Graywolf Press is a literary press that publishes about thirty books annually, mostly collections of poetry, memoir, essays, novels, and short stories. Our editors are looking for high quality literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that combine a distinct voice with a distinct vision.
Job Description: Senior Acquiring Editor
Reports to: Editorial Director and Publisher
Graywolf Press seeks a forward-thinking and highly motivated senior editor to acquire new authors for our diverse prose list. We are looking for someone whose experience and interests both complement and expand on our current strengths. The ideal candidate will be passionate about books and literature, a creative strategist, and an effective and enthusiastic team player. There will be opportunities for growth and collaborative involvement in all areas of the organization.
The Senior Acquiring Editor will be responsible for acquiring and editing four to six works of prose a year for the Graywolf list. This position will be focused on cultivating a new generation of writers, and will play an active role in shaping the future of Graywolf’s prose list. In addition, the Senior Acquiring Editor will work with Graywolf staff and board, as well as external partner organizations, to contribute to marketing, promotion, events, and fundraising.
- Acquire and/or edit four to six books a year that contribute to Graywolf’s list of contemporary prose writers from a wide range of backgrounds whose singular voices engage with issues of our time.
- Act as primary author contact for acquired titles and select titles assigned by editorial director or publisher, and carry out full range of house editor duties on these books: structural and line edits, transmittal to production, author attention, cover briefs, catalog copy, endorsement requests, etc.
- Actively participate in editorial meetings to discuss the merits of manuscripts under consideration (including submissions for internal prose prizes) and to help develop publishing plans for future lists.
- Work collaboratively with marketing team to promote acquired titles.
- Help represent Graywolf locally and nationally at author events and conferences.
- Help build and maintain relationships in the publishing industry and wider literary community that benefit the list.
- Work with development department to help present authors to the donor community; support grant writing and fundraising as occasionally requested, etc.
- Lead Graywolf’s participation in the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference and actively participate in other cross-departmental task forces as required.
Skills, Qualities, and Characteristics of Ideal Candidate
- Demonstrated ability to identify, work with, edit, and/or promote contemporary prose writers.
- Experience playing a significant role in the literary world; for example, at a publishing house or magazine, literary agency, or literary center.
- Demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity, equity, and access in publishing and the wider literary community.
- Familiarity with and enthusiasm for the range of Graywolf’s list as well as wide knowledge of contemporary literature.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Highly self-motivated, resourceful, and creative; able to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines; well-organized and attentive to detail while keeping the big picture in mind.
- Ability to work cooperatively and flexibly with others in the editorial department and across the organization.
- Knowledge of languages other than English.
- Interest in and curiosity about new forms of reading and distribution.
- Interest in Graywolf’s mission as a nonprofit literary organization and familiarity or past experience with poetry, fundraising, and community outreach.
- High level of comfort with Mac OS and Microsoft Office suite and other office technology.
Compensation and Benefits
The starting salary is $60,000–$75,000, dependent on experience. Compensation includes paid time off; health, dental, and life insurance, as well as short-term and long-term disability insurance; and paid parental leave. Graywolf employees are eligible for retirement benefits after one year of service. This is a full-time, exempt position with a preferred start date in January 2021.
Due to COVID-19, Graywolf’s Minneapolis office is closed indefinitely. This position will be remote to start; all candidates must have reliable internet access and be able to provide their own workspace. A Mac laptop will be supplied by Graywolf. Willingness to eventually move to Minneapolis is a plus but not required.
All travel is currently suspended due to COVID-19. Eventually, this position will be expected to travel 4-6 times per year to attend conferences, meetings, and events; if this position is based outside of Minneapolis, this position will be expected to travel to Graywolf’s offices for meetings at least once per year.
- Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time.
- Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes.
About Graywolf Press
Graywolf Press is a nonprofit publisher of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including work in translation. We aim to publish books and authors that foster new thinking about what it means to live in the world today. We publish around thirty books each year. The majority of our sixteen-person staff is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota; we also have a presence in the Bay Area and New York City.
Fill out and upload the appropriate documents to this Submittable form.
Applications open on Friday 11/20 and are reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Graywolf Press seeks to increase access to publishing by offering a paid, ten-month Citizen Literary Fellowship.
The Citizen Literary Fellowship is a paid, comprehensive ten-month fellowship designed to support a person who is interested in learning more about the publishing industry through an introductory, hands-on experience. Through substantial project-based work in the editorial and marketing/publicity departments, the fellow will gain a broad base in publishing and be prepared to launch or further a career in the field. We are flexible regarding the educational background of the candidate, but this position is not intended for those attending school full time.
This fellowship is grounded in our belief that while diversity in the books and authors we publish is vital, it is equally important that the people publishing these books reflect that diversity. As a result, the Fellowship is intended to attract candidates who otherwise would not have access to publishing, and to therefore increase the diversity and inclusivity of the industry. Throughout the year, the fellow will receive active coaching and encouragement from the whole Graywolf team. Our hope is that this fellowship will serve as a doorway to a successful career in publishing or a related literary field.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fellowship, which has been traditionally based in our Minneapolis office, will now be a remote opportunity. This is a part-time (24 hours per week), non-exempt ten-month position with a start date in February 2021. Compensation includes $25,000 (paid twice monthly as regular wages), paid time off, and health and dental insurance.
The fellow will work closely with senior staff in both the editorial and the marketing/publicity departments as they follow new and forthcoming books through every stage of the publication cycle. In addition to attending virtual events and participating in remote meetings as a member of the staff, the fellow will also have an active role in Graywolf’s outreach efforts. When appropriate, we will tailor activities to align with a fellow’s particular interests and skills.
Key editorial responsibilities may include:
- Reading and writing reports on manuscripts under consideration.
- Working with our editors to provide feedback to authors on manuscripts that are in development.
- Soliciting endorsements and drafting catalog copy for forthcoming books.
- Reading print and online magazines to discover emerging writers.
- Researching other publishers’ titles to find market comparisons for Graywolf books.
- Attending literary events and reporting on new and interesting writers.
Key marketing responsibilities may include:
- Researching and contacting new sales, media, and advertising outlets, including those that reach diverse communities.
- Assisting with author events and tour publicity/promotion.
- Assisting with the development of backlist marketing.
- Assisting with creation, production, and distribution of seasonal Graywolf catalogs.
- Assisting with the Graywolf website, as needed.
Preferred Attributes and Experience
We are looking for a motivated, creative, and enthusiastic candidate with the following attributes:
- Strong interest in book publishing, contemporary literature, and the literary community.
- A commitment to increasing diversity in and access to literature, and experience working with diverse and minority communities.
- Prior experience that will help the candidate participate in the publishing process. Relevant experience is not exclusive to publishing or academia.
- Strong writing skills.
- Ability to work both independently and cooperatively with a small staff.
- Ability to take the initiative in proposing and identifying additional tasks and projects.
- Tell us if you have any special—non-required—additional skills, such as design experience or familiarity with databases and/or web sites.
To apply please upload the following materials to our this Submittable form. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Publishing Fellow Position 2021.” Applications will be accepted until midnight PST on Friday December 4.
1. Cover letter that answers the following questions:
a) Why are you interested in publishing, and what areas of publishing are you curious about pursuing?
b) Which books or authors have most influenced your taste in or thoughts on literature?
c) What support would help you move forward in your career, and what are your long-term career ambitions?
3. One-page, single-spaced discussion of a contemporary book that focuses on one or more of the following items: critique, personal response, cultural context, marketing/positioning, or why you would recommend this book to a friend.
Graywolf Press is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.