It was a complete accident that I ended up working for Linen Press. They were just one on a long list of companies that I called up begging for work experience over the summer. Yet after numerous polite but emphatic brush offs from the bigger more successful publishing houses Lynn Michell and her company were a breath of fresh air. They might not have been the sort of corporate machine that would gain me the strategic contacts and run of the mill experience that most interns are lucky to engage in, but what they offered was so much more rewarding.
I think both me and Lynn knew after the first sip of coffee that we would work well together; what should have been a casual chat over company aims and prospective intern responsibilites turned into a four hour conversation about our own lives, loves and passion for writing. I was inspired by Lynn’s powerful vision for Linen Press and the back story which led to its creation. In a world where age, image and experience are the only stepping stones to success it is refreshing to be part of a company that tries to see past these issues and recognise the potential and talent that often lie dormant in those who are easy to overlook.
As an aspiring writer myself Linen Press has taught me a lot about the entire process of publishing a book, from the tentative words that form the beginning to the ruthless analysis of which words are really necessary to the cover design, marketing techniques and sales aspects. Above all though everyone at Linen Press has shown me the huge importance of the role of the author in promoting and believing in their work. This is perhaps the part which I have found the most inspiring – seeing how the relationship between editor and author, designer and director, intern and everyone, results in a communal support system which aids and enhances the work of all those involved. I hope that one day if I ever manage to write something I think worth publishing that I can perhaps be part of Linen Press in a different capacity to intern, but if not I will always treasure my time and everything I learned while working with them.