default blog post image

On Interning at Island Press: Psychics and Pizza

In this installment Editorial Intern Paulina Kosturos depicts how years of interviews interviews prepared her for her passion for storytelling.

As a student in journalism, I am constantly challenged to find unique and interesting untold stories. From interviewing a local psychic about her “powers” to asking Doris Buffett about her contributions to Mary Washington’s Philanthropy class project, I’ve learned the importance of conveying narratives people want to read. Reviewing manuscript proposals is no different. During my time at the Island Press, I’ve had the pleasure of reading book proposals and interviewing experts in the environmental field. Not only have I gained more perspective on pressing environmental issues, but I’ve continued searching for strong narrative voices. Reviewing a book proposal is often like interviewing a person. In order to find an interesting story pertinent questions must be asked and answered. What unique environmental phenomena or issue must be addressed? Is the carbon tax model a story that needs to be told? If so, who will find it interesting? Questions like these assisted me in determining whether a proposal merited a closer look, overall giving me perspective on the untold narratives in the environmental world. With reviewing proposals and talking to experts, my internship at the Island Press has overall been very enjoyable, although not completely free of grunt work (ie. making a pizza run for the office, filling out mind-numbing excel spreadsheets, etc). However, by talking to experts in food, waste management, and toxins, I’ve learned the rigors of the publishing process, as well as gained great insight into pressing environmental issues. I’ll definitely walk away from my experience with a new outlook on environmental storytelling.