In 2004, Wemple was the co-recipient with Josh Levin of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies for their article "Off Target" published in Washington City Paper.
Wemple was raised in Schenectady, New York and attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, graduating in 1986. In 1986-87 Wemple taught and coached sports at Trinity Pawling School, in Pawling, New York. In the fall of 1987, he moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue graduate studies at Georgetown University.
From January 1999 to November 2000, Wemple wrote the paper's political column, Loose Lips, after having contributed articles to the paper for a few years. Before becoming editor of Washington City Paper, he was Washington correspondent for Inside.com and CableWorld magazine.
In June 2006, Wemple accepted the Editor-in-Chief position at The Village Voice. A month later, he announced he would not assume the position. He refused to answer reporters' questions as to the reasons behind his change of heart.
In Feb. 2010, Wemple informed the staff of the staff of the Washington City Paper that he was leaving to be the new editor of TBD.com.
In 2013, J. K. Trotter of Gawker Media declared Wemple a "hero", and that "like a deeply embedded anthropologist, Wemple scours Washington media (and, not infrequently, their New York counterparts) for hypocrisy, excess, and corruption. He's the anti-Mike Allen, frequently piercing the Politico's madman's self-inflating bubble of hype at the moment it threatens to blot out the sun."
In his Washington Post blog, Wemple frequently broke news about a libel suit against fellow journalist Betsy Rothstein and the website Fishbowl DC. Rothstein wrote several posts alleging that a local Washington publicist, Wendy Gordon, was promiscuous and often drunk. 
Rothstein asserted as a defense that she had not libeled Gordon because what she had written was in part satirical. Wemple was the first to report settlement of the lawsuit, and also the first reporter to whom Gordon spoke, an "exclusive" which he posted on his "Erik Wemple blog" in the Post.
Rothstein countered that Wemple's exhaustive coverage of the case, which Rothstein said was "excessive" and unfair, was driven by earlier negative posts she had published about Wemple at Fishbowl DC, writing that "Wemple does not see how his disdain for FishbowlDC just drips through" while making "decisions he made while writing."
- "Erik Wemple", brief biography in the People Directory of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN), accessed August 29, 2007. (Inc. hyperlinked archive to "In the News" articles by and about Wemple and his AAN award and honorable mention.)
- Motoko Rich, "Before He Moves In, The Village Voice's Editor Moves On", The New York Times, June 16, 2006, accessed April 11, 2008.
- "Washington City Paper Editor Erik Wemple is Leaving the Paper". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- J.K. Trotter. "Gawker Heroes: Erik Wemple". J.K. Trotter. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- Erik Wemple, "Inside the Lawsuit Against Fishbowl DC", The Washington Post, January 23, 2013
- "Inside the lawsuit against FishbowlDC". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "WaPo’s Wemple Wimps Out". Retrieved 5 November 2014.