• Amanda Ashley

Climbing Magazine Articles

In the past 3 years I've had 2 articles in print and 2 articles online in Climbing Magazine.

That link goes to a page with 6 articles, hope you figure out which ones are mine. Which you might be able to do if you keep reading this blog. Those bylines are ones that I'm proud of and that I worked really hard on.

Because I'm a writer and no story I've ever written starts where I originally think it does...we have to go back to my transition from freelance floozy to creative with a day job, and then we have to go back to the 90's.

In 2015, I started writing about what was around me; climbing and the climbing scene in Utah. Salt Lake specifically, as a way to plug into the scene that my then 10 year old son was immersed in, competitive indoor climbing. Locally I pitched and wrote for the Utah Adventure Journal about climbers, the gym scene, route setting, the Outdoor Retailer Show, did interviews with climbers, yogis, cyclists and skiers. Learning about route setting and youth competition climbing led me to writing for Climbing Business Journal and to the confidence to pitch to Climbing Magazine.

I'd pitched to Climbing Magazine back when I was a full-time climber and working at Blue Ridge Outdoors, now Waterstone Outdoors in Fayetteville, WV aka The New. I guess I'd felt like I was ready to write a feature (ummm- yeah - not at all) because they'd printed a few of my 'letters to the editor.' That's me in the middle of the kick line btw with the green top on. Fun fact: I remember going to The Love Building as a kid with my Dad. Long before I worked there...he'd visit his lawyer on the top floor and then stop into the liquor store on the 1st floor.

It was the late 90's and I wrote a crazy satire about an egotistical climber, paired it with a desperate cover letter and mailed it, along with a SASE (split your senior discount with me if you know what that is) into Climbing Magazine. I remember waiting for weeks to hear back. When I got the rejection letter, I didn't feel bad...in fact I felt great. Dave Pegg, who was the Senior Associate Editor at the time, wrote a very thoughtful letter and provided me with the feedback of the entire staff. In short my story despite a strong beginning and middle, fizzled out at the end. Climbing Magazine had just fazed out it's fiction section with the hire of Matt Samet and his new column. Then and now I've been unable to workout the ending of that piece, but I'm happy for the part it played in my writing life. I still have that original story and the letter from Dave, which speaks both to his kindness and professionalism and to my sentiment regarding my desire to write.

It was Matt Samet as Editor in Chief who I hooked with my pitches and James Lucas, my whip-cracking editor, that helped me shape and tell 2 really great stories; one on Kris Hampton and the other on Skate Style Route Setting. For my online pieces I worked with Kevin Corrigan and wrote about Alex Puccio and Nathaniel Coleman. It was a fun full circle for me to be published in a magazine I've read for decades and that features the work of writers and photographers that I admire. But all this is to say that writing for Climbing Magazine is just plain fun. They bring a high level of professionalism to the process of crafting a well told story, are professional and just good people to work with.

Thanks for reading.

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