Wanna intern at Overland?

internOverland magazine is accepting applications for its internship program.

Overland is a national literary journal, with a small staff producing a quarterly magazine and a daily website. We publish non-fiction, fiction, poetry, reviews, commentary, opinion pieces and artwork. The magazine is committed to engaging with important literary, cultural and political issues in contemporary Australia and has a tradition of publishing challenging and radical articles, with contributions from emerging writers as well as established authors. The magazine also hosts a number of events, including the regular Meanland lecture series in collaboration with Meanjin.

In 2011 Overland will be offering a small number of unpaid internship positions at the magazine. We are presently seeking applications and the deadline for the first round of internships closes 17 January 2010.

Applicants considering a placement with Overland should look at previous issues of the journal and the website. We’re looking for people who have developed editorial skills; an active interest in literature, culture and Left politics; and in learning about the production of literary journals. Good communication skills and the ability to work well with staff and contributors are essential.

Interns are expected to spend at least one day a week for six months (two issue cycles of the magazine) in the Overland office so they can be properly trained, with the opportunity to be involved in ongoing projects. Interns will be assisted and supported by Overland staff members throughout their internship. Potential interns should submit a CV outlining their skills and areas of interests, along with a cover letter explaining why they are interested in working at Overland.

Interns will be given the chance to hone and develop their writing and editing skills in the context the regular routine of a literary journal. While we expect volunteers to already have some background and skills in writing, publicity or editing, training in house style and the magazine’s processes will be provided. Aside from an introduction to the process of putting together a literary magazine, the internship could be a stepping stone to paid work within the publishing industry and may give interns an opportunity to make contacts, participate in literary/publishing events and develop an ongoing relationship with one of Australia’s most important literary magazines. Some previous volunteers have gone on to permanent positions in the magazine or employment in the publishing industry.

Responsibilities include:

• Participating in editorial meetings and decisions about the content of the journal and website

• Assisting with copyediting and proofreading of articles, stories and reviews, paying close attention to Overland style and consistency for spelling, grammar, factual accuracy and clarity

• Undertaking a ‘first read’ of unsolicited submissions and assessing them

• Assisting with promotion and publicity as needed, including helping write text for posters, drafting press releases and proofreading posters and publicity material

• Contributing to the Overland blog and assisting with editing website content

• Incidental administrative work, including mailouts and updating databases

• Attending Overland events, such as launches, lecture series and other publicity occasions

Key skills required:

• Sound copyediting and proofreading skills (though we will train you in the magazine’s style); completion of a Professional Writing and Editing Diploma would be ideal

• Interest in or knowledge of Australian literature, progressive politics and current affairs

• Professional writing skills

• Ability to liaise with staff, other interns and contributors

Email applications to Overland associate editor Rjurik Davidson.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.


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  2. Sounds like slave labour! If you’re good enough to work at a quarterly, you’re good enough to get paid. Anyone who goes for unpaid internships needs a boost in self-confidence.

    • While it’s a given that most people would like to be paid for the work they do, it’s highly likely that Overland do not have funding to support another paid position. This is the case with pretty much all of Australia’s literary journals. There are usually benefits associated with these types of programs to compensate for the lack of financial payment. Working for free – especially for small press – does not mean you need a boost in self-confidence. Until government funding for these types of organisations is increased, unpaid internships are are part and parcel of beginning a career at a literary journal.

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