Genny Rice, a senior at Anderson University, has always loved literature. She is fascinated with the way words can explore the world and impact people’s lives.
“It is really a way to see people and tell stories that matter,” Rice said.
For Rice, reading is more than a hobby. She is a literature major who dreams of a career in publishing.
Rice spent her summer in the literary hub of New York City. She secured an internship at the Summer Publishing Institute, an intensive summer publishing program through New York University’s School of Professional Studies.
Rice woke up to a view of Union Square and enjoyed weekends reading in Central Park. She was among about 60 students and young professionals selected for the competitive program—and they all loved books.
“You go in and you don’t know anyone, but you know that you all have a very passionate common interest,” Rice said.
She spent six weeks immersing herself in the publishing world, attending classes 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or often later.
Each day, Rice and her peers learned from four or five industry professionals including the key event planner for Refinery 29, the CEO of Penguin Random House and the editor-in-chief of National Geographic.
In addition to hearing from more than 200 guest speakers, Rice had an opportunity to use her AU education in a professional setting. The program was divided into two segments: magazines and books. She felt like she gained two years of experience in just six weeks.
She and her team created an entire magazine. They focused their magazine on sustainability, and Rice was the content editor and wrote two articles. She also wrote a readers report, which summarizes a manuscript and makes suggestions for publishers.
Rice learned that books are a consistently growing industry. She is passionate about publishing because it allows her to be a part of creating something lasting.
“Genny has excelled in the English program. She has distinguished herself through her advanced skills of close reading, critical thinking, and analysis,” said Dr. Paige Ellisor-Catoe, an associate professor of English. “She also serves our community by helping to lead our local chapter of the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta. Genny’s deep respect for language and literature has helped her flourish in our program and opened up other exciting learning opportunities, like the Summer Publishing Institute. Being selected for this program is a huge honor for Genny, and by extension, for AU’s Department of English. We are immensely proud of her.”
When Rice began at AU, she did not expect that the South Carolina school would lead her to opportunities around the world. In fall of 2018, she participated in AU’s study abroad program and spent a semester in London. There, she interned for a magazine and first found out about the Summer Publishing Institute. Through the connections she made this summer in New York, Rice earned a remote internship for a literary agency in Paris, which will allow her to work while she stays in Anderson to complete her senior year.
“There are opportunities, you just have to look for them,” Rice said. “They are definitely there, and people will help you find them if you ask.”
After graduating in May, Rice hopes to attend graduate school in the U.K. and continue pursuing publishing there.
“The English department faculty encourage our students to take advantage of experiential and professional learning opportunities,” Dr. Ellisor-Catoe said. “We strive to prepare our students to translate their academic success in our classrooms to the varied professional paths available for graduates of the humanities.”