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Carla Jean Whitley

Writer Birmingham News
Birmingham, Alabama
February 2015–Present
Features reporter

  • Incorporate social media, video, audio and live video streaming into reporting arts, literary and community features
  • Host, record and produce the Red Clay Readers podcast, a discussion of Alabama-related literary news
  • Led online book club and news coverage for Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman.” Interviewed by BBC Radio’s “Newsday” about the book’s significance. Designed social-media friendly images using quotes from the book. From Feb. 3, when news of the book’s publication broke, to the conclusion of the club on Aug. 14, this content generated more than half-a-million page views on The company also hosted three related events across the state—a first-time effort–which Books-A-Million sponsored.

July 2014–Present

“Birmingham Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Magic City” (The History Press, July 2015)

“Balancing Act: Yoga Essays” (Self-published e-book, November 2014)

“Muscle Shoals Sound Studio: How the Swampers Changed American Music” (The History Press, July 2014)

Freelance writer and editor
March 2004–Present

  • Published in Southern Living, The Atlantic’s, BookPage, Paste magazine, Sky magazine; edited several authors
  • CityLab: “The Promise of the $20,000 House” spent days on the site’s most-read stories list, and readers shared it 24,000 times.
  • BookPage: Regular contributor since 2008 to this monthly book review, which has a circulation exceeding 400,000.
  • Paste: Write book and beer stories for this web-based culture magazine, which attracts 5.6 million unique visitors monthly.

The Birmingham News
Birmingham, Alabama
June–November 2006
Part-time reporter

  • Reported government and community activity in four municipalities for Alabama’s largest paper

The Cullman Times
Cullman, Alabama
December 2005–June 2006
Lifestyle editor

  • Wrote, designed and edited columnists for twice-weekly feature sections, a weekly religion page and special sections

The Tuscaloosa News
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Copy editor and designer
July–November 2005

  • Designed local news and features, selected wire stories and edited local copy for style

Staff writer                                                                                                                                       May–July 2005

  • Hired on a full-time, temporary basis to cover health, religion and breaking news


Birmingham magazine
Birmingham, Alabama
Managing editor
July 2009–February 2015

  • Planned, assigned and edited editorial and multimedia content for this monthly magazine, then oversaw production, established deadlines and determined page count based on content and revenue. Wrote copy for promotional ads to run in The Birmingham News and promoted the magazine through media appearances.
  • Collaborated on a variety of print projects, resulting in a City and Regional Magazine Association redesign award and becoming finalists in general excellence and feature design
  • Hired writers, managed editorial budget and oversaw internship program, which I developed with human resources

Associate editor
December 2006–July 2009

  • Wrote about culture and community and produced an annual summer reading package including a book excerpt
  • Launched music blog Birmingham Box Set (2008-2014), which drove web traffic and engaged readers with events and social media
  • Created and implemented an in-house style guide


Adjunct faculty                                                                                                                      January 2012–Present

University of Alabama Department of Journalism Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Samford University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication Birmingham, Alabama


University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2003-2004, Master of Arts in journalism

Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida 1999-2002, Bachelor of Science in communication

Professional activities and community involvement

·  Society of Professional Journalists, Alabama vice president

·  Friends of Emmet O’Neal Library

·  Yoga Alliance RYT-200 certified yoga teacher

·  Hops for Honeys women’s craft beer group