NYC Summer

July 26, 2010 ~ The End of the Publishing Institute

So I’ve neglected you and I’m sorry. These past two weeks have been nonstop craziness. The last week to the Publishing Institute flew by with many deadlines including the book imprint presentation day on Thursday, July 15 in front of publishing professionals and the career fair on that Friday. My groups imprint was called “Out Speak Ink” and we focused our five books on the teenage/young adult audiences with a twist on self-help topics. Our books were titled:

  • Raising Parents: Dealing with Divorce — about how when parents get divorced the children usually step up and mature. Told through a personal story by a big sister-type author who has a huge following on her teen issues blog.
  • Queen — A story about a gay teenage hispanic boy who wants to be prom queen.
  • Kick Start A Healthy Lifestyle — Foreword by Jillian Michaels (hypothetical, she’s in no way involved) and promotes a manageable healthy lifestyle program.
  • Sam, Swept Away — Graphic novel that depicts a personal story of a boy in a musical family who was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
  • Talkin’ ‘Bout That Generation — a genealogy book of personal stories about how generations have changed since the first immigration to the US from various countries. Pull out family tree in back of book.

I was the Sales Director and conducted comp. titles that had successful sales numbers by using BookScan, which is a website for publishers and companies to use to view comparable titles’ success online. We were granted temporary access to this site and it became my best friend when looking up our books’ competition. It was also interesting to look up some of my favorite books and see how many copies they sold.

We were well prepared for the presentation, but a group mate hogged the time and we only had a certain amount of time to speak about our imprint. We got cut off half way through, which was everything including embarrassing and disappointing. I was fumed, but let it boil as not to make a huge scene and cut off the group member’s head. She felt bad, but I felt like I worked so hard and didn’t even get to verbally share with the esteemed judges our sales information. They did get to look through the binders we handed out detailing everything, but I think it’s better when you get to explain it out loud. Life will go on though. I did my job and that’s all I can do, right?

The career fair was awesome! I made many connections with AOL, Scholastic, HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette Group, Meredith Corp., Conde Nast, and The Book Report dot com. I have followed up with the people who I gained contact info on, but haven’t heard back yet. They lead really busy and jam-packed lives so I keep praying they reply soon. I started off with the boring, cliche introduction where I would approach a table with “Hi, I’m Jennifer Dryden… I’m interested in editorial… blah blah blah.” Then they replied with, “Everyone is interested in editorial, have you thought about other departments like sales or marketing?” I have thought of those things, so I said, “Yes, I have…” It was just a bad approach mechanism. So I switched it up. It was time to introduce them to the Jenn everyone reading this knows. I approached my dream book publishing company Hachette Book Group, that has an amazing children’s imprint called Little Brown for Young Readers (group that published Twilight, etc). That’s not the reason I love them though… just to be clear. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Shaking hands “Hi, I’m Jennifer Dryden, I am in love with your children’s imprint, Little Brown.”

HR Rep: “Really, so you’re interested in children’s publishing?”

Me: “Definitely, I’m like a five-year-old child trapped inside a 23-year-old’s body. Every time I walk into a Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore, I dart for the children’s section. I get lost in children’s books and the genius that’s inside the gorgeous covers. I’m overly obsessed with Disney channel and laugh out loud at Nickelodeon’s iCarly. I know this market because I am this market.”

HR Rep: “Wow! Little Brown would love your passion. That’s exactly how Little Brown is: loud, vibrant, and passionate about its children’s books and the market. You should definitely apply online for any of the positions inside and tell them you met me here.”

We talked a little more and I told her a few titles I loved from their list and thanked her for her time. We parted and I knew I was on my game. I silently warned HarperCollins and Random House about the incoming crazed children’s book enthusiast about to approach their tables. Needless to say, I walked out of 2.5 hours talking to professionals from all the huge publishing companies ready to start applying and pursuing my newfound dream of children’s book publishing. Which is common sense to me and to everyone I’ve told. Jennifer Dryden + children’s books = common sense. Don’t you agree? Probably.

I’ve applied for a handful of children’s imprint assistant jobs not only in editorial, but marketing. There was even an editorial assistant position with Little Brown at Hachette. I screamed and prayed out loud to any God anywhere that I’d at least get an email back. I also started my cover letter off with “I’m a five-year-old applying for the assistant position…” I later explained why I felt that way. It’ll grab their attention if anything else. 🙂 YEEEEAAAHHHH! Let’s do this book thing!

