Amanda Nardi ’11 Internship Blends Books and Fashion

A “boutique” literary agency is one that is exclusive and usually very small. The name is also perfect for Amanda Nardi’s ’11 purposes – it brings together both her fondness for books and for the trendy frontier of modern fashion. She has an internship this summer at the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency, and has been working as an assistant to Sarah Crowe, a literary agent who specializes in fashion literature and young adult novels. Crowe is only one of four agents working for Harvey-Klinger, which is in midtown Manhattan.

Nardi’s main responsibility is to read query letters and decide whether or not the proposed story is worth publication. A query letter is a formal letter containing possible ideas for a story. If Nardi reads the letter and likes the idea, she will contact the author, who then sends the manuscript. At this point, Nardi’s job becomes much like what a food critic is to a magazine or newspaper – she assesses the flavor of the book, looking for savory or spicy plot lines and characters. Then she reports to Crowe on what she read.

Although her job primarily consists of reading stories, Nardi also gets to watch the contract process. She learns from observing Crowe deal with authors and other agencies like Random House and Penguin. As a creative writing minor, the experience has been invaluable. “Sara is an incredible resource for information about the industry,” she said.

However, publishing is not Nardi’s intended career path. Rather, she hopes to acquire a job in fashion journalism. Last summer, she had a fashion wardrobe internship with Bradshaw Designs and a journalism internship with The North County News, an award-winning local newspaper located in Westchester County, N.Y. Her job this summer will give her a more comprehensive background of the writing, editing and publishing process.

The internship is unfunded, though, so she most likely would not have accepted if she had not applied for and received Hamilton’s Joseph F. Anderson ’44 Internship Fund. The fund provides stipends to support full-time internships for students wishing to take on not-for-profit internships in preparation for potential careers after graduation. A student in any proposed or declared area of concentration may apply for the award.

In her free time, Nardi is the head writer for the style section of Hamilton’s magazine, The Continental. On the Hill, she plays varsity softball and manages to find time to practice over the summer. She also contributes to The Supermelon, an online fashion, art and travel magazine for which Jenna Fain ’09 is the assistant editor.

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