COURTESY STACY TESTA ’10

Literary assistant at Writers House, a ­literary agency in New York City. Princeton major: English, with a ­certificate in theater.

What she does: Testa reads hundreds of query letters a month from aspiring authors, rejects most of them, but sends the most promising manuscripts to her boss. Testa helps to edit book manuscripts and pitch publishers. She also hunts for new talent, “trolling the Internet and grilling my friends to find fresh writers and concepts.” An informational interview arranged with the help of a family friend led to her being called back when a position opened up.

Saying no: Turning down aspiring writers and their books has been difficult. “It felt hard and sad and sort of upsetting to reject people initially,” says Testa. Even if she loves a manuscript, she needs to consider whether a publisher would buy it. 

What she likes: “It never, ever gets boring. There’s always a new project or a new client to get excited about.”