The Porcupette’s last letter

My internship at the Porcupine’s Quill has been an overwhelming, terrifying and challenging journey.

And I am so glad I did it!

A blog can’t express how grateful I am to the Inksters for allowing me to learn from them for the past year and a half — and also for introducing me to Holtom’s Bakery, of course. I’ve learned more here than most people do in an undergraduate degree, and not only about publishing but about hard work, dedication and the value of a good coffee break. The Porcupine’s Quill is one of the smallest, and certainly one of the greatest, publishers in Canada, and every English-language reader in this country (and elsewhere) should be grateful for the professionalism, skill and passion that Tim and Elke pour into their work (and their cats). Working with them — the Inksters, not the cats — has been a truly enriching experience for me.

For my last blog, I thought I’d take the time to organize a roundup of every past Letter from the Porcupette. Organized by theme, posts may be found under more than one category as I often covered more than one topic each week. Hopefully you’ll find it useful while untangling the archives of my internship!

As for me, I have a month left in my teaching contract in France, and soon after that I return to Canada to pursue an MA in English literature at the University of Victoria (with the optimistic intention of returning to publishing afterwards, obviously). If you want to keep in touch with me, I have a personal blog and I’m also always available on Twitter as @caleighminshall. (Feel free to send me job offers! Or, failing that, lots of luck. Or questions about publishing, if you prefer.)

Good luck with your writing, editing, marketing and interning! Without further ado: The Big Prickly Roundup of Letters from the Porcupette.

All about PQ authors:

Digital marketing, social media & website gymnastics:

Grants, applications & related things:

Metadata & Onix:


Out and about with the Quill:

Personal with the Porcupette:


Reading guides:

Time management & hours spent on the job:

Tip sheets:

Tips for writers and interns:

Typesetting (& typing):

WorldCat/email sales campaigns:

Thanks again for your faithful reading! It’s been a blast.

Porcupette out.

P.S. A friend rightly remarked that, despite over a year’s worth of blogging, I never managed to cover how to get an internship of your own. Well, Rachel Stark at Trac Changes has a good series about how to get started. I recommend you read up!

About Caleigh

Intern at the Porcupine's Quill.
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4 Responses to The Porcupette’s last letter

  1. Justin says:

    Congrats Caleigh! So proud of you :)

  2. the big cheese says:

    fare well little porcupette! We’ll miss you

  3. Pingback: The last day of my publishing internship « Caleigh's Blog

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The Porcupine’s Quill is remarkable in Canadian publishing in that most of the physical production of our journal is completed in-house at the shop on the Main Street of Erin Village. We print on a twenty-five inch Heidelberg KORD, typically onto acid-free Zephyr Antique laid. The sheets are then folded, and sewn into signatures on a 1907 model Smyth National Book Sewing machine.

To take a virtual tour of the pressroom, visit us at YouTube for a discussion of offset printing in general, and the operation of a Heidelberg KORD in particular. Other videos include Four Colour Printing, Smyth Sewing and Wood Engraving. Photographs of production machinery used on these pages were taken by Sandra Traversy on site at the printing office of the Porcupine's Quill, December 2008.

The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) is also gratefully acknowledged.