• Experiential Education

    SUMMER 2015


    Michelle Bermudez

    Sirens Call Publications

    Michelle Bermudez

    I am currently a senior majoring in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. While looking through my email in my sophomore year, I came across a message from one of my classmates about a need for copy editors with Sirens Call Publications. At the time I did not have a car and the work was done entirely online, so I saw this as my chance to gain experience while remaining on campus.

    I responded to the email immediately, and after passing an evaluation of my abilities, I was offered a position as an intern copy editor. Throughout my internship, I worked directly with the Editor-In-Chief, who was an absolute pleasure to work with. I was primarily responsible for proofreading short stories, novellas, and novels once first edits had been completed.

    Once the pieces were received, I had a specific amount of time to complete the second reading. This could range anywhere between two days and two weeks depending on the length of the work, and taught me how to work under the pressure of a deadline. It was also where I put the ability to prioritize to good use. Although I was not required to travel to an off campus site, I had to learn to properly balance class work with internship assignments while giving my best in both. I would break up the piece into a certain amount of pages to be read each day. I would read each segment at least three times with each read primarily focusing on a different area of editing. Punctuation and spelling came first, followed by content and consistency, and finished with format.

    This was not always easy and I had a lot of mistakes to learn from when I first started, but as I became more skilled at my work, my supervisor began to trust my work implicitly and I was given the job of Junior Editor to perform first edits on stories. The work was very similar to proofreading, with the exception being that my work carried more weight than before.

    As one of the company’s Junior Editors, I was able to offer clear and precise suggestions to the authors on how to improve their stories. In fact, my favorite memories of my internship were the responses I received from the authors. One day, after returning the completed edits on a short story for an anthology, my supervisor sent me an email with a compliment from one of the authors, who told her that he found my comments to be very helpful. It was then that I knew for sure that I wanted to work in publishing.

    In my two years of working with Sirens Call, not only has my skill set grown tremendously, but I have been able to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom as well. I have found that my ability to critique a piece of writing has improved dramatically since my first creative writing class and I have seen improvement in my own writing as well.

    Although my career interest has since expanded to include my desire to be a writer, I know without a doubt what I want to do after graduation and it is all thanks to my internship with Sirens Call Publications.