The super-grad is back! The Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) graduates are back in action with backgrounds and hobbies just as impressive as past years’. Publishing Trends has once again created an amalgam of the most exotic and surprising parts of the students’ biographies, so the industry can see the type of superhuman Publishing Course graduates with whom it will be dealing. With the exception of a few connective phrases, all words used are the students’ own.
This year’s Typical Columbia Publishing Course Grad (we’ll call her Hester) is a Hometown, USA gal —where she is unabashedly proud to have two of her own ice cream flavors commercially produced. A former fashion model and avid reader since childhood, she once boasted in a letter from summer camp “I am the best speller in my cabin.” Hester spent her childhood enthusiastically caring for her dog and several “pet” crossbred cattle. Her writing career started early when, at the age of eleven, she became her hometown newspaper’s first film critic, a position she held for eight years.
During college, she started up a branch of a new SAT tutoring company, moonlighted as a semiprofessional poker player, and worked twenty-five hours a week in the college’s mailroom, where she learned more about people through unsealed packages than she could have in years of conversation. A one-time competitive yo-yoer, her love of adventure led her to serve as a wilderness guide in northern Ontario, spend a semester off the grid in the backcountry of New Zealand, manage a national project to reduce teen pregnancy in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and manage a division of over 20 grant-funded programs for a mental health department in the largest non-profit home health care agency in the US. She spent the past two years in Orange County, California, working in architecture for the Walt Disney Company and helping tell classic tales through brick, mortar, and plenty of themed paint. She is also co-founder of the Jewelry Project, an organization that promotes women’s financial independence through jewelry making in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Her interest in publishing developed during her time as senior editor on The Brown Daily Herald, where she also enjoyed recruiting writers with promises of homemade pie. She has been a library gremlin in conservation and digitization, and her love of publishing encouraged her to begin a global collection of Harry Potter international editions. She currently possesses titles in their British, Icelandic, Italian, and Japanese editions.
In her free time, Hester enjoys breakdancing and writing poetry. Since being awarded the Stanley Colbert Chapbook Award in the spring of 2013, she manages her personal website where she publishes and promotes the sale of the comics she has written, drawn, and stapled together, and keeps her leadership skills fresh as a certified Spin® instructor. She also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about a fox and a mouse who both love chocolate.
To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.
New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 36th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.