Intern Testimonials

2004 Summer

Carrie Atkinson

Intern, 2004 Summer

I have never liked those old-fashioned Quaker oats that come in the jumbo can, but the Quakers and rest of the staff at Friends Journal are pretty cool, and they accepted me for the Methodist I am (or they at least pretended to while I was around).

During my stint at Friends Journal, I read through and commented on manuscript submissions. Once articles are selected, we begin the ongoing process of editing and then making corrections on the computer using Quark XPress and Adobe PageMaker software. I completed backorders and entered subscription information into Raiser’s Edge database program. Even as interns, we were invited to layout and graphics meetings and lent our opinions. As a side project, we also spent a lot of time perusing 50 years of Friends Journal issues and choosing material we felt worthy to be reprinted for the Friends Journal 50th Anniversary issues.

On my days off, I give piano lessons to cute—for the most part, anyway—little kids in the wonderful state of New Jersey. I’m currently a journalism major and business minor at Rowan University.


Tracy Jordan

Intern, 2004 Summer

headed to Friends Journal with an English degree from Earlham College and a love of written language. I hoped to test my literary skills and experience against what the world of journalism had to offer. Friends Journal, it turned out, was the ideal place to do this.

Friends Journal offered hands-on experience with all aspects of publication from reading submissions, to copyediting, to graphics selection, to circulation. I remember feeling delighted on my first day when I realized I could make my own proofreading marks on the manuscripts. By the end of the first day, I already felt part of the process. While I developed a comprehensive understanding of journalism, I also experienced a sense of awe as I watched the metamorphosis of thoughts, ideas, and hopes as they took flight with the completion of each issue.

I loved watching an issue take shape, one article responding to another, poetic prose and poems adding to the flow, photos and drawings helping to fully illustrate the essence of an article, and making me say, “Yes, that is exactly right!” or “Wow, I see the connection!” It is fun to think I might have helped create an issue that speaks to someone else as well.


Sarah Baicker

Intern, 2004 Summer

As an English major hoping eventually to enter the world of publishing, and as a graduate of George School, I knew immediately that the opportunity to intern at Friends Journal would both reacquaint me with Quakerism, and provide important and valuable experience in magazine publishing as well. Little did I know just how much I would not only learn about publishing, but be included in the process as well. As I added “Intern at Friends Journal” to the list of work experiences on my resume the other day, I felt like I should have written “Editor,” instead, because that’s really what I—and the six other interns—were.

When manuscripts were submitted, we read and evaluated them. When pieces were chosen to be published, we edited them and then copyedited them (and then copyedited them some more!) before running them out in publishing programs on the computer. We chose and compiled articles for special issues. We learned how to lay out articles and features, how to comply with the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style, and even exactly what an “M-dash” is. All along the way, our opinions and ideas were taken into account just as much as everyone else’s. As you can imagine, this was not a “copy, fax, and deliver coffee” kind of internship.

I’m now comfortable working in Quark XPress, Word, PageMaker, and InDesign—skills that will no doubt be extremely valuable down the road—wherever that road ends up leading me. My summer at Friends Journal introduced me to some great people and provided an experience I’m certain I couldn’t have found anywhere else. The experience I had this summer is one that everyone who is interested in publishing should have—no matter their religion, year in school, or previous experiences.


Mary Hoeffel

Intern, 2004 Summer

I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to editing and publishing than the one I gained at Friends Journal. Two years out of college, with an English degree I still wanted to figure out how to use, I came to the JOURNAL to explore life at a small magazine. I left with more than I had expected to gain—a thorough and thoroughly enjoyable education in editing, a new understanding and appreciation of Quaker life, and friends. I loved walking into the office every Monday morning, greeted by the friendly JOURNAL staff, knowing that I would spend a calm and serene day, learning much and enjoying the company around me. The summer and fall months I spent at Friends Journal were also the height of a political campaign season for me, while I worked on my dad’s race for U.S. Senate. My hours at the JOURNAL came to represent a break from a busy and public time, and I appreciated the opportunity to learn so much about editing from such knowledgeable and thoughtful people.

I spent much of my time at the JOURNAL reading through and selecting new manuscripts, copy editing, and learning how to lay pieces out on the computer. I grew to love seeing new arrivals in our piles of submissions, knowing I could look forward to the diverse opinions and thoughts of the JOURNAL’s readership. I learned much from the thorough editing process, watching manuscripts transform as each intern and editor read through them. More than once I was amazed to see a manuscript blossom in an editor’s hands, through changes so small and nuanced I wouldn’t have thought to notice them, changes that strengthened the piece without sacrificing the author’s intent or voice. I realized how much I loved this detail-oriented, nit-picky, background work, and how essential is the editor’s task.

I thank the staff at the JOURNAL for such an enjoyable experience, and for sharing so much of their knowledge and advice. My fellow interns were excellent company, and I probably learned as much from their perspectives and opinions on word and punctuation choice than as from anyone else. Friends Journal is an incredible organization, for both the quality of their publication and the wisdom and conscientiousness of their staff.


