Professional Writing

PCC graduates and students use their training in remarkable ways. Read about how God is using them in their field of study.

PCC’s professional writing program equips students with a conservative Christian philosophy of writing and literature. Graduates are prepared to communicate effectively and to pursue careers in writing, reporting, and editing.

Sort Spotlights by


Dustin Brady ’08

Dustin Brady

  • Editor, STACK Magazine

Dustin Brady (’08 professional writing grad) loves his job as the online editor for STACK magazine. Distributed to two-thirds of the country’s high schools, STACK, a sports magazine, informs high school athletes how to perform better without turning to performance-enhancing drugs. “I get to do something I’m passionate about [writing] in a field that I love [sports],” Dustin said.

As online editor, Dustin oversees all online content, follows numbers and trends on the magazine’s website, and manages the video library of training, nutrition, and motivation videos.  He also writes original material and edits content submitted by staff, training experts, and freelance writers. “I’m never doing one thing for long,” he said, “and my day seems like it goes by in a half hour.” But this is to be expected of someone doing what he loves.

Dustin considers himself blessed to have found not one, but three jobs in the competitive writing field since graduation.

During his college years, Dustin tenaciously sought opportunities to write. He emailed nearly every editor in Pensacola and his hometown of Cleveland, asking to write articles or secure an internship. Dustin’s pursuit led him to an internship at the Sun News in Cleveland.

After graduation, the Sun News hired him as a beat reporter and as the office’s web coordinator. “I had always wanted to be a reporter,” he said, “and God gave me my dream job right out of college.”

Less than a year later, because of the bad economy, the newspaper downsized and cut positions like Dustin’s. Determined to continue in the writing field, he secured a job at Fathom Online Marketing as an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) copywriter. “I was thankful for a job that allowed me to write every day, but I missed working in the media industry,” he said. When an opportunity came along two years later at STACK to work with online and traditional media, Dustin took it. “It was awesome to see how God gave me the experience I needed to bring me to [this] place.”

Dustin received much of that experience during his years in PCC’s professional writing concentration. “I really appreciate PCC introducing me to many different types of writing. Even though I’ll probably never be a technical writer or work at an advertising agency, I still learned concepts in Technical Writing and Copy Writing classes that I use every day,” he said. “Classes like Advanced Grammar gave my writing career a strong foundation. I think employers appreciated the solid writing skills I brought to the table.”

Using his writing skills and tenacity, Dustin finds purpose in his job at STACK. “I really like that I can make a difference in the company,” he said. “If I have an idea for a new type of content or website improvement, I can make it happen.”

Andrea Krebs ’10

Andrea Krebs

  • Writer, Hewlett Packard

When professional writing alumna Andrea Krebs (’10) graduated with her bachelor’s degree from PCC, she felt ready to enter the writing world, despite how competitive it can be. That same year, God provided Andrea with a solid writing job at a well-known corporation—Hewlett Packard—in the very city where her brother and sister-in-law were living. Now Andrea gets to do daily what she loves: communicate through the written word.

Hewlett Packard does much more than simply sell computers and printers; as an information technology company, it also acts as the fiscal agent for several states. Andrea’s main responsibility for HP is writing publications concerning Wisconsin Medicaid’s billing and policy information.

When Andrea works on a publication, she starts by spending hours researching the topic, often getting her information from communications meetings with policy analysts. Then she drafts the content of her publication, but writing it is just the first step. “I rewrite and edit to address situational needs as the publication develops,” Andrea said. “Each publication goes through about six stages of review and at various stages can be sent to upwards of forty people at a time.” It usually takes approximately two to three months for Andrea to get a publication from the research stage to the publishing stage.

Andrea’s job keeps her busy. From working on five to seven publications at a time to overseeing online billing and policy information, Andrea has several tasks to manage. She is thankful for how PCC helped prepare her for the multitasking she does every day. “Balancing multiple classes at PCC with multiple deadline-driven projects helped me learn to prioritize both my time and my projects,” she said. “My job today requires me to do the same, whether I’m revising 25 user guides in three months or writing seven publications in two.”

Andrea appreciates the variety she has in her many responsibilities, yet she does occasionally feel that writing and editing can get tedious. She explained, “To be honest, writing isn’t very glamorous. It’s just you and your computer; and, at times, you can have tunnel vision,” Yet, even when her work requires self-discipline to stay focused, Andrea continues to seek excellence in her own writing.

