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English Majors? Anyone work in that field?

The Trendsetter

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I'm an english major and curious. I want to become an editor of a magazine or something of that nature. Anyone work in a field related to this one? If so, do you enjoy it? Or did you find a job? I've changed my major from Comm Media, to Computer Science, to Psych, now to English. But writing has always been my passion, along with reading.
 

Connemara

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Print journalism is definitely not a growth industry. Keep that in mind.
 

The Trendsetter

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Originally Posted by Connemara
Print journalism is definitely not a growth industry. Keep that in mind.

That's what I'm worried about. I feel like magazine's will be around for a while though. When people say shit like that, I get scared. Real scared.
 

Michigan Planner

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My wife's best friend from undergrad was an English major and works in publishing and she loves it. She's been in it for about 10 years. She was with a tiny company doing e-publishing on the editing side for the first 9 years or so of her career. It sounded like she worked shitty hours and got paid peanuts but was always being sent off to meet with people in Paris, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc. (she lives/works in NYC) which seemed cool to me.

Last year she moved over to Random House for significantly more money, better hours and some supervisory responsibility. Unfortunately, instead of being a VP at a tiny (but growing) firm like before, now she's just some mid-level drone. She really likes her new job now though too so that must be saying something.

When she first got out of undergrad she moved from Ann Arbor to NYC and was finishing up an internship with CondÃ
Nast because she originally wanted to work in the magazine industry and found it to be extremely competitive and brutal compared to books which she said came from the fact that the deadlines were much more important and inflexible. I've also read many horror stories of the magazine industry so I can imagine that it's true.
 

The Trendsetter

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Originally Posted by Michigan Planner
My wife's best friend from undergrad was an English major and works in publishing and she loves it. She's been in it for about 10 years. She was with a tiny company doing e-publishing on the editing side for the first 9 years or so of her career. It sounded like she worked shitty hours and got paid peanuts but was always being sent off to meet with people in Paris, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc. (she lives/works in NYC) which seemed cool to me.

Last year she moved over to Random House for significantly more money, better hours and some supervisory responsibility. Unfortunately, instead of being a VP at a tiny (but growing) firm like before, now she's just some mid-level drone. She really likes her new job now though too so that must be saying something.

When she first got out of undergrad she moved from Ann Arbor to NYC and was finishing up an internship with CondÃ
Nast because she originally wanted to work in the magazine industry and found it to be extremely competitive and brutal compared to books which she said came from the fact that the deadlines were much more important and inflexible. I've also read many horror stories of the magazine industry so I can imagine that it's true.


Wow.. That gives me some hope actually. I know it probably it a cliche, but I want nothing more than to live in NYC some day. I am from a small, western PA town that consists of nothing appealing to me. I went up to NYC for New Years and absolutely loved it. If I wasn't on probation, I would consider saving up money and just moving there. Problem is, though, I can't find any state schools in, or close, to NYC. I'm at a local university now that is so cheap for me, that I end up getting back 5000 dollars in grants.

But yeah, I am interested in books too. I really just want to work with in the publishing field. Teaching does not appeal to me. Also, I will be writing fiction on the side. That's the plan at least.

What university did she attend? I'm enrolled at a mediocre PA state school.
 

Harold falcon

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Originally Posted by The Trendsetter
I'm enrolled at a mediocre PA state school.

 

DBoon

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ann arbor = she went to the University of Michigan
 

The Trendsetter

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Originally Posted by DBoon
ann arbor = she went to the University of Michigan

Truth. My mistake. That leaves me in a relatively shitty situation though. I go to a far less prestigous school than UM.
 

ashpool

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Jack Bauer was an English major before he became CTU
 

mmmmpay

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I'm a recently graduated English major now getting my teacher certification, but I worked as an editor for a bit.

Here's the key to editing: Do not get into it because you want to write about things your interested in, or because you want to spread your love of some topic or genre or what have you. Get into it because you love writing and editing. If that's the case, it shouldn't matter what your topic is.

I say this because enough people want to write about the worlds most interesting things--movies, books, traveling, food, hiking, fashion--that they'll do it for free. The number of people being paid to write and edit those piece is tiny compared to the number of people who are simply doing it out of love. It's incredibly competitive and you have start small, very small, before you can expect something like that.

I worked as a writer and editor about the enterprise computing industry, a field I knew nothing about. It was interesting though, because trying to use words to make sense out of something so complex as that is a challenge that requires deft rhetorical skills. And it pays okay because there is still an advertising market for it. Some software implementations are 100k+ and Oracle will pay a lot of money just to get a few dozen leads. Journalism is only profitable when people need to read what you're writing, not just because they're interested.
 

The Trendsetter

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Originally Posted by mmmmpay
I'm a recently graduated English major now getting my teacher certification, but I worked as an editor for a bit.

Here's the key to editing: Do not get into it because you want to write about things your interested in, or because you want to spread your love of some topic or genre or what have you. Get into it because you love writing and editing. If that's the case, it shouldn't matter what your topic is.

I say this because enough people want to write about the worlds most interesting things--movies, books, traveling, food, hiking, fashion--that they'll do it for free. The number of people being paid to write and edit those piece is tiny compared to the number of people who are simply doing it out of love. It's incredibly competitive and you have start small, very small, before you can expect something like that.

I worked as a writer and editor about the enterprise computing industry, a field I knew nothing about. It was interesting though, because trying to use words to make sense out of something so complex as that is a challenge that requires deft rhetorical skills. And it pays okay because there is still an advertising market for it. Some software implementations are 100k+ and Oracle will pay a lot of money just to get a few dozen leads. Journalism is only profitable when people need to read what you're writing, not just because they're interested.


Well great because I am specifically interested IN reading and editing. I have no clue what I want to do it about. I just know that is what I want to do. It's been my passion since I was in 9th grade.
 

mmmmpay

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Then you should be fine. And a few computer science classes will probably get you far. There are a lot more internet editing jobs than print, and if you can put "proficient in HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP" or something along those lines, you'll have a bit of a leg up.
 

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