Julietta Bekker

Intern, 2004 Summer

Reflecting back on my experience working for Friends Journal this summer, I am amazed at how much I’ve learned, and how much I felt involved in the magazine. My work at FJ included: copyediting, commenting on new articles, helping select and edit poetry, participating in a poetry conference call with the editors, and being an active participant in staff and layout meetings. I was touched that the editors catered to my love of poetry by involving me in so much of the poetry selection and discussion processes. That work was exciting, and I feel that experience has pushed me further toward poetry editing as a possible career. What really struck me as special about FJ was the level of involvement we interns had in many aspects of the publication—we were invited to comment during meetings, and felt our editorial comments valued—a wonderful opportunity I hadn’t expected. I wish to thank all the staff of Friends Journal, particularly the editors, for involving me in the publication, and treating me and the other interns with such respect.

With six fellow interns, all excited about language and about working for a magazine, I had a wonderful, fun time. I grew so comfortable that after a while I hardly noticed I was the youngest, fresh out of high school at 17. We were all friendly and worked well together (or perhaps worked was sometimes too strong a word). We were the Fellowship of the Endless Editorial Change and Occasionally Overlong Lunch break. We got so close we started an email group. I was always eager to come back the next day, to be welcomed by the kind staff and my group of interns.

The group worked on projects together. One of the most interesting projects we all took part in was a sort of FJ archeological dig. We looked through 50 years worth of the JOURNAL, marking particularly well-written, topical, or just amusing articles, poems, and ads for reprinting in celebration of FJ’s 50th year. It was fascinating though draining to search for prize pieces, a process that took us a number of weeks. As a Friend with an interest in history, I was amazed to encounter half a century of world history written by Quakers. Not only were the readings examples of Quaker humanitarian concerns, and testimonies of their incredible activism, but they were evidence of how Quakerism has continued to evolve. It should be interesting to see these reprints in 2005 issues of FJ.

Overall, I had a wonderful learning experience. Highlighted by the humor and friendliness of co-workers, my days were always pleasant. As a Friend, I found the use of Quaker process in FJ staff meetings refreshing—the meetings were clerked, and addressed everyone’s concerns, ending with a time for sharing major events of the past week, which to me, seemed uniquely caring and made the meetings more human. Many decisions were made by consensus, which was effective in practice. I recommend volunteering as an intern to anyone who enjoys editing, and seeks a friendly or Friendly environment with bosses who care.


Joanna Vaughan

Intern, 2004 Summer

My internship here at Friends Journal has made this one of the more enjoyable summers in memory. I was drawn to the opportunity to explore copyediting in a professional setting, which I’ve envisioned as a possible complement to my teaching career. This experience has proved to be that and much more.

I joined the largest “class” of interns—seven—as the oldest member (by far). With our varying schedules, the composition of our group shifted from day to day. As we read, evaluated, edited, and constantly fine-tuned articles, we shared and joked and debated countless comma placements and word choices. I found this a terrifically satisfying exercise, particularly given the team I was working with and the help and resources at hand. It was humbling to see how many edits, by how many pairs of eyes, it took to ferret out every typo, and how many different ways we each might want to tweak the same phrase. With patience and good humor, Bob, the senior editor, would referee—when asked—and step in with the mot juste. For my part, I just made an effort not to make the same mistake twice.

A valuable facet of this opportunity has been the material itself. Submissions to Friends Journal are special in their thoughtfulness and spiritual grounding. Inevitably, this dimension—even where controversy arises—gives an added depth to the task. It has been a particular privilege to assist in the production of the October 2004 special issue on the environment. It has given me both a heightened concern and a determination that with dedicated action we can address the Earth’s crisis.

While I can’t overstate the value of the learning experience that this has been, it has been easily as much fun as educational. In the face of occasionally immature behavior on the part of youthful (and wannabe, just for the summer), spirited, and noisy interns, the staff members of Friends Journal are funny, friendly, helpful, and tolerant. Among staff as well as interns, I have made friendships here that I hope to sustain well into the future.


Gelena Turkel

Intern, 2004 Summer

A few months before graduating high school, I was contemplating what my plans were for the summer ahead. Like most high school seniors, I was undecided about my future major. I have always enjoyed my English classes and I love to read and write. I came to the conclusion that I wanted a taste of the publishing/magazine industry (so that I could maybe narrow down my career options) and what better time than the present.

Coming to Friends Journal as an intern, I was expecting my responsibilities to include taking out the trash, getting coffee for the staff, and spending hours behind the copier. To my surprise and delight, I discovered FJ to be the complete opposite. At FJ, the staff, which was extremely kind and helpful, treated me as a member of the team. I felt that my options and suggestions were always respected and considered. When I came home from my first day at FJ, I couldn’t wait to tell my parents about the new terms and skills of copyediting that I had learned that day and how I excited I was to return to the pleasant and friendly environment of FJ. At FJ, I reviewed manuscripts, and edited articles that were chosen for publication. Besides copyediting, I was exposed to various software such as Quark XPress and Adobe PageMaker. Also, I learned about the art department’s various responsibilities from attending the layout meetings.

As my internship comes to an end, I feel that I have gained a good understanding of the inner workings of a magazine as well as the friendships of the other six interns. I would definitely encourage anyone with an interest in publishing, editing, and/or writing to intern at FJ for the experience is truly educational as well as memorable.