Get a job in publishing: Personal life not required

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Want to work for the wonderful Dalkey Archive Press? You’re in luck. Or maybe not.

In a recent call for interns, Dalkey detailed what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. Here are some highlights, arranged in order of normal to absurd:

– know how to act and behave in a professional office environment with high standards of performance
 — demonstrate a strong interest in literary publishing
 — are willing to start off at a low-level salary and work their way upwards
 — do not have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work at the Press (family obligations, writing, involvement with other organizations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc.)

The job description is of course meant to be tongue-so-firmly-in-cheek-that-you-couldn’t-possibly-miss-it, but, John O’Brien (Dalkey’s American Director, and creator of the listing) says people didn’t get the joke. In an email exchange with the Irish Times, O’Brien says “I certainly have been called an ‘asshole’ before, but not as many times within a 24-hour period.”

Salon’s coverage ran below the headline “Worst job posting ever?” And there’s already a delightful and proleptic fake twitter account for @DalkeyIntern.

In spite of the sarcasm, O’Brien isn’t just joking around. The internship is real, and so is the prospect for a real employment down the line. Here’s more from O’Brien:

“So the tongue-in-cheek advertisement was a call to apply for the internships (and the two possible positions) if you’re going to be serious and are ready; if not, then let’s not waste each other’s time. Usually this is couched in the sanitised language of ‘must be deadline-oriented, well-organised, ambitious’, etc. But as I think we’ve known for a long time, the age of irony is dead, and I’m a fossil.”

Jokes aside, Dalkey is indeed a wonderful press, and their future interns (should they survive) will be quite lucky.

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— Benjamin Samuel is the co-editor of Electric Literature. He was once an intern at Penguin, but his therapists assure him that they’ll nip that PTSD in the bud. You can find him here.

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