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Carla Jean Whitley


A seasoned writer and editor with a decade of experience and a passion for sharing stories through publications, multimedia, speaking engagements and teaching


Birmingham magazine Birmingham, Ala.         

December 2006–Present

Managing editor

July 2009–Present

  • Plan and edit monthly editorial content, podcasts and web features for monthly magazine averaging 150 pages
  • Collaborate on a variety of print and digital projects, resulting in City and Regional Magazine Association Birmingham magazine redesign award and finalists for awards in general excellence and feature design
  • Hire and manage a team of freelance writers with a $35,000 annual editorial budget
  • Hire and manage day-to-day activities of editorial interns
  • Write feature, art, music, food, homes, events, business and travel stories
  • Maintain media partnerships and regularly appear on radio and television

Associate editor

December 2006–July 2009

  • Produced and wrote 10 stories each month
  • Produced annual summer reading package, including a book excerpt, author interview and reviews
  • Launched and managed music blog Birmingham Box Set (2008-2014), which drove traffic to the magazine’s website and engaged with readers through in-person events
  • Led editorial staff in developing an in-house style guide

Adjunct faculty                                                                                

January 2012–Present

Samford University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Birmingham, Ala.

University of Alabama Department of Journalism Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Freelance writer and editor                                                              

March 2004–Present

  • BookPage: Write monthly book reviews and features for national book review, circulation 400,000, and
  • Clients include Paste magazine, Delta’s Sky magazine, Knights of Columbus’ Columbia magazine, UAB Medicine magazine, Alabama Alumni magazine, Publishers Weekly, Cliff Road Books, Relevant magazine,, BigBridge advertising agency and two authors 

The Birmingham News Birmingham, Ala.                             

June–November 2006

Part-time reporter

  • Reported government activity and community events in four municipalities

The Cullman Times Cullman, Ala.     

December 2005–June 2006

Lifestyle editor

  • Wrote and designed feature section, weekly religion page and special sections

The Tuscaloosa News Tuscaloosa, Ala.                                     May–November 2005

Copy editor and designer                                                                      July–November 2005

  • Edited local copy for style
  • Designed local news and feature sections while determining placement of and selecting wire stories

Staff writer                                                                                                       May–July 2005

  • Wrote centerpiece and secondary health and religion stories, plus breaking news
  • Hired on a full-time, temporary basis to fill in for a reporter who was out of the country; expected to stay eight weeks, but remained for seven months

Professional activities and awards

Society of Professional Journalists member

Alabama Alumni Publications Advisory Committee member

Guest speaker, various journalism classes, writing workshops and business groups

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards judge, 2010

Recipient of Lilly Scholarship from the Religion Newswriters Association, 2005

First place in journalism history, Southeastern Journalism Conference, 2004

Presented “Characteristics of American Journalists and the Journalism Field, 1900-1909” at the 2004 American Journalism Historians Association Southeast Symposium

Community involvement

Oasis Counseling for Women and Children junior board

Allegro Alabama Symphony Orchestra young patrons group

Friends of Emmet O’Neal Library

Hops for Honeys women’s craft beer group


University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, Ala. 2003-2004

Master of arts in journalism

Master’s project: A series of articles about independent musicians

Florida State University Tallahassee, Fla. 1999-2002

Bachelor of science in communication