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Amanda Vacharat is our graduate school intern and has her hands wrapped around Issue 47. She’s been great this whole winter as we put together the issue, and now she’s got something to tell future interns…

So apparently, one of the assignments for the graduate intern (that’s me, Amanda), is writing entries for the PR blog, because apparently the world wants to know what it’s like to intern at the Potomac Review.

“Really?” I said, when Julie W-L and Will informed me of this.

“Most definitely!” said Julie W-L. Will nodded.

Now (with all due respect to Julie and Will) I simply cannot imagine why someone would want to read about an intern’s duties at a literary magazine.

….That is, unless that someone is considering interning at a literary magazine himself (hopefully a different one, ‘cause this spot’s taken). So, I’ve summarized my time working on the Potomac Review in the format of pros and cons, in the hopes that this will help any aspiring lit-mag-interns make this life-altering decision.

1. Pro: Editing and alphabetizing bios—That’s right, folks! As an intern, I get to edit writers’ bios. For example, I eliminate all mention of pets. It’s a huge power-trip. PLUS I get to alphabetize the bios. I’m good at that. Very gratifying. Definite pro.

2. Con: Tracking publication agreements—It should be simple. A writer gets an email congratulating her acceptance into our next issue. The email also asks for an e-copy of her piece, her bio, and a signed publication agreement. She’s excited. She pumps her fist in the air. She calls her mom. And then, she replies to the email with three separate documents attached, right?

Apparently not. What actually happens is: she replies in three or four separate emails over the next two months.

Is it a big deal? No. But it makes tracking documents a lot more annoying than it needs to be.

3. Pro: Reading maybes. Honestly, there is nothing more rewarding than reading something from the “maybe-pile” that is so good I would fight to move it to the “yes-pile.”

4. Con: Reading maybes. But then, it’s just as disappointing to read a “maybe”, and then wonder how it managed to get this far down the table. It’s made me realize how subjective this whole reading thing is.

5. Pro: Free meals. M&M’s, chicken sandwiches, homemade cookies, all while talking about stories? Can it get any better?

6. Con: Traffic and other travel hindrances. Unfortunately, my ability to get to these meals has been hindered by traffic on I-95, my inability to parallel park, and also, my failure to read addresses correctly. Suggestion: live less than an hour away from where you plan to intern, buy a map, or have a sense of direction.

Obviously, the pros have been outweighing the cons—I’m still here, yes?

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