Internship in Publishing: Missouri Review (online)

ENGL 4950/7950
Marc McKee
Course Description

“Missouri Review.” The Missouri Review is a leader in teaching students about literary publishing through our unique internship. Our goal is to train young literary editor in an intense, systematic program. The course is offered to undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines, but the core group consists of students majoring in English who want to pursue careers in the publishing industry.

An internship at the Missouri Review provides opportunities for students to gain valuable hands-on experience in publishing. From their first day, interns are an integral part of the general operations of the magazine. The editors encourage individual initiative and teamwork while offering the interns the resource of their more than 40 years of publishing experience. Students learn practical editing skills and generate publishing credit by writing reviews or conducting author interviews. Interested students write blogs and are otherwise involved in web development, as well as assisting in producing digital audio versions of the print magazine. Students also learn the basics, such as manuscript acquisition, magazine distribution and other business practices. They may help run an audio/video contest and learn grant writing. As they learn industry skills, interns are encouraged to consider careers in publishing.

An ongoing challenge in higher education is providing students with real-world experience to complement solid traditional scholarship. Potential employers want to know what students have actually accomplished as well as what academic courses they have taken. Our interns are able to say that they have contributed to one of our finest literary magazines, helping shape American literature.

One demonstration of the effectiveness of our intensive internship program is that many of our interns enter into commercial publishing fields, editing other magazines or working at presses. Many others are employed as teachers and professors. Previous and current interns have published more than 100 books and contributed to most of the top American literary magazines. They have won major literary prizes including the National Book Award, the Delmore Schwartz Prize, the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, Guggenheim fellowships, and National Endowment for the Arts individual writing fellowships.