FAQ for Training Intern Network

How can a press 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 $500 upfront fee for a training intern to enroll in the Publishing Basics program from Agate Publishing Academy.

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, a cover letter, and 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 communication with the university career centers and programs supplying candidates. 

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 us refine best practices for leading these seminars via group videoconference.

What does a press need to do in order to participate?

  • Reach out to reserve a place by emailing pbnetwork@agatepublishing.com
  • Determine if you prefer candidates that would participate on-site or remote
  • Review any potential candidates within one-two weeks of their information being supplied to you by Agate (presses are under no obligation to accept any candidate offered).
  • If a press has its own intern it wishes to enroll in Publishing Basics, or any staff, they can do so at a rate of only $350 per participant.

What are best practices for a press in hosting a training intern?

  • Have a clear idea of the tasks in which you’d like to involve a training intern. Among these might be research projects, information collecting, proofreading, index numerating, and metadata drafting, as well as clerical tasks
  • Allow your training intern to participate in as many of your staff meetings as possible, to afford them exposure to as many of your press’s business activities as feasible.
  • Provide your interns with as much of your internal process documentation as feasible.
  • Take opportunities to have informal mentoring and career development conversations
  • Discuss with training interns any questions they might have about what they’re learning in the Publishing Basics course, or other questions they might have about how the publishing business works.
  • Provide feedback on updated resume and cover letter drafts, to help in finding a first job in publishing

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 are 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, beyond Agate’s existing network of college and university internship programs, 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 of $500 (50% off the course’s base price), in addition to engaging a training intern for a practicum training period with the press, according to terms (such as hours per week, on-side or remote participation, length of practicum, etc.) established by the press and negotiated with the training interns and their institution. Presses may also enroll their own interns, or any staffers, in Publishing Basics for $350, after completion of which 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.

What is the usual timeline for this program?

Interested presses can reach out to pbnetwork@agatepublishing.com at anytime to become part of the network. Agate receives applications from interested training intern candidates year-round, but keys the selection process to the college semester schedule—that is, around March/April for the fall semester beginning each August and around October/November for the spring semester beginning each January.

What are the larger goals and benefits of this program?

  1. To offer focused 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 and more affordable 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.