So basically I left New York City Saturday, July 17, stayed in Cincinnati with family until last Thursday, flew to Des Moines, Iowa, for a friend’s bachelorette party and bridal shower, which leaves me now settled in with my mother in west central Iowa. It’s kind of sad, depressing, and irritating to have to move back home like a poor post-college grad, but you know what? It has carpet!

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July 13, 2010 ~ Twilight Saga Publisher Speaks on Process

Megan Tingley, Senior VP and Publisher of Little Brown Books for Young Readers (started in 1837), came to speak on a panel of publishers last week. Little Brown has published books like “Catcher in the Rye,” “Little Women,” and the “Gossip Girl” books. As well as the children’s books “Arthur” and “Where’s Waldo?” She is the publisher of one of the most bestselling book series, the Twilight Saga.

She remembers getting the manuscript sort of by coincidence while meeting a friend who handed her the manuscript. Tingley said she was in the “right place at the right time” and that there was an “immediate impact there.”

As Little Brown was starting to launch their fiction imprint, Tingley remembers the Twilight book helping prove that they could be successful in that genre. “[It was the] book that put us on the map that we know how to publish fiction.”

She said she’d “never read anything like it before.” She was sold on Stephanie Meyer and “Twilight.” She also said that the books are usually something she as a personal free time reader wouldn’t pick up and enjoy, but she said that she couldn’t put the book down and loved it. She knew it would be a crossover book for teens and adults.

A few specs about “Twilight” –

  • “Twilight” released October 2005 and sold 119,000 copies the first year.
  • “New Moon” released September 2006 and sold 747,000 copies the first year.
  • “Eclipse” released August 2007 and sold 2,500,000 copies the first year.
  • “Breaking Dawn” released August 2008 and sold 10 million copies the first year.
  • 100 million copies sold world wide.

Several small, independent bookstores struggling in 2008 have quoted, “‘Twilight’ kept my store in business.”

Tingley said she doesn’t think vampires will be as popular next year. “The next big thing is not vampires,” she said, mentioning Little Brown is always looking for new ideas.

As the buck was passed to another publisher, Tingley ended on this note. “It’s been a pretty wild ride.”

Here are a few sample covers designers made as an option for “Twilight.”

Other cover designs

The chosen cover

Other countries' Twilight covers

The final Twilight Saga covers

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July 13, 2010 ~ Let’s play catch up!

The Publishing Institute has kept me busy and I have a notepad full of notes I want to share with you because they are just that great. Let me bullet point a few awesome moments in the seminars and panels I’ve listened to.

  • Author Alan Brinkley spoke to us one morning explaining he is the first person in two generations of his family not to be a journalist. I asked him what his family did/does in journalism, he dropped names such as New York Times, Washington Post, TV stations, Scripps Howard, etc. I also asked him why he chose not to continue the tradition, he said he wanted a different path and didn’t want to report news or hustle and bustle around.
  • We had an editor’s panel from major publishing houses come and speak about their experience on choosing a book and editing it for publication. Here are some quotes I caught ear of. I am not supposed to mention which editors or companies they work for and frankly, I don’t remember.
  1. “There’s no way to find out you’re an editor through academia, you really have to be in the field.”
  2. “If you cry, you must buy.” – Editor of Marley and Me
  3. “Do a lot of work for them, but act like you haven’t…” – editor on working with celebrities.
  4. “There’s a reader out there for every book, but how many readers?” – editor on a question to always ask yourself when choosing a book to publish.
  5. “Know your ‘like titles.'” – comp titles are important!
  6. “If you can’t afford a therapist, get an editor.”
  7. “When asked who you read in a job interview, never say Jane Austin.”
  8. “When interviewing, ask yourself if you can envision having a good conversation with that person every day.”
  9. “Editors can beg, improve the work, and help position it in the marketplace. An editor cannot make a book a bestseller.”
  10. “You are the first voice for that book. If you can’t speak to it, you’re ruining that book. Be able to speak on it publicly.”

