Interviews by Jessica Lehman (’17)
Kate G. Jameson, ’15 (editor, proofreader, writer)
After graduating from the Professional Writing program in December 2015, Kate G. Jameson went back to where she did her internship–Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, CO. She now works as the editorial assistant for both Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. In addition, she writes whenever she can in her spare time and blogs at KateGJameson.wordpress.com.
Nichole Parks, ’15 (publicist, marketing coordinator, humorist)
Nichole Parks graduated from the Professional Writing program in December 2015. In April 2016, she started working as a Publicist and Marketing Coordinator for a start-up Christian fiction publishing house called Gilead Publishing, located in Wheaton, IL. She lucked out by getting paid to write one of her favorite things ever: back cover copy. She’s also responsible for writing all social media post (except blogs). For herself, she writes dark humor.
Katelyn S. (Irons) Bolds, ’15 (web editor, blogger)
Katelyn Bolds is a 2015 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. She now balances work as Web Editor, Author Service Liaison, and freelance writer for Gilead Publishing. For herself, she writes on her personal site about everything from a healthy home to bold adventures.
Caroline Cilento, ’15 (editorial assistant, writer)
After graduating in 2015 from the Professional Writing program at Taylor University, Caroline Cilento took a job at Guideposts Books & Inspirational Media as Editorial Assistant. She does more editorial work than writing, though she does create cover copy, draft introductions, and write whatever else needs to be written. In her free time, she writes fiction.
Alli Russell, ’15 (graduate student, writer, interviewer)
Allison Russell graduated from the Taylor University Professional Writing program in 2015. She moved on to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, for a master’s in professional writing. It’s “PWR on steroids,” Alli says. Her classes range from design, to rhetoric, to grammar, to feature writing, to healthcare communications. The fast-paced, intense degree includes many client projects. As the department writer for Carnegie Mellon’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department, she conducts interviews, writes articles, and creates content for the website and alumni newsletter.
Chelsea Molin, ’14 (writer, historian)
Chelsea Molin graduated in 2014 from the Professional Writing program at Taylor University. She started an internship at the Willennar Genealogy Center in Auburn, Indiana, and now works there on staff. Her job focuses on history and genealogy. It’s not strictly a writing-related field, but she does write a variety of things, including blog posts, press releases, promotional blurbs, Facebook posts, grant-related work, and occasional newspaper articles. Though she has many responsibilities beyond just writing, the interviewing, design, and writing skills she learned at Taylor have been extremely helpful.
Estee Wells Zandee, ’14 (editorial assistant, writer)
After graduating from Taylor University’s Professional Writing program in January 2014, Estee Wells Zandee began working at Zondervan in Grand Rapids, MI. She serves as Editorial Assistant for the Trade team. To help her team assess book concept potential and author platforms, she develops proposals and internal evaluation documents. Her role also involves overseeing reprint corrections and backlist book revisions. She’s worked on a few freelance social media management projects and, of course, her own pet projects.
Chandler Birch, ’14 (writer, publications editor)
Chandler Birch is a 2014 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. He works at the Association of Christian Schools International as a publications editor. Chandler made news as winner of Simon & Schuster’s inaugural student novel writing contest. In April 2014, Simon451, a new imprint of Simon & Schuster, chose Birch as one of ten finalists after he submitted a synopsis and the first 50 pages of his manuscript. Finalists then were asked to submit a completed manuscript of a minimum of 60,000 words by September 1, 2014. As first-place winner, Birch was the guest of honor at Simon451’s imprint launch at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2014. His book, The Facefaker’s Game, is coming out on November 1, 2016 in paperback and e-reader.
Tara Gnagy, ’14 (educator, writer, social media expert)
Tara Gnagy is a January 2014 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. She is currently living on Oak Island, North Carolina, where she works as an environmental educator for students grades K-12. Tara puts her writing degree to work by editing the program curriculum and writing lesson plans, grants, and website content. She also is taking the lead on the program’s marketing efforts by creating a Facebook page and designing brochures and mail-outs.
