WSU Press Job Postings
WSU Press staff positions are listed on Wayne State University’s online hiring page-search by Department H5201 University Press. Internships are regularly available for those interested in the world of publishing.
Wayne State University Press offers internship opportunities to Wayne State University students of junior and senior standing who receive credit through their departments.
Sometimes interns haven’t heard of us until they start researching ways to learn about publishing. They’re surprised to learn that we’re not involved in newspapers or textbooks—we are an award-winning book publishing company, right in the heart of Detroit. Wayne State University Press was founded in 1941 and has called midtown Detroit home ever since. We publish the works of scholars and writers throughout the world and focus on Great Lakes and regional studies, film and media studies, fairy-tale and folklore studies, regional art and architecture, Judaica, and African American studies. We also publish short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction through our Made in Michigan Writers Series. In addition to books, we publish eleven scholarly journals that range from film criticism to humanities to biology. Our website is a great source of information about our history and the books and journals we publish; please do review it prior to applying.
University presses are distinct in the world of publishing. The Association of University Presses characterizes the important work of university presses in the following key ways:
- University Press books and journals present the basic research and analysis that is drawn upon by policymakers, opinion leaders, and authors of works for the general public.
- University Presses contribute to the variety and diversity of cultural expression at a time of global mergers and consolidation in the media industry.
- University Presses make common cause with libraries and other cultural institutions to promote engagement with ideas and sustain a literate culture.
- University Presses help to preserve the distinctiveness of local cultures through publication of works on the states and regions where they are based.
- University Presses give voice to minority cultures and perspectives through pioneering publication programs in ethnic, racial, and sexual studies.
- University Presses encourage cultural expression by publishing works of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction and books on contemporary art and photography.
Internships for Undergraduate Students
Wayne State University Press offers undergraduates a twelve-week introduction to publishing through work with multiple departments within the press. The time commitment for undergraduate students is variable, depending on the requirements of students’ academic units.
Students work in the Acquisitions department; the Editorial, Design, and Production department; and the Marketing department, in that order. Workshops about information management, business, and intellectual property will be offered.
Undergraduate applicants often hope to gain writing experience through an internship at the press. While interns do practice professional correspondence, the focus of this internship is learning the tasks and processes involved in university press publishing through hands-on work in different areas.
- Interns with the Acquisitions department work with manuscripts and proposals through the early stages of evaluation and review to assess suitability for publication;
- Interns in the Editorial, Design, and Production department work with book manuscripts and page proofs to learn about the creation of scholarly and trade books;
- Interns with the Sales and Marketing department learn the steps presses take to sell and promote books.
Interns attend department and staff meetings when schedules allow.
Some of the potential duties include:
- Assist with the evaluation of proposals and manuscripts
- Assist with the review of contracts
- Help to plan and schedule a book season
EDITORIAL, DESIGN, AND PRODUCTION
- Prepare projects for copyediting and design
- Review sample edits from copyeditors
- Review page proof and edit indexes
MARKETING AND SALES
- Create a complete book marketing campaign and follow book through the publicity process
- Compose marketing copy, including press releases and pitch emails
- Research and prepare awards, exhibits, and book endorsement information
- Correspond with authors and contributors
- Graduate students receiving credit through Wayne State University may apply to work in specific departments, including Acquisitions; Editorial, Design, and Production; and Sales and Marketing (please see above descriptions). Interested students may also apply to work in Intellectual Property; Journals; and Information Management (please see below descriptions). The time commitment for graduate students is twenty hours per week.
- Interns with the Journals department work with the eleven scholarly and creative journals to learn journal production;
- Interns with the Intellectual Property department work with contracts, agreements, and third-party permissions to gain an understanding of the implications of copyright law on day-to-day publishing practices;
- Interns with the Information Management department work on an active e-commerce site, gaining experience in the implementation of pre-created modules and the creation of custom code enhancements.
Potential duties include:
- Typeset journal pages
- Review page proofs
- Prepare projects and images for copyediting, typesetting, and printing
- Upload and help maintain journals online
- Gain an understanding of copyright law in the context of academic publishing
- Conduct archival research
- Obtain permissions for use of archival and other copyrighted material
- Gain an understanding of publishing contracts and contractual practices
- Conduct sales and industry research to target rights licensing opportunities
- Assist in maintaining and developing the Press website
- Assist in the creation of project-focused minisites
- Assist with WSUP social media
- Assist in maintaining the Press title management and contact databases
For Fall semester: Apply by the end of May
For Spring/Summer semester: Apply by the end of February
For Winter semester: Apply by the end of September
Application materials should be sent by email to Editorial, Design, and Production Manager Kristin Harpster at kmharpster [at] wayne.edu. Please include a current résumé and a cover letter discussing your interest in an internship with Wayne State University Press.