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Week Four: Getting a Grip on Tasks

The fourth week of my internship (working on the Secret Book Project) has come to a close, and this week was super easy to manage. Now that there are three interns working on this project, my workload has been lighter.


During the first two weeks, I collected over five hundred email addresses from universities in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Then, Andrés and I realized it would be best to figure out which professors have published fiction before. Rather than bulk mailing, we’ve decided to reach out to professors individually. A personalized email means there is a greater possibility of getting a response. That’s when the talk of bringing on more interns came in, and I felt relieved.



Becca, Grace, and I divided the twenty-one schools among us and we got to researching. That’s really all this week consisted of, and I’m enjoying the collaboration the three of us interns have. On our Zoom calls with Andrés, we go over what work we have finished and what tasks need to be completed during the upcoming week. The work is usually split evenly, but if someone has a lot on their plate, we don’t mind taking on some extra work to help each other out. We work well together and are able to meet our small team’s little deadlines by splitting up the work. We also have a new intern who will be joining the team soon: Ail! Once I was done my portion of the professor research, I found even more contacts for a number of Philly-based literary organizations. The literary scene here has grown immensely in the past few years, and I’m excited to make a splash in it with our secret project.


My final task for the week was to write email templates. (There’s a lot of emailing during the “infrastructure building” stage.) Communication is key when starting up a project like this—especially for the first time. If we want writers to get involved in our project, we have to build a foundation that they can turn to in order to get a better idea of what we’re doing here at Toho Publishing, and what the company already provides for local budding writers. In the emails I’m creating, I have to clearly state our project (we’ll be letting the cat out of the bag soon!) and what it is that we are looking for. If we don’t communicate clearly, miscommunication can cause a number of problems. And that would not look good for Toho Publishing. We have to specify the correct word count and genre, and let the writers know that this is the first time Toho Publishing is putting out an anthology. It’s important that we make people feel special when we reach out to them—because they are! This is an exciting moment for Toho Publishing, and every fiction writer in the Greater Philadelphia Area should be as excited about this project as we are.


Image credits: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash and Jade Stephens via Unsplash

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