Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

New Direction, But Not Really

In front of the Paramount building where I now work!A while ago I promised to update you, dear readers, on my new career plans. Now seems the perfect time to do it, so let me start with this announcement:

I have been interning for one of New York City’s top agencies (for about a month now)!

Already, it’s been an amazing ride.

As though a Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA isn’t enough, now I am learning so much more as a writer. While the writing program is focused almost exclusively on the craft and the hard work of being an artist (and I love that about it), my experience with the agency is completing my education from the biz side of the desk. My favorite parts of the job so far are treasure hunting through the slush pile, reading promising requested materials and working with the agency’s current clients in getting their manuscripts ready for submission. Oh, and the weekly meetings! It’s where a lot of the learning takes place.

A word of warning: I am limited in how much I can blog about my experience. I cannot talk about names, numbers or certain other specifics. But I will gladly pass along an occasional nugget of wisdom of a more general nature, whenever I can.

This experience is not just about the learning. It is a new beginning, a first step.

A few months ago, after I have decided it was time to start a new career to complement my writing and help support my family, I considered several options. I did not want to return to journalism or go back to school yet again. I am already in school! I looked for different possibilities that would allow me to capitalize on what I already know and on the things I can already do well.

Reflecting along those lines led me to the realization that I have been learning everything I could about the publishing industry for more than a decade now. To top it off, writer friends, published and unpublished have been telling me for years how much they have appreciated my feedback on their work. A couple of them said it straight out, “you should be an editor!” I brushed their comments off. More recently, the few editing clients I have taken on told me the same thing. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I actually enjoy diving deep into a manuscript in search of its truth. Helping great books come to life and find their way to readers — especially young readers — this is an easy mission for me to believe in. It’s a mission I have already accepted a while ago.

So, this is my new life. The days when I take the commuter bus into the Serendipity office are now my favorite days. (Though I love returning home to my quiet town just as much). By the way, this may sound strange,  but I LOVE the commuter bus. One hour plus of quiet with no distractions equals some quality writing time.

I love the city, my first American home, a busy nervous wondrous place where I fit right in. Its crazy energy feeds me with new ideas, while the new restrictions on my schedule actually seem to increase my productivity.

I realize building an editorial career in publishing, while continuing to raise my kids and writing is going to have its challenges. But, after months of careful research of potential other careers (what am I going to do when I grow up?) I realized, EVERY career has its challenges. The trick is to find one that would make me WANT to overcome them, maybe even embrace them And I am pretty sure this is it.

In my meandering train ride and plane sweep of a life I have learned not to commit to forever. Who knows what lies behind a distant bend? But I sure hope to spend the next long leg of the journey elbow deep in manuscripts, contracts, rights, P & L statements, and most of all, words, words, words.

Please wish me luck! Needless to say, I will keep you posted, as always. :)

at work

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March 14, 2014 - Posted by | From the Other Side of the Desk: Adventures in Publishing, Personal Mirror, Writing Mirror


  1. Good for you, Katia! I wish you all the best!

    Comment by Karen Calloway | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  2. Does this mean we’ll meet in the PA ladies room occasionally, hopefully both stalls will be functioning. Congrats and the best always. Will you take a look at my poems occasionally, of course only in your spare time (ha, ha)

    Comment by Kath Santangelo | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  3. Katia,

    This is great! You are on your way to great things. So proud of you.


    Comment by Kathy Temean | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  4. Katia, not only are you beautiful, intelligent, and unselfishly willing to give of your time to share your writing knowledge with us, but you have studied yourself as far as interests, abilities, and what would be best for you and your family at this time in your life. You have decided what direction to go, now. As a retired teacher, I give you an A +++. I’m sure you’ll be a success in your new endeavors and still manage to have time for your family. You are an inspiration to us. (My desire from age ten on was always to teach children. I enjoyed a lifetime teaching career and now in my older years dabble in writing for children as a hobby.)

    Comment by Barbara Holland | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  5. You guys. Thank you. Feeling so supported!

    Comment by Katia Raina | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  6. Katia, I’m so glad you’re following your dreams. Have a wonderful time and best of luck.

    Comment by doriskstone | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  7. Congrats Katia and good luck on your new journey! I’m sure you’ll be amazing!

    Comment by robin | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  8. I hope all your dreams come true. You are on a great path.

    Comment by Rosi Hollinbeck | March 15, 2014 | Reply

  9. I love following your journey, Katia. And you know I value your editorial feedback. You should be an editor!

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetterj | March 15, 2014 | Reply

  10. Congratulations, Katia! You look so professional in these photos. And of course, you are professional. Enjoy this new adventure.

    Comment by Joanne Fritz | March 16, 2014 | Reply

  11. This sounds exciting. Sometimes I think about entering a publishing-related field–I know I’m a writer, but I’m talking about a day job, something with editing or agenting. You’re going to get so much from this job.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | March 18, 2014 | Reply

    • That’s what I’m thinking, too, Medeia, a day job I can love.

      Comment by Katia Raina | March 18, 2014 | Reply

  12. Thanks again, everyone. Your encouragement over the years means so much to me!

    Comment by Katia Raina | March 18, 2014 | Reply

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