Position Description
Press University of Utah Press
Acquisitions Editorial
Acquisitions Editor


If you desire a career in scholarly publishing and understand the intricacies of manuscript acquisitions, if you have exceptional language and communication skills and would enjoy a collegial work environment at the University of Utah Press, this is the job for you. The Press is located in the Marriott Library, at the heart of the U of U campus, and publishes thirty new titles annually in such varied disciplines as archaeology and anthropology, American Indian studies, Mormon studies, religious studies, folklore, western and Utah history, environmental studies, natural history, nature writing, creative nonfiction, poetry, linguistics, Middle East studies, and women's studies. The work is intellectually stimulating and challenging, requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, demands the ability to assess manuscripts across a variety of academic disciplines, and is rewarding for those who are devoted to the world of print and electronic publishing.


Duties and Responsibilities

This is a highly responsible and significant Press position that requires knowledge, tact, and the ability to work autonomously in order to solicit, assess, and develop manuscript submissions for eventual publication. The successful candidate will attend academic meetings and conferences to seek manuscripts and meet with potential authors; review current literature in appropriate academic field(s) in order to remain current with those fields and with an eye toward potential projects; cultivate a community of knowledgeable contacts in selected disciplines for purposes of submissions, peer reviews, and networking; work directly with potential authors; and work with the Press director and other staff in structuring the Press's publishing program. This position requires familiarity with assigned disciplines, the ability to match market needs and assess potential sales; and the ability to develop and deliver an annual minimum of fifteen completed manuscripts within budget and on schedule.

The successful candidate will create seasonal lists (two per year) by assigned disciplines, including but not limited to western, Utah, and Native American history; Mormon and religious studies; environmental humanities; folklore; creative nonfiction; and Middle East and/or Turkish studies, and make long-range plans for presentation and acceptance. This will include reviewing submissions and determining suitability for review or rejection of both solicited and unsolicited manuscripts.

This position requires the ability to review manuscript submissions for quality of content and style of work and writing, requiring exceptional language skills, copyediting knowledge (preferably familiarity with the Chicago Manual of Style) , the ability to understand and evaluate written content, and the ability to work diplomatically and professionally with authors to guide and develop their work. Manuscript review also requires the ability to assess appropriateness of each project for the Press's publication program and against existing competition (if any), sales potential, the ability to select appropriate peer reviewers (subject matter and credentials) for manuscripts, and the ability to follow-up with reviewers and authors.

The acquisitions editor presents manuscripts under consideration to the Press's director and staff for purposes of consultation, feasibility assessment, budgeting, and appropriateness to list; and prepares and presents peer-reviewed manuscripts for faculty advisory committee (FAC) approval, usually four times per year. This includes writing up a summary of each manuscript, reasons for final recommendation, and proposed book specifications (trim size/format, print run, price, etc.) to include with the FAC packet. Prepared packets also include peer reviews, vitas for reviewers and author/editor, sample material(s) from the manuscript, and revision plan based on peer reviews. Initiates contracts with authors upon FAC approval.

The acquisitions editor works with authors to develop revision plans and follows manuscript development to ensure that schedules are met and revisions are successfully made. Ensures delivery of the final and completed manuscript, including text and images and any associated permissions. Reviews final manuscripts and prepares for transmittal to editorial and production staff, checking that both hardcopy and digital forms and all images (illustrations, maps, figures, and tables) are submitted according to Press specifications. Completes transmittal documents and proposes and prepares budget documents for review by Press staff. Depending on budget outcomes, this may additionally require obtaining subvention or grant monies prior to publication.

This position must understand the subtleties of copyrights and permissions within an academic publishing program.

This position may also supervise one or more employees in part-time Press positions on a rotating basis. This includes assigning work and writing and discussing employee evaluations as necessary.

The successful candidate must be able to work collegially in an academic environment and possess exceptional communications skills and tact.

Working with the director and other Press staff, this position may also be responsible for administering the Wallace Stegner Prize in Environmental Humanities and the Juanita Brooks Prize in Mormon Studies.

Physical Requirements: Must be able to travel; attend trade shows, academic meetings, and conferences; and set up and tear down display tables/booths.

Bachelor's degree in history, humanities, or interdisciplinary fields related Press publication areas plus three years of related publishing experience required. Graduate degree preferred.

Application Deadline:

Position will remain posted until filled. However, please apply by April 6 for full consideration.

To apply please visit:


Acquisitions Editor PRN16558B


 The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, University of Utah policy of equal employment opportunity prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, veteran’s status, status as a qualified person with a disability, or genetic information. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups, such as minorities, women, qualified persons with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified applicants, upon request and consistent with University policy and Utah state law.

This position may require the successful completion of a criminal background check and/or drug screen.


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