Students

Q+A with Publishing Student Katie Schwab

Posted
April 17, 2023
katie schwab walking out of a bookstore

After studying acting during her undergrad years, Katie Schwab ’23 switched tracks during the height of the pandemic, allowing her to pursue a future in an industry she hadn’t thought much about previously: publishing. Read what she has to say about Pace’s MS in Publishing program.

The nature of publishing has changed so much in the last decade. What excites you about the future of publishing?

I am so excited about the future of publishing! Especially regarding the continuing dedication toward diversity and inclusion, not only through the types of stories being published, but by also providing more opportunities for authors from marginalized communities to tell those stories. I am currently writing my graduate thesis on the histories of queer adult and YA fiction, and the different treatments of these markets from a publishing perspective given our context of time. It has been amazing to track the linear progression of acceptance of queer writers and narratives, especially within this last decade. It’s a truly wonderful feeling to walk into a bookstore and see designated tables featuring queer literature. I am really excited to see how much more space we are given in publishing in the future.

What drew you to Pace’s MS in Publishing program? Does it tie in at all to your undergraduate studies or professional experience?

During the first lock-down of 2020, I was in a pivotal place in my life career-wise; I’d studied acting during undergrad. I fell in love with reading again and realized there is this whole industry out here that I’d never thought about before. I did some research on graduate programs, and it became very clear to me that the MS in Publishing program at Pace was the right one for me. Not only did it bring me to New York City, the center of the publishing world, but it is clear how much Professor Soares and the rest of the faculty care about providing students with every opportunity to learn, network, and, ultimately, get hired in publishing.

What was your favorite class within the program and why?

I enjoyed so many of my classes! I’d have to say my favorite class was Copyediting/Proofreading with Professor Holt. It takes a certain group of people to get genuinely excited to learn about commas for three hours! I also liked Professor Samedi’s Introduction to Production and Design class. I’m no designer, but I loved being able to learn about the elements that go into designing a book cover, and the materials that bring them to life.

What is something you've learned while in the program that you didn't expect to learn?

I have never been great at math or numbers, but Financial Aspects of Publishing was probably one of the most important and beneficial classes I took during the program. Publishers have a unique way of creating budgets and allocating royalties for books and authors. I might not end up in finance but knowing these systems and how to read P&Ls are very important skills that I’ve been able to put on my resume.

Mentoring, internships, and exposure to the New York publishing scene are part in parcel with the program. Can you describe your personal experience with some of those program aspects?

Yes! It was actually the One-to-One Mentorship program that sealed the deal with me for Pace. I’ve had the opportunity to learn directly from real working professionals in publishing—you can’t get that kind of industry education from anywhere else. My mentors have all been editors from Big Five imprints—LBYR, Crown, Viking—who have given me invaluable advice for starting a career in editing. I was even invited inside the offices of Penguin Random House!

What is one piece of advice that you have for future MS in Publishing students?

Be involved! Each semester there are several events offered, including Speed Mentoring, guest lectures, and even donut parties before class. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you and keep in touch where you can—especially with your classmates, because you never know which connection might be the one to get you a job.

In what ways has the program inspired you to reach higher in regard to your future career goals?

I went into the program knowing very little about the publishing industry, or where I fit into it, but I loved stories and wanted to work within the world of books. Now, I have my sights set on becoming an acquisitions editor someday, making a career out of discovering and creating dream books for readers and dream publications for authors. I would do Pace’s publishing program again in a heartbeat.

Learn more about the MS in Publishing program.

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