Marietta Pritchard was what was once known as a "faculty wife." She arrived in Amherst in 1958 at age 21, just out of Radcliffe, and was soon turned down for a teaching job in a Northampton private school. She went back to school, doing graduate work in education at UMass, completing an M.Ed. and teaching part-time in various places while raising three sons. She eventually joined the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where she worked for 13 years as writer and then as features editor, leaving to become a freelance writer and editor in 1989.