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July 5, 2010 ~ Birthday, sickness, 4th of July Updates

This past week was packed full of holidays, sleep, and sweat. Let me expand on those topics that really don’t go together. June 30th was my 23rd birthday, which was awesome because my roommates and friends treated me to dinner at the huge Olive Garden in Times Square. We also shopped at Ann Taylor Loft and Des got me to branch away from black and white! I bought a navy blue skirt with a peach tank. It looked very cute matched with her white headband with a bow. She wore something similar Friday and we joked we looked like twins. We plan on going shopping next weekend. I’m depending on her to put outfits together because I. am. clueless.

After a fab birthday night, I ventured to Duane Reade (an equivalent to Walgreens) to get medicine to cure the sore throat that was escalating pain by the hour. I knew I was coming down with something and I wanted to cut it at the source. Well it was too late, I was sick. I woke up with the worst sore throat, chesty cough, and fever. While searching for a doctor to prescribe me medicine, I realized I wasn’t considered a “student” thus couldn’t go to the NYU Student Health Center. They did recommend a place called “Docs” on 23rd Street. “Docs” doesn’t sound like someplace I’d like to venture to only have a New York strange “doc” poke and prod me only to cure what I already new was the same old thing I have every time I get sick. It turned into a bad cold and cough.

My Iowa hometown doctor, Dr. Evans, prescribed me a Z-Pack over the phone after hearing my symptoms. And may I add, thank God! Today, I took my last pill and am feeling so much better. I’m still coughing, but that’s predictable; the cough is the last thing to go.

Friday I visited Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island with Des and her sister, Alyssa. It was bigger than I expected. But then again I don’t know what I expected. The Manhattan island was breathtaking from afar. So beautiful. I definitely have to buy frames and fill them full of pictures from NYC.

Manhattan from Statue of Liberty ferry

Statue of Liberty

My stellar Statue of Liberty hat.

The Fourth of July in NYC is something that has been on my bucket list since the first of the rainy Fourth of Julys in Iowa. (Sorry to all the Iowans whose holiday got rained out! Iowa weather = sucky.) My roommates Laura, Des, and Des’s sister Alyssa, and I went to a rooftop bar along the Hudson River. Needless to say, it was packed! Packed full of hot men, that is. I was OK with that. I mean, who wouldn’t be? The fireworks were truly amazing, although we could only see one barge from where we were. It was great sharing a beer and fireworks with awesome friends. We were so sweaty though, it got disgusting. It was one of those days where you step outside and you immediately sweat. It’s still one of those days today. Too hot in NYC today.

Fourth of July sunset on the Hudson

NYC Fireworks

Outer Space Fireworks

Tonight my roommates and I are going to Brooklyn for the Hip Hop Festival at Coney Island. It should be a good time. We only have one more weekend in NY now… we are becoming more and more sentimental with the destinations we visit, the free time we have, and the friendships we are building. There’s so much more to see and less than two weeks to do it in. This certainly snuck up on us.

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June 28, 2010 ~ Book Session Starts

Today was the first day of the three week book section of SPI in New York. We walked in and acquired three new free books. We all got tons of free magazines the past three weeks and already love the idea of filling my bookshelves I don’t yet own with hardcover, beautiful stories. I got “The Thieves of Manhattan” by Adam Langer; “Stories” by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, which is a compilation book of fiction authors like Jodi Picoult, etc; and “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith. (haha, weird last title) Anyway, today we had a panel of some of my favorite publishers. They are from various houses and imprints but have published Harry Potter, the Twilight Saga and Nicholas Sparks books (my escape author). It was interesting to hear about the future of books and all said although digital is here to stay, books will have a place until the generations switch over to the full-on digital generation (the kids who are being born now). They may always be around in a print form, but no one knows for sure.

We had lunch, where Des and I went to this really awesome cafe-ish place on Broadway on the next block south of the Woolworth Building. It has a buffet of all sorts of food ranging from mexican, pizza, chicken wings, salads homemade to your liking with more toppings than imaginable, and deserts that I tempted my taste buds. (I refused.) I had a quesadilla with chicken and cheese and some kind of sauce and a banana. It was good and I have the leftovers in the fridge.

