two, but ideally three or more full-time staffers
  • Sufficient availability among these staffers to direct, guide, and mentor training interns
  • For on-site participation, a suitable space to accommodate the training intern during the practicum hours
  • Ability to pay the participating student’s fee for its training intern to enroll in the Publishing Basics program from Agate Publishing Academy.

How does this program work?

Agate Publishing Academy’s Publishing Basics course and certification offers a comprehensive introduction to how publishing functions as a business, by presenting lessons that illuminate each stage a book passes through between the writer and the reader. It’s more focused, more affordable, and more accessible than other introductions to publishing—specifically master’s programs. It features eight distinct online learning modules, each of which is followed by a live 60-90 minute videoconference discussion section. Certificate earners will exit the program better prepared to apply for and win entry-level jobs in publishing.

Agate has used a version of this program to find and train more than 100 interns over the past dozen years, most of whom are now working professionals in publishing. We are scaling up this program to make it more broadly available and sustainable in part by engaging other presses seeking to find and train a more diverse range of aspiring entrants to our field.

The Training Intern Network involves Agate expanding its reach to college and university career centers across the country to solicit potential candidates from the ranks of enrolled students who have completed at least half, preferably all, of their third year of undergraduate study. Agate will vet potential candidates’ suitability for the program and supply their contact information to participating presses. These presses are free to choose Agate supplied candidates or not—they are not required to accept any candidate supplied by Agate. Presses will then enroll their training interns in Publishing Basics at a cost paid for by the press, in addition to engaging a training intern for a practicum training period with the press. The terms of this training period (such as hours per week, on-site or remote participation, length of practicum, etc.) will be established by the press and negotiated with the training interns and their institutions.

After completion of the program, the training intern will earn the Publishing Basics certification from Agate Publishing Academy, and become part of the academy’s network of new professionals and participating presses.

How are the live seminars run?

Participants must compose three follow-up questions after completing a given module, addressing that module’s contents, which are used to guide the ensuing seminar discussion. Agate staff working in the relevant disciplines lead these seminars. Working with fully remote intern cohorts from 2020 to 2022 helped Agate refine best practices for leading these seminars via group videoconference.

What are the larger goals and benefits of this program?

  1. To offer professional development for aspiring industry entrants—information that will help them get their first jobs in the industry— in a way that’s more focused, more affordable, and more accessible than master’s programs. 
  2. To be an outreach program that can diversify the ranks of new entrants to the industry by bringing this learning opportunity to people where they are, on terms far less daunting than those of existing entry points.