Ella Napack ’23

By The Way Berkshires, Williamstown, MA

I traveled to Melville’s Arrowhead to cover a reading for the Mastheads’ Writers in Residency.

I had the pleasure of interning with By The Way Berkshires, a digital magazine, calendar and newsletter that explores the culture, arts and vitality of the Berkshire community. I really enjoyed the experience as a writing intern for Kate Abbott ’00, the owner and editor of the magazine.

The experience provided me with valuable learning moments from shadowing Kate who is very thoughtful, knowledgeable, and helpful. I gained a lot of knowledge on interviewing, writing and editing. I was able to have articles published, which is a very exciting step forward for an aspiring journalist like myself. My first article was on a poetry program called INSCAPES, which was a collaboration between MCLA and The Mastheads literary project. My second project was the main focal point of my internship, and it was focused on the anti-racism work that theatre and arts organizations in the Berkshires have been partaking in. I was particularly dedicated to this article, Theatre and arts leaders commit to change, and I spent a lot of time researching and interviewing to create a complete piece. My next pieces were on the Hostile Terrain 94 gallery exhibition at MCLA’s Gallery 51; a story, Five writers share vibrant works from Berkshire residency, about five fascinating poets and playwrights that participated in The Mastheads writers residency this summer; and an article on the new herbalist shop Wild Soul River in town.

I appreciated the process of working on these pieces from start to finish. I learned how to conduct different types of interviews in different settings, some in person and some on Zoom. It was also great to work closely with Kate each day. I am grateful to have learned so much more about the Berkshire’s rich culture through this process—it is a very special place with many stories to tell.

I also dedicated a portion of this internship to the website and social media platforms. I researched event calendars for different venues across the Berkshires and added them to the BTW Berkshires larger events calendar. I also developed the BTW Berkshires Instagram page. I created content for stories and events, analyzed how different types of posts were doing and interacted with other organizations digitally.

This internship has solidified my desire to pursue journalism professionally. I am very appreciative to have had this individualized experience as the only intern; I was able to develop my journalism skills and find my rhythm and voice in writing. I am eager to keep writing for BTW Berkshires as a freelance author this semester. This summer was phenomenal and lots of fun!