Monday, May 5, 2008

Frances' new job: the background

First, let me set the scene: my junior year of high school we were required to complete a career project that included a presentation in front of my English class. I chose to research and share about being a Book Editor because I excelled in spelling, grammar, and writing and thought editing books sounded like a pretty cool job. I still remember the B.E.B. (Book Editor's Bag) I brought to class for my presentation - a brown paper bag decorated and filled with funky props that helped me tell the story of book editors. I had a little plastic ladder that prompted me to talk about the steps one goes through to become a book editor and how to make one's way up the chain of the command in a publishing house.

In college I majored in English - mostly literature with a little creative writing thrown in for good measure. I also took a class called "Composition Theory and Pedagogy" as training to become a tutor in our college Writer's Workshop. In the workshop (usually 4-6 hours each week) I helped hundreds of students develop, edit, and revise their scholarly papers on a variety of exciting and not-so-exciting topics. Overall, I really enjoyed the work.

As I thought about a future career for myself (although I never really saw myself as a career woman - I knew I'd leave work in a heartbeat when the Lord blessed my future husband and I with our first child), my love of editing and my love of my faith came together in one thought: Catholic publishing. I knew I'd have to start entry-level and gain experience to become an editorial assistant (or maybe something even higher!) with a publisher of Catholic books.

After college I became a Benedictine Lay Volunteer at Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel, Oregon. I'd love to share more about that some other time.

From Oregon I moved to New Jersey. I searched for Catholic publishing houses online and discovered that they are mostly in New York and Chicago. I found one in Eastern PA but it didn't call me for an interview. I applied to a couple of secular publishing houses in Philadelphia (to get my foot in the door of the publishing industry) but got no responses. Instead, I took a job with the Diocese and ended up loving it.

When I searched for a job in Charlotte I barely considered publishing. I found a great position in the Public Library and have worked there for almost 2 years.

Near the end of last year David and I went out to lunch with a family from our parish (the couple had instructed us in Natural Family Planning during our engagement). As we chatted over our food the subject of schooling or employment came up and I spoke of my dream to work in the Catholic publishing field as an editor. The father of the family shared that he works for his wife's family's business, a Christian publishing company. He said it wasn't hiring at the time but he would keep me in mind if something ever came up. I proceeded to forget about that conversation for 6 months - that is, until I received a phone call on Wednesday.

To be continued...

Photo credit: sgs_1019

1 comment:

Adam said...

you need to continue....soon

Adam and Diana....