Avonlea joined the INCLUDAS team as the Summer 2023 Marketing and Design Intern. We are so excited to have her with us!
What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
My favorite thing about myself is my perseverance. When there are roadblocks or obstacles, I try not to give up, and do my best to work through them. Whatever is thrown my way, I take it into stride so that I can achieve my goal.
What’s the most significant thing that’s influenced you as a person?
My family is the most significant thing that has influenced me as a person. My mom and my grandmas have always been big readers, which really influenced me to start reading at a young age. That’s where I got my love of books. My dad has always pushed me to try the best I can academically—he’s my biggest supporter.
What makes you proud of yourself, and what are your aspirations?
I’m proudest of myself for graduating college in three and a half years due to AP credits I acquired in high school, and going straight into getting my masters’s degree. At Emerson College, I’m participating in a 4+1 program where you can take master’s classes your senior year: I’ll have my graduate degree in four and a half years!
Getting a solid job in the industry is my goal. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I want something enough to fulfill me, where I know I’ll be there for a long time, to live the life I want to live.
Why are you interested in working in publishing?
Even back in the early years of high school, I knew I wanted to go into publishing because I love everything about books. If I’m ever having a hard time, I can just go and read a book. And over the years, just learning about the inner workings of the publishing house and working with like-minded individuals has really solidified my desire to work in the industry.
Why is disability diversity in stories important to you?
I’m disabled myself, so seeing people with disabilities and other people within marginalized communities being represented accurately is a very important issue for me. Not only that, but seeing people who are disabled or have other marginalized backgrounds working within the publishing industry and being published is also very important to me, so I wanted to work with a publishing company that aligns with my values and views those topics with as much importance as I do.
I have albinism, and it’s hard finding books—well-written books as well as accurate books—about people who have my disability. Historically, the publishing industry has been very white, cis, straight, and male-dominated and because of that, which definitely affects what books are being published.
What’s your role at INCLUDAS, and what’s been the most fulfilling part about being on the INCLUDAS team?
I’m the marketing and design intern, so I’ve been working with social media and taking part of the design process for an upcoming INCLUDAS project, meeting with the illustrator and talking about the cover design ideas we had. I’m excited to be able to look at a book cover and see my contribution. I’m also really excited to create visuals for our Instagram account because I love experimenting with design.
Any advice for those wanting to work in the publishing industry?
Do your research. There are a lot of platforms that are dedicated to publishing, like Publishers Weekly, where you can learn what’s going on in the industry. You can also learn a lot from social media. There are also always book fairs and similar events that you can go to if they are in your area. Bookstores are also a fun way to learn, since many people who work there are very knowledgeable about publishing.