Meet Amy Jones, former Managing Editor of Writer's Digest Books, and the new Editor-in-Chief of Writer's Digest magazine.
Long before I started working for Writer's Digest in late 2017, I was a fan of Writer's Digest. But to trace my path to discovering WD, you have to go back to my childhood. I loved the library. The milestone birthday I most anticipated was ten because that meant I could get my own library card.
I read as many books as I could get my hands on and around 4th or 5th grade, I started writing letters to the authors. The one that sticks out most vividly to me was writing to Ann M. Martin, creator of The Babysitters Club series, offering up my editing services regarding words I thought were misspelled. (To Ann and her editors, I sincerely apologize for I now know you weren't wrong.)
At the same time, I started penning my own stories. Hand writing them illegibly on colored notebook paper and filing them away in my filing cabinet (I've always loved organizing things, even my creative endeavors). A few years later in high school, I was thrilled when I was given a copy of Jack Heffron's The Writer's Idea Book, my introduction to the Writer's Digest community. From there I discovered issues of WD in my local bookstore. It was so exciting to see a magazine focused entirely on writers and writing, featuring authors as cover stars in the same way sports figures and supermodels were on other magazine covers.
I tell you this story because as I take the helm of Editor-in-Chief in 2020, Writer's Digest is celebrating its 100th anniversary and I can't help but think about the generations of writers who have been similarly inspired by WD. You probably have your own version of that story, the story of how you came to love writing and how you discovered WD.
I've spent the past several months poring over the archives in our Cincinnati office finding some of the hidden gems of our past and re-sharing them. Some of my favorites include one about the American Labor Novel, What Is the Writer's Social Responsibility, and Isaac Asimov's piece looking at the future of writing. While I'll continue to look back at our archives, my job now is to ensure WD continues to share great pieces of new writing advice and instruction for our current and future readers beyond our centennial.
As I get to work on that, I'd love to hear how you discovered WD. Was it an interview with your favorite author? An instruction piece that finally made something click? A WD book gifted to you years ago? Leave a comment below, because your story is our story.