Andrea learned to appreciate excellence during her undergrad years. “My professors expected a high standard of excellence from me, requiring me to pay attention to even the smallest of details,” Andrea said. “I apply that same level of detail in my job, whether it’s following an established style or standard or ensuring every reviewer’s feedback has been properly incorporated.”

For many writers, accepting feedback can be discouraging. Andrea said, “Just when I think I have a word that fits just right, someone axes it, and I have to start all over again.” Learning from the feedback she has received and not taking any comments personally have helped her keep doing what she loves without becoming discouraged.

When she’s been working at her computer too long or has to completely rewrite something, Andrea takes a few moments to make her coworkers laugh. “I tend to be a bit of a prankster,” she said. Incorporating moments of spontaneous fun with the diligence needed to produce excellent work has made Andrea really enjoy her almost five years at Hewlett Packard.

“I love constantly learning about new things. It stretches me as a person and as a writer,” Andrea said.

Dustin and Jesse Brady ’08

Brady

When Dustin Brady (Commercial Writing, ’08) walks into the children’s section at a Barnes and Noble in Ohio, he’s tempted to sign his name in some books—not because he plans to buy them, but because he wrote them.

Just two years ago, Dustin and his brother Jesse Brady (Commercial Art, ’10), eagerly waited for their self-published book Trapped in a Video Game to make its first sale on Amazon’s CreateSpace. Yet, in a short period of time, the brothers watched the book sell more than just a few copies—it was selling thousands.

Within a few months, Dustin had received a phone call from a representative with Andrews McMeel Publishing. The company wanted the rights to all five books in the series, and they wanted to keep Jesse as the illustrator.

When asked what inspired him to write the books, Dustin said, “When I was a kid, books that were action-packed and funny inspired my love for reading. With Trapped in a Video Game, I set out to write my 10-year-old self’s favorite book to help today’s kids discover for themselves that reading can be fun.”

Scheduled to come out early next year, the fifth book in the series is the culmination of lots of late nights, early mornings, and cups of coffee. For Dustin, it took eight years working in journalism, copywriting, and editing before he transitioned to writing fiction; and even after that, it took eight self-published books before Andrews McMeel took on his series. “While many authors consider their work done once they finish the manuscript, self-published authors are in charge of everything from cover design and page layout to copy editing and marketing,” Dustin explained.

Thankfully, Dustin had Jesse to help with some of these tasks, such as illustrating the book covers, even though Jesse lives nearly 500 miles away in Florida. The illustrations were no easy task. Jesse explained that he did most of the artwork after having completed his shift at Abeka where he works as an illustrator in the digital department. “The whole creative process can be hectic sometimes, but there’s nothing like seeing an idea, or a character, or some crazy alien laser robot come to life after a long day of work,” Jesse said.

Both Dustin and Jesse agree that having a good foundation and being willing to work hard is important for success in their fields. “PCC has a great traditional art program, and that makes it the perfect place to learn core principles like drawing, composition, and color,” Jesse explained. “By the end, I got more than a fun hobby from my time at PCC—I was ready to take on some work.”

Dustin also considers his education at PCC a major factor in his ability to do well in the competitive field of children’s literature. “By training me to think critically and strive for excellence, PCC’s program helped my writing stand apart in the self-published space and get noticed by a traditional publisher,” he said.

Now with a large publisher behind them, Dustin and Jesse’s books are gaining momentum. In fact, several countries including Russia have purchased the rights to translate and sell the books.

Recently, Dustin spoke at the first-ever writing workshop for PCC students during which he explained his writing routine and gave tips about the publishing world. “I was worried hardly anyone would come,” Dustin admitted. But in the end, fifty-six students and eight faculty and staff members showed up, with many excitedly asking him questions well after the workshop was complete.

On his writing routine, Dustin explained that he has to wake up early if he’s going to get in 1,000 words and two hours of solid writing time each day. “I have to turn off my Internet,” Dustin admitted. “I’ve even turned off my router and thrown my phone across the room so I don’t get distracted.”

The brothers’ hard work has paid off—few people have a self-published book picked up by a large publishing house. Happy the books are doing so well, they are excited to see what the Lord has next. “God has opened doors to continue in this field, and I’m thankful for that! I never really felt led to do anything else,” Jesse said.

Dustin echoed these sentiments: “I’m so thankful for the career the Lord has given me and the doors He’s opened to create wholesome children’s entertainment from a biblical worldview.”

Learn More

Check out PCC’s professional writing program.

Sign up for PCC eNews