We came back to my favorite part of the day. Amy Einhorn, who has her own imprint called Amy Einhorn. I found her to be the most interesting person I’ve heard speak this entire time in NY. She is the editor responsible for the New York Times Bestseller “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. The story of making this book number one for weeks is so intriguing, inspiring, and all around amazing. They say that if your book doesn’t hit the NYTimes Bestseller list in the first two weeks, it won’t. Well, “The Help” is the exception that should give all authors hope or at least encouragement to keep faith because “The Help” created buzz by word of mouth that it hit the list at seven weeks. Wow! I can’t believe that! How great for both Amy and Kathryn. Although Amy said it doesn’t happen often if at all in a normal year, but “The Help” was this year’s exception, I guess. It started off with a 4-6 week print run of 40,000 copies and has sold nearly 800,000 since the release February 1. (If I’m viewing the BookScan website right.)

Amy was a great speaker, giving us a great look inside creating a bestseller. I learned that hiring a literary agent is a smart step one to take when pursuing my memoir. I also learned when to schedule my release date depending on season, holidays, and when the most people are into new, emerging writers: late winter. Everything Amy said covered my own questions as a writer but also as an editor. The only thing I wanted more of is a look at how she juggles her family with my dream career. I asked her after the lecture but she was in a hurry and only said it was hard but doable. I’m not sure if I’m OK with “doable.” I’ve been finding out that a family is more of a priority than I had originally thought or planned. NYC is becoming a plan B or C instead of plan A.

Just hit 700 views on here in June! New monthly high, doubled my other high month. Thanks for reading everyone! Keep coming back!

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June 20, 2010 ~ Missing the Midwest

It’s been two weeks since I moved into my dorm, and up until today I knew for sure that I wanted to live here… in the middle of it all… in the hustle and bustle… in a concrete paradise. I didn’t realize days like today would come and that I’d actually breathe the words, “I miss the Midwest.” Yes, it’s true. I said it. I miss the Midwest.

I don’t miss Iowa though. I mean, Iowa has corn and no personality. If it did have a personality, it’d be boring and bland. I wouldn’t want to date Iowa. I love dating NYC, we are in an exclusive relationship, just so you know. (He’s mine, Des… back off!) Back to Iowa… I miss the people that fall in between the borders of Iowa like my family and friends, the manners everyone has, and the cleanliness. I want to be able to walk outside barefoot again… I HATE SHOES! I wear shoes in my dorm… our floors are “uncleanable.” Although I’m homesick, I’m more control sick.

Living in NYC is never boring, but you run on the city’s schedule. You don’t get your own agenda. You can’t just jump into your car that’s conveniently parked right outside in a clean parking lot whenever you want to escape or leave a little later than usual to make it to work right as the hour ticks. And when you try and time the subway just right, you end up halfway down the stairs as the train is whizing by, missing it by a split second. You’d think that another one would be along soon since people here are obsessed with working but no, it’ll be a good ten minutes before the right train screeches up. Being aware and completely comfortable with my control issues, it’s hard for me to be patient constantly and not be in control of my own life. Or at least my schedule.

So as I sat in a design workshop at the Woolworth Building in the Financial District starving and deprived from home cooked meals, I become sad. I was tired of listening. I was tired of eating PB sandwiches and take out. I was tired of the tile, dirty, cold floors… I missed carpet! I missed organization and cleanliness. I missed grass yards. I missed my mom. I’ve lived away from her for three years prior to this, but when she wasn’t an hour away and there was no way to get her home cooking, homesickness set in. I called her and she let me cry a little bit.

She told me to go buy a microwave for the dorm so we could cook meals that way instead of just making cold sandwiches and oven food. Let me just say, my roommates and I have never had a happier moment. I wish I would have caught it on tape! We all yelled, “OH MY GOD! WE CAN MAKE FOOOOOOOOOOOD!” It. was. a. microwave. But to us, it was a life saver. I’ve never had to be “without” and now that I don’t have a TV, microwave, pots and pans, or a car, I feel for those who live like this every day. It sucks.

So anyway… Dear Iowa, Even though I don’t want to live with you, I sure do miss you today. I hope all that rain you are getting is making the yards of grass greener than its ever been and that many picnics are being eaten there. For my readers, sit on your carpet for me. Sitting on carpeted floors is one of my favorite things in the world and I miss it dearly. Sounds silly, but try living in the city and then talk to me.

Thanks, Mom!

