Emily Maynard

2014 Faith & Culture Writers speaker

Emily Maynard

Emily Maynard will speak in two sessions at the 2014 Faith & Culture Writers Conference at George Fox University on March 7th & 8th, 2014. Maynard was interviewed by George Fox University undergraduate student Tori Nunnenkamp.

Where are you from, and where do you live now?

I grew up in Portland, Oregon. After four years in the Midwest for college, I was ready to move back to the West Coast! I've lived in the same cute North Portland neighborhood for five years.

What field of writing or publication is your passion?

I love the broad engagement of writing on Twitter or a blog because there's so much interaction! I learn the most when I'm actively listening and sharing with others. I also love speaking to groups.

How did you get involved in writing?

I've written down my thoughts since I was small, and I had various blogs over the years, but I started writing publicly in July of 2012 for Prodigal Magazine.

What was your first writing outlet?

My first public writing was on Xanga, which I hope no one can find because it's just a lot of nonsense! I didn't have many followers at first, but I've been on Twitter for 5 years and I've learned a few things.

What inspires you to write? What are your favorite topics to write about?

I usually write out the things that I'm thinking about or processing from my life or experiences. I love talking about cultural topics that affect me personally, like relationships, gender, and faith. Sometimes I suspect that most of my work is directed at my 22-year-old self!

How did you get your work into places like Relevant and Prodigal Magazine?

Twitter! I had built significant relationships with editors and other writers for a long time before I started my own work, and many of those people were generous enough to support me. I think sharing platforms and resources is really important.

When and why did you start blogging? Where does your blog title come from?

I've been blogging for years because I figured out that typing was faster than hand-writing in a journal, but Emily Is Speaking Up is my first public blog. I chose the title because it captured the hope for my site: that I would grow my voice. I also like declarative sentences, so Emily Is Speaking Up just had a rhythm that sounded fun!

Why did you choose to pursue grad school?

I've always loved school! I majored in English for my BA, but I took several Christian Theology & History classes, and obviously, I love writing about faith. More knowledge and experience seems like a good idea!

What will you be speaking about at the conference?

I'll be talking about Twitter on a panel with Nicole Miller and Ana Brors! Twitter's my favorite way to write and interact online, so I'm really excited about sharing. I'm also leading a workshop called How To Speak Up, where I'll be talking about writing my story publicly.

Why is the topic you'll be speaking about important?

Twitter can be a bit intimidating for a new user, and there are plenty of different strategies even for experienced users! I'll be talking about the different ways I've used that platform and increased my engagement. For my workshop, I'm hoping to help people sort through some of their writing blocks and help them understand public writing as a personal and spiritual growth practice.

Published on February 25, 2014.