After London internship at Simon & Schuster, alumna heads to NYC


Kimberly Capriola '11 took her MCLA degree in English/Communications to London, England, where she's completing her master's degree in children's literature at the University of Roehampton - home to the National Centre for Research in Children's Literature.

Soon, she'll head to New York City to begin a career in children's book publishing, on her way to becoming a full-time author, and perhaps an illustrator, as well.

Growing up in Portland, Maine, Capriola was an avid reader.

"There's one reading memory from my childhood I'll never forget: looking up from the pages of the latest Harry Potter book, and only then becoming conscious of the smile on my face," Capriola said.

"In that moment, I realized I belonged behind books. Somehow, either through publishing or my own writing, I decided I would help recreate that moment for other children. And I've never really looked back."

Because networking is key to success in the publishing industry, Capriola applied for internships in New York City and London.

"Through my contacts, I was offered the opportunity to speak with literary agent Christopher Little, who represented J.K. Rowling at the start of her career," she explained. "Through this good fortune, I received more publishing contacts and continued to network until I was finally offered an internship at Simon & Schuster in London. I learned a great deal while working with a lovely group of people."

Next month, Capriola will submit her Creative Dissertation - a 15,000-word story for young readers and a 5,000-word critical analysis of the research and writing process - the final step to complete her one-year master's program.

As a youth, Capriola dreamed of traveling to the United Kingdom. She realized that dream in 2010 when she journeyed to York, London and Edinburgh with Dr. Rosanne Denhard's "Arts of Medieval and Renaissance Britain" class.

This past spring semester, she met with Denhard's latest group of MCLA students on their trip abroad. Capriola described the experience as "so, so surreal."

"Here I was, in London, feeling quite at home, really. Mind you, back in 2010, London was so foreign, so big, and so intimidating. But if my travels have taught me anything, it's that you ought to do what scares you. Don't let fear cloud your desire to try something new," Capriola said. 

While at the University of Roehampton, Capriola met English children's author Dame Jacqueline Wilson and British author Melvin Burgess, who read her writing and offered his expertise.

She also gained friends from all around the world. In addition to those from the U.K. and the United States, Capriola has friends from Spain, Mexico, Cyprus, Italy, China, Germany and Austria - among other countries.

As a graduate of MCLA, Capriola follows in the tradition of her grandmother and her great grandmother, both of whom earned their teaching degrees at the College. As a transfer student during her sophomore year, she found she wasn't "just seat in a classroom," but an individual with ambitions. She jumped right in to campus life.

She joined Spires, MCLA's art and literary magazine, and became its editor-in-chief the following year. Toward the end of her first year, Capriola also received an Excellence in Public Relations Award - after adding public relations as a concentration, along with Spanish.

Soon after arriving at MCLA, Capriola also joined the staff of the student-run newspaper, The Beacon, where she became a copy editor in 2009. That same summer, she interned at nearby Tupelo Press, for which she received an Excellence in Off-Campus Internship Award.

 "As a transfer student, I worried that I may find it difficult to acclimate myself on campus and in clubs," she said. "But, MCLA provided me with an encouraging atmosphere to try new things."