Emily Chadwell and I met via e-mail in 2015. At the time she was Emily Ellis, Publishing Team Leader at LifeWay Christian Resources, and the Lord connected us in an unexpected way. (I love how He arranges the details of our lives with such amazing skill.) Emily proceeded to offer me an opportunity to write for Journey Magazine, which I gratefully accepted even though I longed for my Bible study to be published. As always, God’s plan surpasses ours. Meeting Emily and writing under her editorial expertise has impacted my writing career in wonderful ways, filling me with gratitude.
Emily exhibits a professional, cheerful, and godly disposition. Though an editor with tremendous responsibilities at LifeWay Christian Resources, she interacts with Christlike humility. Kindness shapes her words. Emily is a blessing to me—in the writing industry and on a personal level.
Please join me in welcoming Emily Chadwell, a content editor and writer at LifeWay Christian Resources, to Writers Connect.Get to know Emily Chadwell, a content editor and writer at @Lifeway, on WRITERS CONNECT. #Writing #WritingTips Click To Tweet
Emily, when and how did you come to know the Lord as your Savior?
Emily Chadwell: I grew up in a Christian home and came to know the Lord as my Savior at a very young age. But like most people raised in church, there came a time when my faith was tested in a season of suffering, and I had to decide if I really believed God is who He said He is. I was in my early 20s when the Lord revealed Himself to me in a fresh and new way, and I’m so thankful He did!
What is your primary role in the writing community, and how did you achieve this position?
Emily Chadwell: I currently work as an editor and writer at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN. How I got here – only God knows! I studied theology in college and went to seminary immediately after. When I moved back to Nashville after seminary I started applying for jobs that required a theology degree (which were not very many, as you can imagine), and they all seemed to be in religious publishing. I honestly had no aspirations to be a writer or an editor; I hadn’t even thought that far ahead. I just knew I enjoyed studying theology, so I went with it. Truth be told, I didn’t even know I was good at writing until college, when I won an award for it. But even then I thought it was a fluke.
So needless to say, even though I didn’t know what I was doing, the Lord knew what He was doing. He directed my steps to LifeWay almost 6 years ago, and I’ve been in my dream job ever since!
What advice would you like to share with writers who want to write for LifeWay?
Emily Chadwell: First, if you’re interested in writing devotionals, have devotional writing samples ready to send to the editor. Same for Sunday school curriculum, magazines, and so forth. The editor will almost certainly ask you for writing samples for 2 reasons: 1) The want to see if you can actually write; 2) they want to see that you’ve written for that specific “genre” before.
Second, continue to improve your writing. Reading is one of the best ways to become a better writer. So read different kinds of books, take writing classes, go to conferences … continue honing your craft.
Third, check your motives. If the Lord has given you the gift of writing to be used to serve your local church, would you be happy with that? Or are you looking to build a platform to be famous for Jesus? The Lord does call some of His people to have a larger platform for His glory, and I’m so glad because their ministries have blessed me tremendously! But these are the exception. God has called most of us to serve on a “smaller” scale. Of course, in the Lord’s sight one person’s service is never “smaller than another’s,” as long as it is done in obedience to Him.
What are your dreams and goals for 2019?
Emily Chadwell: One of my goals is to generally be more consistent and disciplined. If you’re familiar with the Enneagram, I’m a type 7 – The Enthusiast. That means I love people and I love to have fun, which also means I have a hard time prioritizing the not-so-fun things, like basically any household chore. So at the turn of the year I made a choice to start doing small things consistently (like making the bed every day), and then keep adding things to make my household run smoother (like meal planning every week).
My husband and I also “Marie Kondo’d” our house — we started with my book collection (ouch!), our closet, my bedside table (which had about 25 books stacked on it), and the kitchen pantry. It feels good to get organized!
I’m also trying to read more, which can be hard with a baby!
How can we pray for you?
Emily Chadwell: You can pray that 2019 will be a year of settling for my family! It’s been a whirlwind since my husband and I met. We had our first date January 2017, got engaged in March and married in May. I got pregnant in January 2018 and had Claire the following October. So we’re hoping and praying this year will be one where we can find our footing 🙂
Thank you, Emily, for sharing on Writers Connect. I’ve enjoyed learning more about you, and it’s an honor to introduce you to my readers. I appreciate you and your labors for the Lord—He’s using you in a mighty way. May He continue to be glorified through you. You’ll be in my prayers.
To my readers: I trust you’ve benefited from this interview with Emily as well. It’s been such a treat! Her advice to us is valuable, too. Let’s pray for Emily and her family, knowing God has entrusted numerous responsibilities to her. Many thanks.
In Christ’s Love,
Emily Chadwell is married to Seth, who is the love of her life. Together they have a sweet little girl named Claire and an active golden retriever named Hampton. When Emily is not spending time with her awesome family, she serves as a content editor at LifeWay.