Students looking for real-world experience in the publishing industry don’t need to leave Loyola’s Evergreen campus to find it.
Apprentice House Press, the nation’s first entirely student-managed book publisher, gives students the chance to oversee every aspect of the publishing process.
As the name suggests, students act as apprentices, learning from professionals while engaging in the field work. Whether it’s selecting manuscripts, designing layouts and covers, or developing marketing plans, students serve as staff for the publisher.
The hands-on experience will last a lifetime. It was really cool to work on behalf of Apprentice House and see the kind of work we do.
Classes are offered through Loyola’s communication department and conducted mostly in a work-office setting, with academic lectures also offered.
Since Apprentice House took its current form in the mid-2000s, it has published more than 120 books covering a wide range of genres including fiction, poetry, and memoirs.
Between 50 and 75 manuscripts are submitted annually, with about a dozen selected by students for publication every year.
For Carmen, a communication major from New Jersey, one of the most exciting parts of the program is working directly with authors. She helped develop a marketing plan for The Punk and the Professor, a novel by Billy Lawrence.
“We were in constant communication,” Carmen said. “I was able to develop a personalized marketing plan for his book by learning about his connections as a college professor. He provided a lot of great feedback and ideas.”
In her senior year, Carmen has served as Apprentice House’s managing editor, an internship position for academic credit in which she oversees the publisher’s social media accounts and is responsible for organizing a large system of files with copyright information, contracts, and more.
“My experience with Apprentice House puts me at a bit of an advantage when I go into a hiring process. I can say, ‘I edited this book,’ and ‘I created the marketing plan for this book,’ and ‘I’ve been the managing editor of a publishing house that has published authors locally and nationwide,” Carmen said.
Kevin Atticks, ’97, DCD, Apprentice House’s director, agrees that Apprentice House students have “a leg up on the competition.”
In an industry where there are only about five major publishers across the country, Atticks says, competition to land internships is intense. Apprentice House has at least 10 former students working in the publishing field at some of the major presses.
Karl Dehmelt, ’18, published three books through Apprentice House while he was a student at Loyola. He also took some of the Apprentice House courses—and feels that having the chance to study the manuscripts submitted to Apprentice House strengthened his own writing.
Apprentice House gives students who are interested in the publishing industry the experience to become publishing professionals. It also helps students like me who are interested in publishing work. I learned from people who know what they are talking about and who are connected and involved not only with the university, but with the publishing scene at large.
Dorothy Van Soest, a Seattle author and social justice advocate who has published three novels through Apprentice House, says working with Loyola students was a big draw in choosing Apprentice House as her publisher.
It’s been my experience with every group of students I’ve worked with at Loyola that they communicate extremely well and are very serious about their work. I love working with them.
Learn more about Apprentice House