After graduating in 2014, Lexi Smail began working for Hachette Book Group’s Center Street imprint. At first, she primarily assisted one executive editor and one senior editor on non-fiction titles, but after working there just a year, she acquired and edited her first book, The Engagement Game, by Joi-Marie McKenzie. Published last month on March 21, 2017, The Engagement Game is the memoir of a successful television producer's search for the perfect life, including the perfect husband, but in the end, instead of finding him, she finds herself. The memoir has received rave reviews, with PEOPLE magazine calling it “Brutally, beautifully honest,” The Washington Post declaring it “Friggin’ hilarious,” Refinery 29 calling it “Laugh-out-loud funny,” and The Daily Beast proclaiming it “Courageous.”
In 2016, Lexi moved to another imprint within Hachette called Grand Central Publishing, where she now edits romance and women’s fiction novels. Recently, one of the novellas that she edited -- Let it Snow by Jeanette Grey -- was nominated for a RITA award, the highest award in romance fiction which recognizes excellence in published romance.
Lexi's transition from college to a successful career in a competitive field might be instructive for Wagner undergraduates and highlights the importance of experiential learning as part of the Wagner curriculum. Her story is somewhat typical, that the job she ended up loving was not the job she initially thought that she wanted. It was not Lexi’s initial plan to be an editor. Her senior year, Lexi interned with Hollywood.com where she worked as intern writing entertainment articles. It was there she discovered she did not want to be a writer, so she sent in her resume to Penguin Group USA. It was while interning at Penguin that Lexi discovered how much she enjoyed editing. So, after graduating, Lexi spent her summer writing cover letter after cover letter after cover letter, sending out her résumé, and interviewing with multiple publishers. Finally, in July 2014 she accepted an offer from Hachette Book Group.