May 26, 2021

NYU SPS Publishing Students Are Recipients of New Penguin Random House Scholarships

The NYU SPS Center for Publishing has selected three recipients of the newly created Penguin Random House Scholarship: Megan McDonald, Sophie Schmidt,  and Emilia Sowersby. They will be participating in this year’s NYU Summer Publishing Institute (SPI) three-week, virtual program, which begins June 7.

“We look forward to working with these remarkable students,” said Andrea Chambers, executive director, NYU Center for Publishing, Digital and Print Media. “The very generous gift from Penguin Random House has greatly enabled their ability to study with us and pursue a career in book publishing.”

In December 2020, Penguin Random House made a donation to the NYU Center for Publishing to fund the Center for Publishing Penguin Random House Scholarship.  It was established to help foster greater diversity in the publishing industry, and enable college juniors and seniors, as well as recent college graduates, who are interested in pursuing a career in publishing, to attend the NYU Summer Publishing Institute program.

Meet the 2021 NYU Center for Publishing Penguin Random House Scholarship recipients:

Megan McDonald is a first-generation Peruvian American, studying at Washington University in St. Louis, with a major in English literature as well as minors in Spanish and writing (graduating in 2021). This spring, she interned at Con Todo Press, a small bilingual children’s book publisher. She is passionate about books for young readers and hopes to continue working with publishers who champion diverse stories and uplift underrepresented voices in the industry.

Sophie Schmidt was raised on a steady diet of library books, bedtime stories from her dad, and frequent trips to her local bookstores in west Michigan. In high school, she began to share her love for the written word with others through her blog, The Mind of a Book Dragon, which is where she found publishing, and her world changed. She sought opportunities to work in her local indie, write freelance articles for Justine Magazine, and join the online book world. At Michigan State University, she earned a degree in 2020 in professional writing with a focus on editing, publishing, and technical writing, and a minor in Asian Pacific American studies. During her time at MSU, Sophie was an active member of the Asian American Pacific Islander community through research, student leadership, and planning community-wide events. As a Chinese American adoptee, Sophie is deeply committed to the We Need Diverse Books campaign and recognizes the nuances within the #OwnVoices discourse. She hopes to work in editorial or managing editorial, helping breathe life into the stories she loves.

Emilia Sowersby is a 2021 graduate of Brown University, where she studied literary arts. An avid reader of everything from high fantasy to grounded, upmarket fiction to memoir, she hopes to work on the editorial side of publishing to amplify underrepresented voices in literature. Previously, she interned at the Avon and William Morrow imprints at HarperCollins in editorial, as well as at Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agency. At Brown, she's proud to lead the only novel editing club on campus and works as a senior editor for the Brown Journal of History. Emilia grew up in Japan (where her mother's side of the family lives), Nevada, and Colorado. She hopes to make the move to NYC this summer to pursue her dreams of working with books.

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