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Dear all of publishing, here’s what your internships should look like.

Jonny Diamond

May 13, 2019, 12:00pm

Much ink has been spilled on the problem of diversity and inclusion in corporate publishing, a systemic failing that can be pretty easily traced to money, or the lack of it. It costs a lot to live in New York City, and it’s near-impossible to get by on an entry-level publishing salary alone, not to mention an intern’s stipend. Placing this kind of financial burden on young aspirational publishing types insures that those making decisions about the books we read will do so from a place of privilege and wealth.

So that’s why all publishing internships should be modeled on the new Milkweed Fellowship, a “paid, one- to two-year immersion program designed to offer the tools, experience, and exposure necessary to pursue a career in book publishing.” But wait for it…

[This] learning-oriented position seeks to provide entry to those historically underrepresented among workers in book publishing—Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and those with disabilities. […] [The position] is full time (non-exempt, 40 hours per week, for 12 to 24 months), beginning in September 2019. Compensation includes a salary of $30,000 per year, generous paid time off, and health and dental benefits.

Given that the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis is roughly $1,500 compared to $3,500* in Manhattan, that sounds pretty damn good.

* These figures researched by our editorial fellow Kevin Chau, who we should pay more.

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