Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WTP Faculty Interview: Jesse Florea of Clubhouse and Clubhouse, Jr. Magazines

Briefly describe your publication.

Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse and Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. are long-running, award-winning children’s publications from Focus on the Family. Clubhouse is geared for children 8-to-12, while Jr. is for 3- to 7-year-olds. Both are four-color, monthly magazines that reach over 125,000 kids all over the world.

What type of a writer are you hoping to meet with at the conference?

Somebody who’s passionate about children. I sort of view my job as being a children’s pastor. We want to provide Biblically based, entertaining stories that help kids build a foundation in Christ. Plus, as the longest running children’s ministry at Focus on the Family, we want to bring families together. To that end, we like to feature recipes, crafts and activities—in addition to all the great fiction, factoids and Bible stories.

How can someone best prepare for an appointment with you?

Grab an issue of the magazine (I’ll bring plenty for those who are interested) or go to our websites at or Get a feel for the style and kinds of stories we do. At the same time, the best advice is to just be yourself. Some of the best ideas have come just by talking with conferees, discovering their passions and then figuring out how they can contribute to the magazines.

Anything you would like to add?

Sign up to speak with as many faculty members as you can. That’s the best part of a conference. Meet people, ask questions, learn. (Of course, do your homework before the meeting, so you don’t sit down and say, “So what do you do?”) Don’t be nervous. Have a sense of humor. Conferences are overwhelming for editors, too. So be willing to laugh and don’t take yourself too seriously.

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