Join Our Team! We’re Hiring a Regional Trade Acquisitions Editor

The University of Illinois Press seeks an Acquisitions Editor/Senior Acquisitions Editor to be involved in discussions of focus and direction of publishing program. This position is responsible for acquiring at least 20 books per year that explore the culture, place, and people of region, have commercial viability, and support the mission of the Press. The Acquisitions Editor/Senior Acquisitions Editor will build and expand the 3 Fields imprint and secure other titles that explore the arts, history, ecology, and food of Illinois and the Midwest, helping achieve goals set by Press Director and Editor-in-Chief for acquisitions program. This position will mentor junior staff and engage in outward facing activities such as publishing talks. Some travel required.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Duties and Responsibilities Acquisitions Editor:

Develop a robust regional trade list

  • Recruit, develop, and commission worthwhile book projects. Evaluate submissions. Build a network of outside reviewers and send them proposals and manuscripts for evaluation and development. Maintain professional and productive relations with authors and other Press departments.
  • Prepare descriptions of projects (both oral and written) and present to press committees and boards. Lead a quarterly regional trade meeting with editor-in-chief and marketing director
  • Estimate costs and revenues for projects under consideration. Identify sources of outside funding and secure grants to offset publishing expenses. Negotiate contracts.
  • Ensure authors’ adherence to schedules, formatting guidelines, and permissions requirements in preparing approved manuscripts for transmission to the Editorial Department.


  • Develop relationships and collaborations with appropriate cultural and educational institutions in Chicago, Illinois, and the greater Midwest.
  • Attend regional meetings and conferences.
  • Contribute to a culture of teamwork, continuous learning, and collegiality within the department and with other groups at the Press. Serve as positive representative of the Press to the public.

Staff development

  • Mentor, advise, and train assistant and other more junior acquisitions colleagues. Participate in professional development initiatives


  • Other duties and responsibilities appropriate for a regional trade editor.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities Senior Acquisitions Editor:

  • Maintain open communication with editor-in-chief and marketing director
    regarding the direction of the regional trade program.
  • Bring established relationships and collaborations with appropriate cultural and educational institutions in Chicago, Illinois, and the greater Midwest to the Press.
  • Assist the editor-in-chief in managing acquisitions department. In consultation with the editor-in-chief serve in leadership role in departmental meetings and/or retreats.

Qualifications Required Acquisitions Editor

1. Bachelor’s degree.

2. Three or more years of work in book publishing, with at least two years of full-time experience in acquiring trade books.

Qualifications Required Senior Acquisitions Editor

1. Bachelor’s degree.

2. Four or more years of work in book publishing, with at least one year of full-time experience in acquiring trade books.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  1. Track record of working successfully with authors.
  2. High degree of organization and follow-through.
  3. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  4. Excellent networking skills.
  5. Computer proficiency.
  6. Ability to balance multiple competing demands.
  7. Intellectual curiosity.
  8. Ability to inspire trust.
  9. Familiarity with design-intensive books.
  10. Familiarity with all stages of the publishing process.
  11. Deep knowledge of the state and region.
  12. Established relationships with cultural institutions in Chicago and Illinois.

This is a full-time Civil Service Program Coordinator position appointed on a 12 month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after June 7, 2021. Salary is commensurate with experience.


Applications must be received by June 7, 2021. Apply for this position by going to

About Heather Gernenz

University of Illinois Press Publicity Manager