Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blessed Guest - P31 Woman Glynnis Whitwer

I'm a Blessed Guest!

My guest today is someone I respect in the world of writing. She is the editor of P31 Woman Magazine and played a big part in my own personal writing journey.

After winning a scholarship to attend She Speaks in 2008, Glynnis was one of the first women I spoke with about publishing my article, See Jane Run -The story or our Radical Sabbatical. She loved it, and she published it. Her encouragement hasn't ended there.

I continue to keep in contact via email, sharing potential articles I believe may be a fit for P31 Woman Magazine. Most recently, Glynnis gave me one of the kindest rejections in my writing career. She didn't just reject it, she critiqued it too - priceless wisdom for any writer. Her heart to encourage others to reach their God-given potential is apparent.

So, would you please give a big round of comments to author, speaker, and P31 Woman Editor, Glynnis Whitwer.

Welcome to Blessed... it is such an honor to have you here. There are so many questions I'd love to ask you, most especially, how did you begin your journey in the world of publishing? Was this something you always wanted to do? Did you go to school for this?

I’ve always loved to write, but didn’t always want to be a writer. In fact, I wanted to be a teacher. But I consistently excelled in English, and particularly writing. When I got to college, I happened upon a brochure for Public Relations. It seemed like the perfect career for me, so I picked it as a major. However, I attended Arizona State University and at that time, I had to get a Journalism degree with an emphasis on Public Relations. Thus, my professional career as a business writer began. It wasn’t until I connected with Proverbs 31 Ministries that God took that love of writing and directed it into Christian publishing.

What do you love about being an editor?

First and foremost, I love having a small part in passing on God’s love and encouragement through writing. Women’s lives are changed every day by reading how other women have found peace, comfort, purpose and healing through Christ. Second, I love encouraging other writers to keep sharpening their skills and pursuing God’s call on their lives with passion. It’s a tough road to follow and we all need people to believe in us, and show us how to improve.

What don't you love about it?

That’s easy. I don’t love having to tell someone we can’t use their article.

What has surprised you the most about your job?

In the beginning, I was surprised at how hard it was to help people improve their writing. Most everyone can read an article, and decide if they think it’s “good” writing. But to be able to dissect it and tell someone how they could improve is really, really hard. It has made me a better writer for it. At She Speaks each year, I host a peer critique time. This is one thing I tell all the writers they must do. They can’t just say “This is an awkward sentence.” Instead, they must tell the author how to improve it. Don’t say, “boring word choice.” Instead, suggest an alternate word. It will sharpen your skills as a writer to help others improve.

When it comes to a new writer, what do you think is most important for them to know when submitting to your magazine/publishing house?The most important thing for writers to know when submitting to ANY publication is the style of the magazine. There is a style to every publication. Get a sample issue and study it. At the P31 Woman, we have a more relational style. When authors submit an academic flavored article, I know they haven’t read our magazine.

Are there any red flags an editor sees that will give a writer an immediate rejection?
I might be different, in that I give authors a chance. I assume the best. However, with that said, I will reject an article that is written by someone who is in the midst of a personal life trauma and is venting. I will reject an article that misuses the Word of God. I will reject an article that is sloppy.

Is there anything, in your opinion, that writers pay too much/too little attention to?

I think most writers could benefit from a grammar review, with an emphasis on being consistent in tenses.

Anything specific your magazine/publishing house is looking for right now? (Types of books, articles, sidebars, etc.)

We are always looking for articles on the practical side of managing life. We get a lot of general faith, marriage and parenting, so we don’t need those.

Who has made the biggest impact on your life?

That’s a tough question. If I had to narrow it who has made the biggest impact on my writing life, it would have to be my friend Lysa TerKeurst. She has encouraged me, modeled godly leadership, generously invited me to share in her success, opened doors of opportunity and continues to show me what it looks like to follow God with abandon.

What do you think about blogging? Do you have your own blog?

I love blogging, and I have a blog. But I’m a bad blogger. I’ve never been a journal keeper, so it’s a stretch for me.

Do you have a favorite scripture?

I don’t have one favorite scripture, but here is one of many: “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” Psalm 102:18

What would surprise us about you?

You would be very surprised to know that my husband and I are part owners in a Mixed Martial Arts training center (www.mmalab.com), and that I like to watch UFC and WEC fights.

What's your favorite flavored potato chip?

Cool Ranch Doritos

Favorite thing to do with your family?

Be in nature, especially a National Park somewhere.

What book is on your nightstand right now?

The Knowing Jesus Bible, Visioneering by Andy Stanley and Ready for Anything by David Allen

Last food you ate?

Steamed veggies and one slice of thin crust pizza. (I’m weighing in a Weight Watchers this morning)

When was the last time you played the air guitar?

Never. J

Thank you Glynnis, for being a Blessed Guest, and taking the time to share a little bit of your life with all of us.


Madison said...

Good advice in this interview. Thanks.

Faye said...

I really enjoyed the interview..Some great advise..Hope you have a great day..Blessings, Faye

The Real Me! said...

So many talented people. I've loved the advice from these writers and am now a bit afraid of the answers I gave to you! LOL!
Blessings to you and it was nice to meet you Glynnis.

Denise said...

These interviews get better and better.

Tea With Tiffany said...

Happy Birthday, Joanne! I think today is your special day. I love you. Can't wait to see you again in October as we gather in Florida!

Mari said...

It was interesting to read what an editor had to say. Thanks to her for doing this.

Andrea said...

Happy Birthday, Joanne!
Thank you for a great interview.
Blessings, andrea

Shermanators said...

I've always loved reading her devotions when she writes...I'm so glad you picked her to interview!

Emily Ann Benedict said...

This is a great interview! As a writer, it's so helpful to hear directly from an editor. I can't imagine that is an easy job.
Whenever a friend asks me to read their work I always find it hard to tell them what they need to change.

Oh, btw, I've put up a "share you link" board on my Face Book page. It's a good place to share your work with others. All the details are on my blog right now. :)

christy rose said...

Happy Birthday Joanne!

I liked this interview too. I liked hearing some of these answers from a publisher's point of view.

LisaShaw said...

Good interview! Great tips!

I know I said it on your facebook yesterday but HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sis! Love you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Another great interview, Joanne. I don't think I've visited anyone's blog so frequently.

Keep 'em coming.



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