Some of-the-top-of-my-head things I’ve learned from and hosting interns in a few editorial departments, and interning myself:
• Follow the Guardian Style Guide on Twitter. They’re funny, and they’ll teach you to stop writing “whilst” instead of “while”.
• Learn to seek, identify and destroy dangling modifiers. Your editors will love you.
• If you haven’t studied subbing as part of your degree, study it now. I give all prospective interns a quick subbing test, and I’m always surprised by the number who say they have no idea what it means.
• Fact checking is the most important thing you will ever do when writing or editing. If you submit copy with incorrect (or unverifiable) facts in it, no one will trust you. Your editors will hate you.
• If you’re asked to sub something, don’t rewrite it unnecessarily.
• If you’ve finished a task, say something. Don’t start reading your book. Seriously.
• Use Twitter. Many people don’t care about social media at all, but to the rest of us you’ll look like a better candidate if you’re keeping up and getting stuck in. Plus, it’s often a handy way to keep in touch with editors in a casual way.
• Proof your emails. People will judge you on all your writing, not just what gets published. If you’re applying for an internship and your email to be is terrible, I won’t read your CV.
And here are some more editorial internship tips…