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June 12, 2010 ~ First Weekend in NYC = me in love with my life!

Hard Rock. $150 bill. One-liners. Friends. Times Square. Night out.

It is my first weekend in New York City and Desire’e, Jessie, and I hit up Times Square last night. What a way to end a long, intense week full of publishing! We ate dinner at the Hard Rock, which was smeared with famous artwork, posters, memorabilia from musicians such as The Beatles, Gwen Stefani, and Frank Sinatra. We got in pretty quickly — only a 15 minute wait — and ordered drinks and food. Sounds like a fairy tale so far, right? Well it was a great atmosphere, great company, and great food, but our bill came and it was $150. WHOA!

It was…errrr… ummm… uhhh… kind of overwhelming. It was so worth it though. I mean we debated to have a drink that cost $15 or have water that cost $0… we’re at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City, we had a drink. We also bought the picture they took in front of the wall of guitars too. They were just too good. With Desire’e’s serious rocker face and Jessie and my extreme happy faces, it was a memory we wanted to keep. The waiter was awesome too. (We got to take a clean glass home for free!)

$15 drinks

We walked further into Times Square and sat upon the red stairs underneath the Coca-Cola advertisement column in the middle of Broadway and 7th Avenue. I let myself live in the moment for a while. We sat three in a row and talked about how we got here, how amazing this feeling was (not the buzz the drinks gave us), and how we never wanted to leave.

Surreal Breathing Moment

We walked down 7th Avenue/Fashion Avenue looking at sidewalk plaques that honored Marc Jacobs and the fashionable like. There was a huge needle thread through a gigantic button statue, a metal man sewing at a sewing machine that I bumped my head on while climbing up to help guide his hands, and Macy’s. We met some unique NYC tourists and live-ins who were a little much sometimes and who left us awe-struck at their inappropriate one-liners. Depending on their reaction to Jessie’s red dress or us being female, the comments ranged from complimentary to disgustingly inappropriate. We just linked arms and sped up our pace.

We noticed that our Midwest childhood has made us softies in New York. But, I think we all agreed that we never wanted to bump into someone and not say “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry.” It’s called manners and even though people can be rude and push their way through the crowded streets, when I cut someone off (while trying to hold my own in the subway terminal) or accidently swipe someone’s arm while walking in the crosswalk, I’m going to apologize. Period. I’m just a nice girl. If they see that as vulnerable, they don’t know who I am. :o)

Enjoy some pictures of our night out on the Square!

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(Some of those pictures are repeats from my last post below, but I haven’t figure out how to only include new ones in a slideshow on the same page without deleting the others. Just so you know!)

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June 9, 2010 ~ Day 3 of SPI, Brand Launch = Success

Why hello lovely followers of my awesome NYC life! I know you’ve been dying to hear about my Manhattan apartment/dorm, roommates, program start, and city life, so here’s an update.

Let me just say I’m in love. I mean I’ve been in relationships before where I’ve said “I love you!” and meant it and I’ve been in relationships where I said “I love you!” and didn’t mean it, but when I say “I’m in love” and am sitting in the Woolworth skyscraper in the Financial District of New York City, I mean it. I don’t think I’ve ever told a truer truth in my life. It’s like having a relationship with your dream guy but it’s a huge city instead (for those of you who would rather love a man/woman than a city).

My roommate and friend Desire’e Bussiere said it best in her Facebook status last night, “Dear NYC — you’re super loud, kinda smelly, and full of the best things.” It’s a publisher’s/writer’s/editor’s dreamland, thus I am living a dream. Although, I don’t see real dreams that much because this publishing institute is tense and keeps us in seminars, panels, and building our magazine brand until midnight or later. It’s not as loud as you’d think, although last night there were fire trucks and police sirens constantly in front of our dorm by 4th Avenue. I was of course curious and so Desire’e and I ventured out only to find it quiet. Dang! We’ve come to accept that we can’t venture out during every siren… that’d be a full-time job. I also noted to myself that I wouldn’t like to be a NYC cops reporter.

So let’s bullet point the things you want to know because we all know one of my talents is rambling. Just like the city, there’s too much to tell, show, and rave about.

