2013-08-08 / Front Page

Caitlin Giddens: Writing her own dream

FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
BY SUZANNE LOUDAMY
Reporter


CAITLIN GIDDENS 
Courtesy Photo/Noel Martin CAITLIN GIDDENS Courtesy Photo/Noel Martin Putting her thoughts down on paper has been a way of life for Caitlin Giddens for many years. Maybe it began with telling her diary the secrets of her heart or penning fun notes to friends in school, wherever the practice began, she has it down to an art now.

Born in Tyler, Caitlin and her family moved to Whitehouse in 1998 where she attended school, went to church, made tons of friends and had some great teachers who cultivated that love for writing into a true talent.

High school offered journalism classes to Caitlin. It was not a new idea since her sister Meghan had gone through the journalism program, but this would be a new kind of writing for Caitlin. As she soon discovered, journalism writing is different that writing an English paper.

“I learned so much and gained so much experience in UIL events,” Caitlin said. “Feature writing, news writing, headlines and editorial. I did all four events every year.”

Her sophomore year of high school she advanced to the state level of competition in headline writing and made Regionals several times.

While very focused on her academics in high school, Caitlin made time for another love she had – the love of dance. She was a member of the First Ladies Drill Team for three years and made some wonderful friends and gained some priceless leadership experience.

Beyond her school newspaper and yearbook experience, Caitlin came to the Tri County Leader for a summer internship. She wrote feature stories about everything from a hometown rock and roll band to the future of a local professional bull rider.

“I loved the writing of course,” Caitlin said. “It’s not just telling a story, it’s the interacting with people, getting to know what’s going on with them.”

Before long it was time to be looking at her next step in education. College was on the horizon. With a sister and brother who wore the green and gold of Baylor University, she looked to that “good old Baylor line” right away.

“I heard about Baylor’s programs and scholarships that were available and it was hard to say no,” Caitlin said. “I learned so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn there.”

The summer following her 4.0 freshman year at Baylor, Caitlin had the chance to intern with BScene magazine in Tyler. This would be her first time to try her hand at magazine writing.

“Magazine writing is like a bridge between short stories and journalistic writing,” she said. “Writing for my local newspaper and then BScene gave me a real sense of community and expanded my creative writing as well.”

Caitlin worked on student publications at Baylor including the Baylor Lariat and The Roundup. She also worked as an intern for the Wacoan magazine in Waco and D Magazine in Dallas.

Creative writing, journalism and a part of the honors program…what more could college offer this budding young writer. It would offer her a semester abroad where she studied in London. She saw the sights, studied photography, soaked up lectures on Shakespeare taught by British professors, it just couldn’t get any better for this smalltown girl.

“I truly had come from the care of Whitehouse to the Baylor bubble,” Caitlin said. “I still felt very sheltered at Baylor. But London, it was the real world.”

She drank up every opportunity she could including a trip to Paris. While in London Caitlin served as a media intern and freelance writer for Eye magazine. There she contributed to the magazine’s blog, maintained their events page and kept in contact with international clients concerning readership and to promote the new Eye website.

What a whirlwind college was for Caitlin but the advantages she took and the hard work she put in paid off. Caitlin came back to the area and has landed herself a position with BScene. A little writing, a little copy editing, blogs, website and event calendars keep her busy every day.

Always looking for the next story, Caitlin has found a big door in her life. She turned the knob and it opened for her.

The Tri County Leader is very proud of Caitlin, once our young intern, for her progress and the bright future that lies ahead for her.

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