Sarah Cespedes Cushing, ’14 (writer, marketer)
Sarah Cespedes Cushing is a January 2014 graduate of Professional Writing program. She works at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, PA, writing press releases and articles for the college website and e-newsletter. She says it’s a wonderful opportunity to use the skills she learned in her writing classes to do what she loves best–working with students.
Amy Green, ’13 (author, publicist, blogger)
Amy Green is a 2013 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. Before she even graduated, Amy already had a book deal with Warner Press for her Christian fantasy series for children ages 10-14. Amy currently works at Bethany House Publishers in Minnesota as a publicist. Amy also maintains a blog called The Monday Heretic where she explores interesting theological questions.
Ruthie Burrell, ’13 (writer, interviewer, blogger)
After graduating from Taylor, Ruthie Burrell worked for a year at Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis where she assisted in writing grants and newsletters and helped in their after-school classroom. Now, she lives in the Kansas City area where she works as a freelance writer. Specifically, she writes emails, blog posts, web pages, and social media posts for a marketing company, and she has just started working as an interviewer/writer for a company assisting families in telling their family stories. On her blog, “Stories that Bind” (ruthanneburrell.com/blog), she hopes to tell stories of all kinds—profiles of people she has met, personal memoirs, historical odds and ends, and short fiction.
Nick Van Heest, ’13 (reporter)
Nick Van Heest is a 2013 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. He is a reporter for the Wabash Plain Dealer, the daily newspaper of Wabash County, Indiana. Nick stays busy writing stories and snapping photos for the newspaper’s front page six days a week. His main beats are local government, agricultural news, and the town of North Manchester, but he occasionally investigates bank robberies, fatal accidents, and other emergencies.
Heather Detzner, ’08 (college instructor, author, blogger)
Heather Detzner is a 2008 graduate of Taylor University’s Professional Writing program. She taught college-level composition and literature at IPFW where she got her master’s degree in English and currently teaches at Southern Wesleyan University. She has written hundreds of articles for The News-Sentinel and her first novel, a psychological thriller titled Stockholm Syndrome, is available on Amazon. She is working on a second novel and publishes a blog, Bleeding Crimson.
Amanda Luedeke, ’06 (literary agent, author)
Amanda Luedeke (LEE-duh-key) is a 2006 graduate of PWR. Since college, she’s made her living as a writer, working as a freelancer for local newspapers and marketing companies, while operating her own writing business. Since 2010, Amanda has been working as a literary agent for MacGregor Literary. Utilizing her marketing background, Amanda blogs every Thursday on ChipMacGregor.com, and she also released a marketing book, The Extroverted Writer.
Leilani Squires, ’06 (author, instructor, mentor)
Leilani Squires is a 2006 graduate of the PWR. She has a variety of writing, editing, and publishing experience that includes articles, blogs, ad copy, scripts and screenplays, radio dramas, and more. As an author, her published credits include national magazines, blogs, movie and book reviews, and local newspapers. She also has experience editing novels and nonfiction works of various genres. She has a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing from Taylor University and a master’s degree in Communications from Regent University, with a concentration in Script and Screenwriting. Leilani has served as the Writer/Administrative Assistant for the MasterWorks Festival from 2006 to 2009, and as the Admissions Manager for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild from 2009 to 2012. Currently, she works full time as the Director of Content for PayProMedia (a marketing agency) in Warsaw, Indiana. She has taught as an adjunct at Taylor University, as well as serving as a mentor for the Christian Writers Guild.
Nick Hayden, ’03 (author)
Nick Hayden is a 2003 graduate of the Professional Writing program. Nick describes himself as a mild-mannered bookkeeper by day, a mild-mannered (albeit tortured) writer by night, a youth leader on weekends, and a podcaster every month or so. Nick is the author of The Unremarkable Squire and several other fantasy novels described on his website. Nick, along with other Taylor grads, also created and writes for Children of the Wells, an on-going, multi-author fantasy story with novellas released episodically.