• claudiaelangella

Week One: The Secret Book Project Begins

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

This summer, Toho Publishing has begun work on their Secret Book Project, the first of its kind in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

Claudia Langella is a rising junior at The New School who is from the Greater Philadelphia Area. She studies writing and wants to work in the publishing and media industries after graduation.

Back in March, I found myself back in my hometown—Gwynedd, PA—with nothing to do but schoolwork. As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly shut down most of the country, I had a feeling I would be home for more than just a long weekend. The end of my sophomore year at The New School was nearing, and I needed something to keep myself busy throughout my summer at home. I thought the best bet was to dive into the ever-growing literary scene here in Philadelphia and to use it to my advantage. I’m a pretty curious student both in and out of the classroom and felt that I could find a place near home that could help me get my foot in the door of the publishing industry, and I could offer my own services in exchange. I gathered a list of Philly-based publishers, journals and magazines and reached out to each of their editors. Andrés Cruciani, Toho Publishing’s founder, proposed a super enticing project to me, and I decided to hop on board!

This blog will serve as a resource for students and others interested in the independent publishing process. As a rising Literary Studies junior at Eugene Lang College, I’m both eager and ecstatic to jumpstart my career, and Toho Publishing has proven to be a wonderful place to do just that!

Today I started working on Toho Publishing’s secret book project series, one that I’m super excited and privileged to be involved in. I’ve spent the last two years of college in writing classes where we talk about the stage of our careers that each one of my classmates and I aspire to: getting published. It’s crazy that I find myself on the other side of it now—publishing a book—because I never thought I’d be interested in helping other writers get published.

This week’s workload involves a lot of research. I’m getting the lay of the independent publishing land, both local and national, so that I know what I’m about to dive into. Philadelphia’s literary scene is booming, and quite honestly, I didn’t even know there was such a big network of writers based here. From publishers to writing groups to indie bookstores that serve as literary gathering places, writers are thriving here in the City of Brotherly Love. There’s just a lot of excitement in the air revolving around The Secret Project—which is a very rewarding feeling.

Image credits: Pixaby via Pexels and ActionVance via Unsplash

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