Seventeen senior Professional Writing majors, led by Professor Linda Taylor, visited Zondervan and Our Daily Bread Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan during J-term 2019.
The students met with publishing professionals and toured the facilities of Zondervan, one of the largest Christian publishers in the world, followed by Our Daily Bread Ministries and Discovery House. The Professional Writing majors were able to explore the publishing environment; connect with editors, marketers, writers, and graphic designers; observe the physical process of publishing a book; and ask questions to a panel of experienced editors.
The experts discussed their career paths and shared advice about how the students could become publishing professionals. Student Megan Burkhart said, “Many [editors] ... were able to offer a lot of insight about the writing and editing world.”
Burkhart saw the trip as a stepping stone toward future publishing opportunities and an affirmation of her career path. “The main takeaway I had from this trip was simply encouragement—encouragement that I’m on the right path and that I have what it takes to make connections in my field.”
The students considered the trip a success, making them excited to use their degrees after college. Student Hope Bolinger, said, “The Professional Writing program is a gem ... It has made an indelible impact on my publishing journey. Even though people have a hard time easing into the publishing industry, with this degree in hand, we can actually go places.”