A Chance I Gave Myself: Alumni Spotlight Series

The Alumni Spotlight Series introduces you to Emerson grads who are following their passions, changing the world, and making waves in their industries. Want to be featured? Email us! 


Marie Sweetman

Publishing & Writing (MA) 2015

Marie SweetmanI am an acquisitions editor at Wayne State University Press in Detroit, MI. I acquire scholarly books for the Press’s renowned series in fairy-tale studies and film and media studies. On Twitter, I’m @marie_sweetman.

Emerson was a chance that I gave myself to step out of the editorial/publishing work I’d already been doing and reorient myself toward a career that I truly feel challenged and inspired by.







Describe your career path since graduation. 

Because numbers can be useful for graduates on the job market, here’s my data: The summer after graduation, I applied to eighteen jobs, went on five interviews, and ended up with two job offers after two months of job-hunting. I accepted a position as an assistant editor at Educators Publishing Service in Cambridge, MA, where I was later promoted to editor. In the summer of 2017, I moved back to my home state of Michigan. I’d been keeping an eye on job openings at Wayne State University Press in Detroit for some time, drawn to their incredible regional books and trade list of Michigan poetry and short fiction, as well as their renowned scholarship in Jewish studies and fairy-tale studies. Fortuitously, there was a job posting for an acquisitions editor not long after I moved; I applied and then spent weeks preparing for the interview. I’m now thrilled to acquire scholarly titles in film and media and in fairy-tales studies.


Why did you choose to attend Emerson? 

I was working as an editor at a K-12 publisher in Hong Kong when I decided to return home to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree in publishing. Emerson’s location and thorough coverage of many facets of publishing were important factors in my decision. Another major pull for me was that it is host to the literary journal Ploughshares. This was my favorite journal as a creative writing undergraduate, and the chance to work or volunteer there was beyond exciting.


Tell us about a memorable project / internship that you worked on as a student. 

I was an editorial assistant at Ploughshares during most of my time at Emerson. This job fulfilled my dream of working alongside and in service to vibrant, relevant contemporary literature. I learned loads about the administrative side of publishing and made invaluable connections and friends. The supportive work environment I experienced there is still the standard by which I judge other workplaces.


What skills, experiences, or relationships from your time at Emerson have been most valuable? 

One vital community that I have taken with me from my time at Emerson is my writing group. We are now all spread across the country (and one of us is overseas!), but we meet regularly online to encourage each other’s writing through meaningful critique, writing exercises, and accountability. An annual retreat is a much-needed opportunity to see each other once a year in person.