10491277_10203604275779407_8849670212016477072_nIn the beginning was the word. Growing up in southern West Virginia, I was raised by storytellers. Each Sunday I listened to my father bring Bible stories to life from the pulpit of our small Baptist church.

I eventually decided I wanted to tell stories, too. After graduating from the University of Charleston in 2009 with a journalism degree, I got a job as the Charleston Daily Mail’s education reporter. I became the newspaper’s general assignment and health reporter a year later, winning several awards for both my feature stories and breaking news coverage.

In 2013, I was asked to become part of the Daily Mail‘s statehouse team. During my time on the beat I covered the West Virginia Senate, state agencies, West Virginia’s congressional delegation, the state’s roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, among other topics.

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On the job. It’s a tough life.

The newspaper made me its life and community engagement editor in December 2013. As part of this position I manage the paper’s entertainment and features sections, help run the Daily Mail‘s social media accounts and try to find ways to better connect with our audience.

After a little more than a year in that position, I left the Daily Mail to become managing editor of West Virginia Focus, a bi-monthly business and policy magazine published by New South Media.

About a year later, I became managing editor of NSM’s flagship publication, WV Living, as well as Wonderful West Virginia, a storied publication NSM produces for the state Division of Natural Resources.

I’m also an experienced freelancer with bylines in Rolling Stone Country, 100 Days in Appalachia, Green Building & Design, and Lapham’s Quarterly’s Round Table blog.

Outside of work, I enjoy reading (usually nonfiction narratives and science fiction), traveling with my wife Whitney, photography and playing music. I’d really like to start building guitars, so I’m trying to set up a little wood shop in an old chicken coop at my house.