  • Roommates = awesome! Love every one of them and will for sure keep in contact with them after even after just three days. Desire’e is from Minneapolis, 21, and is interested in fashion magazines. Tricia is from Toledo, Ohio, 25, and is interested in fashion magazines also. Laura is my actual room roommate, 24, and interested in book publishing, as am I.
  • Desire’e and I take nightly walks around the city. On Monday, we found a poetry cafe, where they were doing drag bingo. We putting it on our to-do list when they have poetry slams.

  • Subways are so so so easy to figure out and ride. It takes ten minutes once aboard the train for the commute from Palladium to Woolworth. Metrocards are easy too, $2.25 (ish) per ride.
  • SPI (my program) has started out great! I’ve met editors from The Food Network Magazine, Forbes, Men’s Health, Woman’s Day, Glamour.com, Oprah, and the list goes on and on. We’ve heard from Conde Nast, Rodale, Hearst. Tomorrow I tour Marie Claire Magazine.
  • I’ve learned more in these two jam-packed two and a half days on magazines than in my entire education at Iowa State. But I am learning that Iowa State gave me all the background and integration I needed to feel confident in my skills and knowledge. The words that I say out loud are confident because of Iowa State.
  • Tricia has found her favorite youtube video thanks to Desire’e and I: “Beyonce Clown“.
  • Although it’s loud outside, inside our apartment if the windows are closed it’s pretty quiet. I was surprised how many assumptions I had about New York turned out to be false. The subways aren’t scary, it’s not THAT loud, sometimes the sidewalks are busy but mostly there is plenty of room to walk with your arms out. (If any normal person would walk that way?) There are some homeless people, creepers, crazy people yelling and being forced out of Foot Locker and a lot of gross toilets, but NYC has personality. And lots of Starbucks and hot dog stands.
  • Desire’e and I play a game that consists of trying to beat the lighted “walk” sign at intersections. True New Yorkers know when the light is going to change and then they venture out into the walkway ahead of time when the red hand is still illuminated. We have been trying to perfect this talent and so far, it’s been invigorating! haha

I could go on forever but if you want to know more I’ll be posting more soon! Back to the seminars. Up next is “The eReader Reinvents the Industry” panel. Enjoy a few more pictures while you wait.

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June 3, 2010 ~ Making My Way

In ten hours I will be boarding a plane to fly off to New York City. Let me just take the next two seconds to scream… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! OK, now I can continue. I’ve spend the past day and a half in Chicago (well, Aurora, Ill.) with my aunt, uncle and cousin relaxing and doing homework. Tonight to celebrate my last day in the Midwest, cousin Steph and I will be rocking out on Guitar Hero and eating take-out. It’s going to rock, so be jealous!

My mom and I fly out of O’Hare before 7 a.m. and land in New York around 1:30 p.m. After Friday night and Saturday night, I’ll be moving in to my dorm on Union Square. I am so ready to be on my own again and facing the next challenge: New York City living! All I have to say is this: BRING. IT. ON.

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May 19, 2010  ~  Summer Publishing Institute Thus Far

My license plate has read “CY2NYC” for three years, telling the world (or the state of Iowa) my dream. Since I declared my journalism major late sophomore year in 2008, I knew I wanted New York life, experiences, and careers. Sure, I’m in love with many other cities such as Cincinnati and I’ll more than likely end up there someday but NYC is my dream, that one thing that keeps me trekking along. In late March, I was accepted into the New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute in Manhattan. Read more about the specifics from my previous post entitled “NYC, Here I Come”.

Now for an update on things I know thus far on my journey to NYC.

I’ll be living near Union Square in an NYU dorm, which is smack dab in the middle of the Financial District (where I’ll be going to class every day) and Times Square. I’ll be taking the train every day to the Woolworth Building and classes run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but after receiving the Magazine section schedule (first three weeks), it outlines a much longer day starting at 8:30 a.m. and sometimes going until 7 p.m. depending on the day’s activities.

I have orientation June 6 from 3-5 p.m. and I move in that morning. My mom and I are staying in White Plains, NY with her former college roommate from June 4 to the morning of June 6. We are blessed to have her help.

I have received my schedule for the first three weeks for the magazine sections and here are a few key points that may spark your fancy as it has sparked mine.

