“When I was in third grade, I made the horrific decision that I wanted to be a writer one day,” says Annalise Errico ‘21, who majored in Creative Writing and double minored in Literature and in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (now reimagined as Gender, Race, and Sexuality Studies).
All jokes aside, Annalise still loves writing and wouldn’t change her career path for the world. Her eight-year-old self, though, had no idea how difficult an industry she had set her sights on.
“A very depressing statistic is that only 1 percent of books that get written get published, which is unbelievable when you think about how many books get published in a year,” says Annalise. “That’s a lot of people’s dreams that are not being fulfilled.”
Although statistics such as this one can be discouraging, Annalise has not given up on her dream of having her own book published one day.
Even before coming into college, Annalise knew she wanted to study creative writing. She gravitated toward Lesley when she learned that Creative Writing was an undergraduate major rather than just a concentration, something that was not the case at many other schools she looked at.
After enrolling at Lesley, Annalise soon realized she was interested in all of the literature classes, so it made sense to choose literature as her minor. In these courses, she did a lot of research into feminist and queer theory, which prompted her to add women’s, gender, & sexuality studies as another minor.
“I have always been really interested in feminism as a lens through which to look at literature,” says Annalise. “Also, we’re at a point where gender is being questioned in a lot of ways, so it’s exciting to be able to converse about these topics.”
Prior to the first semester of her junior year, Annalise began applying to internships at various publishing houses, magazines, and websites. In addition to writing, Annalise had always had an interest in editing and was hoping to find an internship that offered editing experience.
"Like anyone, I got rejected a bunch of times," she says. "I thought, ‘What am I going to do? The thing that I have been putting my focus on for so many years hasn’t panned out.’ So, that’s when I started aggressively researching literary agencies.”
Finally, she found Ladderbird, a literary agency that focuses on representing marginalized voices, which Annalise says often get ignored in publishing.
Ladderbird offered Annalise an editorial internship, which she completed during the fall of 2019. In January of 2020, she was offered a freelance editing position at Ladderbird, which spanned through the following September. When she graduated from Lesley in the spring of 2021, Ladderbird offered Annalise a full-time position as an assistant literary agent, which is the position she happily remains in today.
"When I'm not agenting, I write," says Annalise. "Considering the trials and tribulations of publishing, writing as a job is sort of one of those pipe dreams that I would love to achieve at some point. Working toward it is really the only way I’ll ever get there, but if it never came to fruition, I would still feel fulfilled as an agent."
Lesley University is one of the few schools in the Boston area that offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Creative Writing. At Lesley, you can choose from 35+ undergraduate majors and 45+ minors in art & design, education, counseling and psychology, humanities, social sciences, and more. Craft a creative program combination and design a degree plan that is uniquely yours.