From a graduated senior with one book contract to an acquisitions editor with 29 book contracts and over 1,500 pieces published, Hope Bolinger ‘19 has taken significant steps in the publishing industry.
She is the author of books such as the Blaze Trilogy, The Cassandra Curse, A Country of Their Own, and many more. Her publication journey has been one of resilience and persistence.
Growth at Taylor
As a Professional Writing major, Bolinger gained essential networking through conferences and internships.
“Connections are everything in this industry, and had I not met the people I did when at Taylor, I wouldn't be where I am now in publishing,” Bolinger said.
Bolinger advises current writing students to get started early. The publishing industry thrives on experience and internships. While classes are important, gaining practical experiences at college can be just as significant. “Join The Echo, rack up those bylines now, and get those internships started,” she said.
Jumping into Publishing
Bolinger started writing movie reviews for a local magazine when she was 16, and she now has over 1,500 bylines and 29 book contracts.
Following that trend to getting started early, Bolinger began working as a literary agent a year before graduating. Over the years, she has worked for various publishing companies, newspapers, magazines, and literary agencies. She also has edited the work of over 200 authors, including Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams.
"Since graduating in 2019, the Lord has opened a ton of doors, and I'm honestly blown away by Him,” Bolinger said. “I landed a dream job at End Game Press working as an acquisitions editor and am running an imprint called Generation Hope.”
A Voice for Youth in Writing
Bolinger’s publication imprint, Generation Hope, takes on the work of writers between the ages of 10 and 24.
“When I was in high school, there weren't a lot of opportunities for young writers,” Bolinger said. “Even when I went to college, I faced blatant ageism. And I still do. I have stories about people still telling me I'm too young at conferences. But I believe that every generation's voice matters and that we should be listening to one another. Generation Hope gives young writers that opportunity so they don't face as many obstacles as I did in the industry.”
The Co-Authoring Adventure
Bolinger and Alyssa Roat ‘20 joined their talents to write several books together. They co-authored Dear Hero and Dear Henchman, a young adult duology written in chat messages about a nemesis pairing site for heroes and villains.
They have also written the Roseville Romances—clean romance tailored to an adult audience.
“There's something beautiful about having just the right partner for a big project or game,” Bolinger said. “Alyssa was that for me. We've penned seven books together, and I hope we do more so in the future.”
The Writing Process
No matter what Bolinger is writing, it starts with research, and a lot of it.
“I actually get really invested in this portion of the process,” Bolinger said. “And when I’ve compiled enough data, it then starts with a skeleton outline. I tend to write books within one to three weeks, sometimes four, so I have word count goals for each day to get to that finished draft.”
At the end of each process, Bolinger is left with another project to be proud of.
“I will say that the books that cover hard-hitting topics, those I admire the most,” Bolinger said. “I'm a very justice-minded person, and there's a lot of injustice in the world.”
A God-Given Calling
Though traversing the publishing world has been far from easy for Bolinger, God has had His hand over it all.
“I'm seeing God's fingerprints in more of everything, and I am learning to surrender and trust Him more,” Bolinger said. “I've found that when you hand Him everything, He tends to send beautiful things, more beautiful than you can ever imagine.”
Initially, it was a difficult process for Bolinger to get her first book contract. Now, with dozens under her belt, she has seen God’s hand in her creativity and the ways publishing houses want to keep doing books with her.
Bolinger has found the most rewarding part of her job to be notes from readers.
“I've had readers tell me that books and articles have talked them off ledges and led them to deeper relationships with Christ,” Bolinger said. “Those notes keep me going…It's a lot of grind, and I often want to quit. But I know where I'm supposed to be, and so I keep going.”
Get a Head Start in the Publishing Industry
Taylor’s Professional Writing major gives students publishing credits, opportunities to attend conferences, and networking connections in the larger publishing world. Learn more about our program and schedule a visit!