An introduction to PQL’s newest intern

Caleigh Minshall

A porcupette, Google tells me, is a young porcupine. Since the first two months of my internship have been characterized by baby steps into the big bad world of Canadian publishing, I can really relate to those prickly little guys. (Here’s a video of a porcupette if you’ve never seen one — they’re pretty cute.)I asked Tim if I could start a blog precisely because of these porcupette steps I’m taking. From the unsolicited manuscripts (called the ‘slush pile’ in the biz), to the tip sheets I’ll be working on this Friday, to updating old websites, I’ve already learned so much from Tim and Elke (and I’ve still only ever been inside the shop once). I hope that by writing about my experiences, those of you on the outside of PQL can still benefit from what I’m learning (marginally) on the inside.

My internship so far has been carried out primarily online. Although my hometown is Caledon, right now I’m studying English literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, so regular travel to Erin isn’t in my budget or my schedule. My tasks vary pretty widely week to week; I have some large projects that need to be finished by a specific deadline, but I also have a number of smaller projects that just need to be finished, well, eventually. Balancing all of my activities at school with the internship has been tough, but worth it. My original aim when I began pestering Tim and Elke in September was to learn as much as possible about small Canadian presses, and to contribute to PQL in some (small, perhaps, but all the same) meaningful way. So far, I feel like that aim has already been amply fulfilled — at least in terms of the former! — and I’m very excited to share the rest of my internship on the PQL website.

I hope you find this blog informative and occasionally, perhaps, entertaining. Although I’ll try to write regularly about what I’m up to and what I’m learning at the press, if you have any particularly burning questions you’d like me to address, feel free to email me.

Despite being the resident porcupette, I’ll end this post with a few more humanizing details: I like to run regularly (once every two weeks…), Sailor Girl by Sheree-Lee Olson holds the current place of honour on my bedside table, and my favourite kind of sandwich is peanut butter and, obviously, banana. (This will make more sense if you watch the porcupette video I linked to.) Oh, and my all-time favourite book? That old children’s classic, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

Porcupette out.

— Caleigh Minshall

About Caleigh

Intern at the Porcupine's Quill.
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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 Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.