The Lead: Josina Guess on Becoming a Writer

When Josina Guess joined The Bitter Southerner as assistant editor in December 2019, I read her introductory piece, “How We Write a Better South,” which reflects on the ability of story to connect personal experiences and history with the desire to create a better future. I walked away from the piece asking, how can I learn to write like that?

In this episode of The Lead, I got to ask Josina. To both my chagrin and relief, she didn’t answer with a step-by-step process or formula. Josina’s journey has been about taking the next best step. One of her steps led her to The Bitter Southerner. Since joining the publication less than a year ago, Josina has transitioned to the position of managing editor. 

But she hasn’t “made it” just yet. Rather, she’s focused on the process of making it every day, of continuing to slow down, observe and use writing to reflect on her experiences and the world around her.

For anyone trying to figure out the next best step, this conversation is for you. It was a joy to speak with Josina, and I hope you find encouragement in her journey. 

Give it a listen:

Caroline Odom is a junior majoring in journalism at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She is also majoring in risk management and insurance with a certificate in personal and organizational leadership at UGA’s Terry College of Business.



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