In 2020, The Women’s Media Group is thrilled to sponsor several major financial scholarships with top-rated publishing programs as part of our ever-expanding efforts to support and retain talented young women in the publishing and media sectors. Through these scholarships we can support the education of future publishing professionals who have demonstrated leadership in advancing literacy and promoting diversity/underrepresented voices in our industry – an essential goal for our group as we look toward the future.
This year, we’re working with NYU’S Summer Publishing Course (NYU SPC) for the first time – which offers an incredibly rich and rigorous program, advancing many bright stars who enter the book and magazine publishing fields. We’re also continuing to work with the Columbia University Publishing Course (CPC), as we’ve been doing for many years – as they offer a wonderfully intensive and comprehensive introduction program to all aspects of the publishing landscape. Both programs are highly competitive and recognized as premier training grounds for those aspiring to work in publishing. We are also actively seeking out other programs to support and add to this distinguished list.
Every summer, The Women’s Media Group awards several Fellowships to young women from diverse backgrounds who are attending or have completed the Publishing Certificate Program at City College of New York. Fellows receive a stipend to help cover their living costs as they participate in WMG networking and social events, and meet our members for organized one-on-one mentoring. Our goal is to help our Fellows establish careers in media beyond their summer course, and to eventually welcome them as members later in their career.
Boranda Diaz is a senior at City College where she majors in English and is currently enrolled in the Publishing Certificate Program. One of her goals as an aspiring editor is to explore stories written by Latinx writers like herself as well as other writers of color. Boranda hopes that through this fellowship she can learn what it takes to be an editor so she can help writers of multiple backgrounds get their stories out there. There is a growing need for those voices especially now.
Ellen Dong recently graduated from the City College of New York with a degree in English, Creative Writing and completed the Publishing Certificate Program. She is a first-generation American who learned to take her struggles understanding the English language and turn it into inspiration. Ellen has a passion for both the publishing and healthcare fields. For the last two years, Ellen worked as a phlebotomist in a hospital. She is also one of the frontline healthcare workers who fought alongside many others throughout the pandemic. Ellen hopes to use this fellowship as an opportunity not only to develop experience in the publishing field but also to change how her community views this career path.
Mumtahinah Ahmed graduated from The City College of New York in 2018 with a degree in Communications. She has interned at publishing houses and literary agencies but then she decided that she wanted to make an impact on children's lives. Mumtahinah worked in The New York City Department of Education as a Communications and Operations Associate where she did teacher takeovers on @TeachNYC social media accounts, managed teaching opportunities on the ITeachNYC website and connected with teacher candidates to principals. She is now getting her master's degree in Education from John Hopkins University and will teach second grade in the fall. Mumtahinah is very excited to reconnect with her past mentors and fellows!
Destany Atkinson is a 2018 graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course and a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a baccalaureate honors degree in English, Destany aims to utilize her editorial and writing experiences to become part of the publishing field and secure opportunities in writing, editing, and publicity. She is currently the Lead Children's Bookseller at McNally Jackson.
Candice Coote graduated this spring from the City College of New York. She majored in English Literature and is part of the school’s Publishing Certificate Program (PCP). Having previously attended art school, earning her A.A.S. in Graphic Design/Illustration from Pratt Institute, she is creative and well-rounded with varied skill sets that have helped her to keep striving toward her goals in publishing. Before entering the PCP, Candice was an editorial intern at BUST Magazine and Akashic Books and bookseller/intern at Artbook @ MoMA PS1. Currently, she is finishing up a managing editorial internship at Open Road Integrated Media and is an agency assistant/intern at McKinnon Literary. Dedicated to diversity and representation, she hopes to carve a path for people of color and other underrepresented voices both in books and behind the scenes in the publishing industry.
Alfha Gonzalez is a senior at the City College of New York pursuing a career in Publishing. At the age of twelve, she left her family in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York City with hopes for a better future. During her high school years, Alfha immersed herself in the world of literature, falling in love with the English Language. After years of studying literature and learning more about her own passions, she decided to pursue a career in the book business. Alfha has published articles in campus publications such as Harlem Focus, and The Campus. Her love for reading and writing underlies her commitment to the written word, and how books can transform lives for the better.
Tahmena Hussain graduated from The City College of New York, with a B.A. in English Creative Writing. She has been on the Dean’s List, 2016, and her attention to detail in her writing earned her The David Markowitz Essay Award, 2017. Shortly after graduation, Tahmena interned at Penguin Random House with Penguin Young Readers Group in the publicity department writing pitch letters, researching bloggers and media outlets, and drafting itineraries for author tours. Her internship was a very rewarding experience which gave her insight into the realities of the publishing industry, and it has increased her interest in pursuing a professional career in publishing. As a first-generation Muslim-Bengali-American female, and the only member of her family to graduate from a four-year college, Tahmena is grateful and honored to be a fellow recipient of the Women’s Media Group. She is looking forward to exploring new opportunities and to building connections with various women of such an esteemed organization.
Linda Kessler is a graduate of the NYU Summer Publishing Institute and a first-generation summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Texas, where she majored in journalism. An experienced writer and editor, she has worked for multiple newspapers, an academic publisher, and a statewide dog magazine. Working in media has taught Linda the importance of telling and sharing diverse stories. Fueled by her love for grammar and storytelling, she hopes to become an acquisitions editor or work as a literary agent.
Jéla Lewter is a graduate of American University in Washington, DC where she earned a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. In her three and a half years at AU, she held executive editorial positions on two campus publications and consulted with students on their academic papers at the campus writing center. After graduating, Jéla continued an internship with SAGE Publishing in their college editorial department. Recently, she completed the NYU Summer Publishing Institute and hopes to take all she has learned into a career as an acquisitions editor in children’s and young adult book publishing.
Amber Oliver was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She has been in publishing for more than five years and is currently an associate editor at Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, acquiring contemporary literary fiction, upmarket commercial fiction, and select non-fiction (essay collections, memoir, humor, pop culture) that is well-written, culturally relevant, and totally engrossing. She is also particularly interested in lifting up own voices writers from marginalized communities. Her authors include Robin Page, Shayla Lawson, Lee Matalone, Yaffa S. Santos, Shirley Smith, Claire O’Dell, Boyah J. Farah, Morgan Jerkins, LaTanya McQueen and Ben Philippe. She was a 2019 Publishers Weekly Star Watch Honoree, graduated Cum Laude from The City College of New York (2015), with a BA in English, concentration in Creative Writing, is a graduate of the publishing certificate program, and was a Women’s Media Group Fellow in 2015. She resides in Harlem with her husband.
Hana Park is an Editorial Assistant at Simon & Schuster. She joined Simon & Schuster in 2019, after completing the Columbia Publishing Course. She graduated with honors from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in Nonfiction. Hana was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Norma Perez-Hernandez is an acquiring editorial assistant at Kensington Publishing Corp. She has worked on a variety of projects, including fiction, romance, mysteries, thrillers, and non-fiction. A New York City native, Norma studied English literature at the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York and is a graduate of the Publishing Certificate Program at City College. She is thrilled to build a list with diverse authors and books.
Aurora Soriano is an English Literature major and Theatre minor at the City College of New York, where she is also enrolled in the Publishing Certificate Program. She is an English Honors student, and loves reading both contemporary YA novels and classic literature. Aurora is the current feature editor and a staff writer for CCNY’s magazine The Campus, and is looking forward to working more on editorial skills at her internship with the Children’s Department of McIntosh & Otis this summer.