BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
But before books find themselves at libraries or in bookstores around the world, there’s the process of publishing them.
For the past 15 years, Loyola University Maryland has been home to the Apprentice House Press, the nation’s first student-run publishing company.
“There’s so many more moving parts than you think there is behind the scenes,” said Claire Marino, a Loyola sophomore.
When you think about the world of publishing, typically you think of New York City and the hustle and bustle of the streets in the Big Apple. But you don’t have to go too far to find one nestled right here in Baltimore.
“We’ve reviewed over 100 manuscripts and as a class, we decide which books we will and which manuscripts we will offer for publication and we negotiate contracts with authors,” said Kevin Atticks, director of Apprentice House Press. “Then at the end of this semester, the authors will have an edited manuscript and in the fall, we design and we build marketing plans for the books.”
It gives students like Marino the chance to oversee every aspect of the publishing process without ever having to leave campus.
“I feel much more confident going into any professional experience knowing I’ve done this before because it’s much different than just reading a textbook about the book publishing industry.” she said.. “We’re learning about the industry from the inside and there’s nothing more valuable than that in my opinion.”
Atticks said the program helps students find jobs in the publishing world after graduation.
“Students leave here, and if they want to get into publishing, they skip to the front of the line. They have experience that is actual professional experience which makes our students imminently more employable,” he said
Apprentice House Press is already proving to be a success, with upwards of 100 submissions a year, accepting roughly 12% of manuscripts and publishing nearly 20 titles annually.
“Local presses are really the future of publishing,” said Atticks.
It also opens the door to a world of opportunities. At just 18 years old, freshman Enrique Muchacho is now a published author of his queer fiction novel, “A Love Story.”
“I never thought I would have a book published at this age mostly,” said Muchacho, a student at Loyola.
Muchacho is one of only three students who’ve had their manuscripts published through Apprentice House.
“It actually feels incredible,” said Muchacho.
For Marino, who’s studying communications and writing, she finds joy in collaborating with future authors.
“It’s really been fascinating to work with somebody on something that’s their pride and joy, their brain child, and be able to have a part in helping it see the world,” she said.
It’s a chapter in her life she said she’ll never forget.
“It’s really special to be a part of something like this because we are the only ones in the country that does it this way. It’s a very unique experience and it does kind of make me feel accomplished, like I’ve been a part of something really special,” said Marino.