-Magazines as Multi-Platform Brands: Everywhere, All-the-Time (print, sites, books, e-commerce, apps, e-readers, mobile, conferences, seminars, online events, clubs)

Panel Moderator and Presenter: Bill Stump, SVP & Editorial Director, Rodale

Panelists: Paul Maidment, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes; Doug Brod, Editor, SPIN; Kristen Schultz Dollard, Digital Director, SELF; Elizabeth Mayhew, Editor in Chief, Woman’s Day

-Case Study: Anatomy and Evolution of a Site with Anne Sachs, Editor, Glamour.com


-The eReader Reinvents the Industry

Panel Moderator and Participant: Robert Sacks, Owner, The Precision Media Group

Panelists: Jeanniey Mullen, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Zinio; Mark Jannot, Editorial Director, Bonnier Technology Group, Fran Hauser, President, Digital, Style & Entertainment Group, Time Inc., Richard Levine, VP, Editorial Operations, Conde Nast

-Navigating the Magazine and Book Publishing Job Hunt

Panel Moderator: Andrea Chambers, SCPS-NYU

Panelists: Amy Helmus, Associate Manager HR, Hearst; Denise Allen, Vice President Human Resources, Sterling Publishing; William Kelley, Director of Talent Acquisition, Scholastic, Inc.; Ali Debiasi, Executive Director of Staffing, Time Inc.

And the list goes on and on with key publishers, editors, and magazines. I also go on tours of magazines… these are scheduled thus far.

Magazine/Website Tours

–Sports Illustrated—Richard Demak

–Travel & Leisure—Stirling Kelso; Jennifer Flowers

–Everyday With Rachael Ray—Pamela Mitchell

–Self—Lauren Theodore

–Marie Claire—Lili Root

We also get to hear from and talk with former SPI students and how they made it where they are today. Great opportunities around every corner. I have received my first assignments that are due Orientation Day and that following week.

My magazine assignments are:

  • One great idea for a magazine brand launch, educate myself on magazine websites, including reading the 50 + page MPA handbook, and come up with questions for the editors for Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Forbes, Spin, Self,and Women’s Day magazines.

I’ve also received my manuscript editing workshop information (although the actual manuscript will be emailed June 1). I will be working with O, Oprah Magazine‘s Executive Editor Allison Gwinn.

My book pre-program assignments are:

  • Come up with 5 book project ideas, write one paragraph each on four publishing websites I like, and fill out a survey on my and two others’ book buying habits.

Man, I could go on forever but this is the gist of it thus far. I won’t know my roommate or room assignment until I check in June 6. I have found a few fellow SPI student’s through Facebook and we’ve been messaging back and forth to get to know each other and our endeavors. It gets me more excited, more ready, and more comfortable with the fact that I’m moving to the biggest city in the country in two weeks.

** Thank you to my family and friends who are helping me with the transition, finances, and venture to NYC. Couldn’t do it without you. xo

10 responses to “NYC Summer

  1. Pingback: Goodbye Ames, Goodbye Iowa, Goodbye Normalcy « Jenniferdryden's Blog

  2. Natalie

    so excited for you! will pray you have safe, smooth travels and a quick transition into NYC life.

  3. Bethany

    Love it! I’m sitting on the carpet right now, just for you!

  4. andreafier

    S,
    so excited that the book publishing section seems like it is going to be, well AWESOME! 🙂 My sister actually was just telling me that I NEED to read “The Help” and it is sitting on my night stand–maybe I’ll begin reading tonight! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more about the awesome people you get to meet and what you’re up to!
    Love you!
    B

  5. Pingback: The End of Two-Thousand-Ten | Jenniferdryden's Blog

  6. Courtney

    I just hit “submit” on my application to SPI today. Now I’ve been reading blogs about it instead of studying for my art history midterm. Oh, senioritis…and anticipation!! Thank you for writing this blog. Oh how I long to be there!

    • Good luck! It changed my life in ways I could have never imagined! Great exposure, great work opportunities, and great friendships are what have blessed me from SPI! Plus it doesn’t hurt to live in the heart of NYC! 🙂

      • Courtney

        Today I found out that I was accepted! Oh happy day. I will now be reading each one of your “NYC Summer” posts to hold me over till I am there! Thanks again for writing 🙂

      • Awesome! Congrats! This is a huge step in the right direction for your career in publishing/media! Live in all of the amazing moments!

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