Of all the goals on my 2022 list, there was one that surpassed all the others in importance: getting published in print.
Writing for magazines was a pipe dream of mine for years. Fourth year of college, I was in the interview process for an internship with a (dream!) publication when it became clear I needed to actually make money — I had an offer in hand for a salaried, real job at the company where I was a paid intern at the time. It seemed completely impractical to turn that down — and I’m glad I didn’t. My career now looks so much different than I imagined and I love where I’ve ended up in tech/startup marketing, and I’m also so thankful I’ve been able to stretch my creative muscles differently while freelance writing on the side for various online publications, including Martha Stewart Weddings, Apartment Therapy, and StyleBlueprint. But that elusive print byline has always eluded me. I’ve put it out into the world for years, making connections through friends, and throwing pitches at vague editorial email addresses.
Finally, one of those vague editorial email addresses came through. I can’t even describe the excitement just from receiving an email back saying they might be interested in my pitch, and having the opportunity to evolve the essay this spring was a dream. Virginia Living has been a favorite magazine of mine for years, and I couldn’t imagine a better place for this story to land.
My First Piece Published in Print
It seems fitting that my first print piece covers a topic that brings together Southern culture, storied Virginia traditions, entertaining, and food. In writing “In Praise of Ham Biscuits,” I had the privilege of speaking to two powerhouses in the food world. The first, a woman, in her words, “married into ham,” and the second, a food historian whose work at Monticello is legendary. I’m delighted with how it turned out and I hope it’s the first of many pieces at Virginia Living and elsewhere.
And, hey, if anyone out there has a connection at Garden & Gun or Southern Living, send them my way.