January 08, 2018
Jillian Mannarino ’18 had never considered a career in publishing before coming to Susquehanna, but has found her niche in this blend of the arts and business.
“I became fascinated by the editorial process and knew that I wanted to be a part of the artistic messiness,” says the Long Island native, who is majoring in publishing and editing plus creativing writing.
In summer 2017, she interned at The Overlook Press, an independent publisher in SoHo, and Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents in Chelsea. At both internships, she read and evaluated manuscripts and book proposals. At The Overlook Press, she also proofread copy, researched author blurbs, and helped compile questions for a book club reading guide.
“As a result of these experiences, I would like to further explore the world of literary agencies, and to hopefully one day become an agent with a list of my own,” Mannarino says.
“I want to cultivate true stories so that they can be shared with and discussed by the reading public. In this way, book publishing becomes a springboard for conversation and creative potential,” she says.
In her favorite course at Susquehanna, Small Press Publishing and Editing, Mannarino got another taste of the publishing profession. Students formed their own small press and eventually produced two chapbooks.
Mannarino worked as a designer, gaining important experience with InDesign, the software used by publishing professionals, as well as with formulating page layouts and making typographical decisions.
“When I received the first proof from the university print shop and held in my hands a physical book that I had created on a computer, I nearly cried,” she says.
The students hand bound the books with needle and thread and held a book launch.
“The class is fun, collaborative and immersive, and it offered me an inside look into the world of small press publishing,” Mannarino says.
Mannarino also has interned with the university’s Common Reading program; served as co-editor of The Susquehanna Review, a national undergraduate literary magazine; and helped found The Squirrel, a student-run satirical publication.