When I was a child, I imitated the many books that I read, silently narrating my day-to-day. Although my personal stories were always mundane, to me, they were never boring. My unpleasant French teacher, who I won’t name, became Miss Trunchbull. My childhood crush was as dashing as Prince Caspian. A walk with my best friend had the potential to be as riveting as an adventure with Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins. I clung to these stories because they prescribed me a sense of order and predictability as a child. When a narrator speaks, one can usually expect a happy ending. While I now know that that’s not always the case in real life, cultivating an inner “literary” monologue allowed me to better interpret the outside world.
As I grew older, my child-like narrative voice slowly faded away. Instead, I had an intense longing to engage with others’ storytelling. I wanted to understand how they perceived the world, but, most of all, I wanted to help them master the necessary tools to tell their stories. I imagine that everyone has their own inner narrative voice, and that the task of a good editor is both to nurture it and to help writers clearly convey their tales to readers.
With this in mind, after high school, I decided to enroll as an English and Philosophy major at the University of Toronto. As an undergraduate, I refined my literary criticism by studying theory and reading the classics. However, my real schooling began last semester when I was fortunate enough to intern at a literary agency based in New York City—this experience solidified my passion for the publishing industry.
With revitalized vigor for the opportunities that lie ahead, I’m excited to join the Sundress Publications team this year and learn more about what literary publishing entails.
Crysta Montiel is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto in Canada, where she studies English Literature and Philosophy. She previously worked as an editorial intern at Ayesha Pande Literary Agency. When Crysta’s not digging through treasure troves of queries, she’s completing her Criterion Collection bucket list and playing with her cat.