WNDB Interns Share Their Experience: Julie Jarema

by We Need Diverse Books

Julie JaremaThis past summer, I was thrilled to intern at Simon and Schuster. I worked with the vibrant and friendly Children’s Publicity and Marketing teams. My daily tasks included writing press releases, researching bloggers, and sending out the nonstop mailings. Every day brought new projects and more familiarity with the process that it takes to get a book out into the world.

The WNDB grant greatly assisted me this summer in countless ways, providing me the funds to live in the city (I’m from Florida) and other invaluable resources. Thanks to the grant, I was able to devote my full attention and energy to my internship to learn all I could in such a short span of time.

One of the greatest resources WNDB gave to me was the incredible community of welcoming and generous book lovers in and around the publishing industry. Everyone’s advice and encouragement enriched my experience and expanded my knowledge of different aspects of and career opportunities in children’s literature. The opportunities to attend the CBC panels gave me insight into challenges that publishing still faces and eased some of my concerns about the perception of diverse books being categorized solely as “diverse.” Being a part of the WNDB community also helped me to realize how necessary it is to have wide representation at all levels and in every department, from the authors to the editors to the design team, in creating books for all sorts of young readers.

WNDB has provided me with an incredible foundation to build from. Meeting the other WNDB interns and hearing about their experiences at the various publishing houses was another highlight. It was also wonderful to meet my mentor Gbemi Rhuday-Perkovich, and authors, librarians, and other members affiliated with the organization. After talking to and learning from so many people in publishing this summer in addition to the support of WNDB, I feel better equipped to continue pursuing a career in the field. I loved working with children’s books, and I hope to continue to find a job that allows me to return to books, unafraid to veer off the path in order to seek out unique and unheard stories for the readers who have been waiting.