At the end of February, prolific authors Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry (The Book Doctors) visited the University of Illinois. The duo hosted a series of workshops—“Traditional, Independent, or Self-Publishing?”; “Making Editing Fun”; and “Perfecting Your Pitch”—followed by Pitchapalooza, an event they describe as the American Idol of book pitches (minus Simon Cowell). Over the course of these four events, The Book Doctors imparted to attendees a wealth of valuable advice about writing and publishing any kind of book. Attending the events, I came away with both practical tips and a general sense of the complex processes by which a book idea evolves into a published text. Here are just a few of the takeaways from the events:
Getting a book published requires research and planning
The Book Doctors opened their first workshop with good news: anyone can get published! But they followed it immediately with bad news: anyone can get published. In such a competitive market, The Book Doctors stressed, having a great idea isn’t enough to turn
Are employers interested in talking to you?
Desirable English/CW major skills
- Communication (both oral and written)
- Knowledge about cross-cultural issues, diversity, inclusivity
- Research and information retrieval
- Analytical thinking
- Creative thinking and problem-solving
- Effective with ambiguity, uncertainty, incomplete information
- Learning and synthesizing new ideas
(English majors: You’ve explored 1500 years of the written word, from Beowulf to Derrida, some of the densest and most challenging prose ever written: complexity doesn’t scare you.)
(Creative writing majors: You’re skilled at working with groups to bring out the best in yourself and others; you know how to bring creative rigor to any problems and how to hold a team to high standards.)
It’s a big week for career fairs at the University of Illinois! The Business Career Fair takes place at the ARC this Wednesday, Feb. 3 and Thursday, Feb 4 from 2 to 6 pm, and the Arts and Culture Career Fair takes place in Chicago (UIC Student Center East (3rd Floor)) this Friday, Feb. 5 from 12 to 2 pm. And there’s a host of other career fairs scheduled later in February and March, which we encourage you to attend!
Last week, Laura Miller, a senior in English; Kenny Miller a senior in Creative Writing; and Kirstin Wilcox, the English Department’s Director of Internships offered some advice about how to be successful at the upcoming career fairs. Here’s what they had to say:
Start going to career fairs early in college, and go multiple times
As with most things in life, you’ll perform better at career fairs with experience. So don’t wait until Spring semester of your senior year to dust off your professional attire for your Continue reading
It’s a new semester, the perfect time to explore new opportunities on campus. Whether you’re graduating in May or hoping to apply for a summer internship, you’re likely beginning to think about expanding your résumé and preparing for interviews.
Involvement in Registered Student Organizations can provide a multitude of professional benefits in addition to being a fun, social experience. If you’re already involved in a student organization, increasing your involvement this semester can allow you to build valuable real-world experience that you can draw on in interviews or cover letters. And if you’re looking for an organization to join, the RSO Involvement Fair this Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 11 to 3 in the Illini Union (Illini Rooms A, B, C, Courtyard Café, and South Lounge) provides the perfect opportunity to begin to capitalize on personal strengths, expand your skillset, and make new connections.
As you plan activities for your RSO in the semester(s) ahead, keep in mind that serving your RSO can also serve you in your future career search. Here are 5 ways that you can develop valuable professional skills while strengthening your RSO:
1. Master social media skills Continue reading