Award winning writer and editor Julie Campbell shares passion for history through leadership

She is the NFPW student membership chair and is looking for students to join affiliates and participate in the communications contest. The post is a natural with her experience at Washington and Lee. When I think of Julie Campbell I think of her first book “The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History,” and the much deserved honors awards she won for the effort. She is a talented writer and editor and I am honored to be able to call her a friend.

Name: Julie Campbell

City and State: Lexington, Virginia

Julie Campbell

Julie Campbell

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Virginia Press Women, now called Virginia Professional Communicators. I have served as the affiliate’s president, vice president for membership, and now treasurer. For NFPW, I’m the student membership chair and a member of the Education Fund board.


Years a member of NFPW: 15

In a couple of paragraphs, tell us a little about you.

I was born in Boulder, Colorado, and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have a B.A. from Arizona State University and an M.A. from the University of Arizona, both in history.

I started my publishing career in Denver, Colorado, working first for a lifestyle magazine and then for trade magazines for the plastics industry. With that valuable experience, I moved on to a satisfying career in historical editing, first at the Arizona Historical Society, in Tucson, and then at the Library of Virginia, in Richmond. After state budget woes led to the demise of the magazine I edited, Virginia Cavalcade, I wound up at Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia. I started out editing the alumni magazine and am now the associate director of communications and public affairs.

I love the communications field, but I had my favorite job ever during my college years: three summers as a camp counselor in Prescott, Arizona. I have stayed in touch with the owners, and if I ever need a summer job again, I’m calling them up. I still remember the goofy songs and how to make biscuits in a Dutch oven over a campfire.

Any career advice you would give?

Keep in mind that anything can happen. I sure never expected to be working in university communications, but then I sure never expected to be laid off. The transition into a new field was rocky at times, but my unexpected career eventually blossomed into something I truly enjoy.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Singing. Or dancing. How about both? On Broadway.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

New Orleans from November to April; Santa Fe the rest of the year.

What book are you reading?

I just finished The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver. After I read the last page, I closed the cover and marveled out loud, “Barbara Kingsolver, how do you do it?” Next up is Family Linen, by Lee Smith. I have been on a Lee Smith kick this year.

Julie Campbell, right, with her good friend Marlene Cook at an NFPW conference.

Julie Campbell, right, with her good friend Marlene Cook at an NFPW conference.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am a proud graduate of the Katharine Gibbs School, the once-famous, now-defunct secretarial school. After college, I took a two-month course at the Gibbs branch in New York City that provided practical job skills for liberal arts graduates. You were supposed to get an entry-level job as a secretary in your desired field and then move up. It worked; my first publishing job was as a secretary at Colorado Homes and Lifestyles magazine, in Denver.


Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

The educational content of our state and national conferences is useful and interesting. My involvement on the boards of both organizations is helpful to me professionally, and I like working to keep us strong and relevant. The best part, though, is the friendships. At this year’s NFPW conference, I made it a point to spend extra time with people I see only once a year, to get to know them a little better. That gave the conference an extra glow that I’m still carrying with me.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.


Twitter:         @anniemac1900

Facebook:    The Horse in Virginia: An Illustrated History

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