Robert Jeschonek is an envelope-pushing, USA Today-bestselling author whose fiction, comics, and non-fiction have been published around the world. His stories have appeared in Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Clarkesworld, Pulp Literature, and other publications. His novels have won the International Book Award, the Forward National Literature Award, and the Scribe Award.

Authors and Interns by Robert Jeschonek

Imagine having someone to help you with your writing and publishing business, doing the tasks you never seem to have time to accomplish. Imagine paying that person not with cash, but with experience and learning. That's what it's like when you work with student interns.

Working with student interns can make a difference for you as an author or publisher, expanding the possibilities of what you can achieve. It can be like instantly adding a staff to your company, bringing in one or more team members with editing, design, social media, or marketing skills. It can let you pay forward some of the mentoring that you may have received on the road to creating your own career.

This guide, developed by bestselling author Robert Jeschonek after years of direct experience with student interns, will give you the tools you need to recruit, train, task, teach, and learn from such interns. You'll discover the ups and downs of working with interns, the pitfalls to avoid, and the hacks and shortcuts that will make your life easier. Insights from past and current interns will give you an even more complete picture of what to expect as you develop and deploy your own system for enhancing your organization while sharing your knowledge and experience with the next generation.


One of the toughest things writers face when they start their own business is finding and paying for good help. Sometimes all a writer needs is an hour of work from a dedicated person. Robert Jeschonek has found a unique solution to this problem, and delineates how this helps everyone involved. Another do-not-miss book. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch




Writing and publishing can be a lonely game—but you don't have to play it alone.

Sometimes, you can find interns to give you a hand. They can help you with your work, inspire you in unexpected ways, and enable you to pay forward some of the kindness you've received from your own mentors.

Perhaps as important as any of that, they can keep you company.

Don't underestimate how much of a difference that can make in your life. As an indie author/publisher, you may often feel like an army of one. You spend your working hours alone in a room, staring at a computer screen...and it can bring you down. It can make you doubt your dream or talent; it can make you turn inward and lash out at yourself.

But a family of interns can put a spark in your dark times. Young people, full of energy and ideas—or older, non-traditional students, for that matter—can make your world feel like a brighter place.

In so many ways, they represent the best in humanity. They give of their own time and effort with no expectation of monetary reward. They put their trust in you, though they barely know you. They dare to hope that the knowledge and experience you offer will help them succeed in their careers.

And, so often, they come to care about you. They get to know you, at least as much as you'll let them, and they show you respect. They work hard to help you succeed. They give you a chance to make a difference.

Sometimes, they'll let you down. They'll make mistakes or drop the ball or phone it in.

But more often than not, what they do comes from the heart.

Working with interns is such a good deal for you. Don't pass it up—and don't let them down.

Remember, they will be with you for only a short time. You'll only have them for a semester, and then they'll move on with their lives. You might never see or hear from them again.

But they won't forget you. They won't forget the internship and what it meant to them.

So make the time count. Do the best you can to repay their support with all the learning and experience you have to offer.

Pack your meetings with good information and guidance. Tell them stories about your own journey and those you've met along the way, the ones who've helped make you who you are. Help them see things from your point of view.

Even as they help you see things from theirs. Listen to what they have to say, because it might just change your life.

Let them leave a mark on you, just as you leave a mark on them. Let them know, in your own way, how much it means to you.