Summer Internship Series: My Summer at a Literary Journal

Samantha Toshok ’18

Editorial Intern, Virginia Quarterly Review, Charlottesville, Virginia

My name is Samantha Toshok and I am currently a senior at Denison University pursuing a Major in Psychology and a Concentration in Narrative Non-Fiction Writing.  This summer, I worked at the Virginia Quarterly Review, a national literary journal located in Charlottesville, Virginia.  There, I worked as an editorial intern, and assisted with the production of the magazine, proofread and edited both solicited and unsolicited manuscript submissions, marketed the publication on social media platforms, and helped run the 2017 VQR Writer’s Conference.  Prior to starting this internship with VQR, I knew I had intentions of pursuing a career in writing, however, I was not entirely sure in what type of capacity that would be.  This internship taught me a lot about precision and word choice when it came to writing or communicating a message to audience members or our readership base.  With the help of my direct supervisors and boss, Allison Wright, the managing editor of VQR, I would not have the opportunity to understand the process that goes behind magazine production and the level of accuracy and precision that goes into editorial work.  I have, however, found that I am drawn more to creative roles in the corporate side that involve creating narratives around products, services, or brands.  I also would like to incorporate more of my Psychology degree and use that to better understand consumer behavior.  Despite my different career aspirations, coming out of this summer experience has given me the opportunity to hone the very skills that I plan on applying to many future creative roles such as market research consultancy or advertisement.