The Iceland Writers Retreat welcomes one Social Media and Marketing Intern each year. This intern helps maintain social media and promote the various aspects of the Iceland Writers Retreat. This year’s intern is Jessica Key.
IWR: How did you become an intern for the Iceland Writers Retreat?
Jessica: I am a Master of Publishing student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The degree includes a professional placement component, where students work with a sponsoring organization to gain practical experience and learn more about the publishing industry from the inside.
Prior to doing my degree, I had interned and/or worked for multiple small presses and literary magazines in British Columbia, and I absolutely love the literary community here. I wanted to push myself a bit further out of my comfort zone and try something new with my professional placement, so I started thinking about working in marketing and publicity in publishing. My father’s family is Icelandic, and I have cousins there, so I had been following IWR on social media for a while, hoping to one day attend. When I found out that the organization offered a yearly marketing internship, I applied within the week.
IWR: How do you feel about being involved with the Iceland Writers Retreat?
Jessica: I am so excited to be involved! Getting to work with such an amazing organization, talking to writers about the opportunities it affords them, travelling to such a beautiful place, and getting to participate in a retreat with so many talented faculty… this is such a fantastic opportunity, and I’ve been able to talk about little else since I found out I got the internship!
IWR: What do you like to write?
Jessica: I did my undergrad degree in Creative Writing, so I used to write a bit of everything: fiction, journalistic features, poetry, (very occasionally) scripts… but my biggest love is creative non-fiction, particularly personal essay. The university I went to, Vancouver Island University, was small but my program was so fantastic, and I feel very lucky to have worked closely with professors whose work I had admired for years as a reader. In particular, Susan Juby fostered my love of CNF and Joy Gugeler made me realize I wanted to work in publishing beyond being a writer––she is the reason I enrolled in the MPub degree.
Since I’ve been in the MPub, and usually trying to balance 1-3 internships or jobs on top of it, I’ve barely made time for my personal writing, and I am so excited to recapture my excitement for it in Iceland. I can’t think of a more beautiful or inspiring place to reconnect with the craft, or more interesting and accomplished teachers to be learning from.
IWR: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Jessica: In a job that lets me continue to doing what I love. Working with books and authors that inspire me, and sharing the excitement and passion I have for the industry with a greater audience. Also, hopefully I will be a lot better at actually submitting my work to literary magazines rather than letting it languish in my drafts folder.