Jill Petty has joined Northwestern University Press as acquisitions editor, expanding the Press’s acquisitions team to three full-time editors. Petty will manage the Press’s celebrated TriQuarterly imprint and Curbstone Books as well as literature in translation, plays, and the Press’s expanding catalog of Chicago regional titles.
Jill brings to Northwestern nearly fifteen years’ experience in independent publishing and media, most recently as senior editor at Beacon Press. Chicago-based while at Beacon, she acquired and developed books on education, prisons/criminalization, social movements, and African American history. Her authors included Bill Ayers, Andrea Ritchie, Charlene Carruthers, and Paul Ortiz.
Before joining Beacon, Petty served as an editor/writer at Equal Justice Initiative, the nonprofit legal organization led by Bryan Stevenson and as communications director for the Center for Health and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. In the 2000s, Jill was an editor-publisher for South End Press, a nonprofit editorial collective based in Cambridge, Mass, where she worked with activist-authors, such as Noam Chomsky, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, bell hooks, and Arundhati Roy. She earned an MA in English from Duke University, and attended Grinnell College.
“In 2016, Northwestern University Press had an opportunity to chart a new direction in our acquisitions strategy, which will build on our traditional successes but infuse these lines of books with fresh energy and a dynamic spirit of inclusiveness,” said press director Jane Bunker. “Jill is an exceptionally good fit for the press. She brings a wealth of experiences, insights, and credibility that are a perfect fit for this exciting next stage in our mission.”