Where are they now? Megan House: Journalist and Dance Teacher

Jul 20, 2016 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


On my drive to work every day, I pass a large-scale construction project. Yesterday as I passed some of the equipment, I was struck by the similarity between building and writing. It doesn’t matter if you have all the supplies in the world—if you don’t have the correct tools, neither a building nor a paper will be created.

I recently sat down with Megan House, a freelance journalist and editor of IEW’s Magnum Opus Magazine, who happens to be an IEW alum as well. Some of her comments reminded me of how IEW gives this “toolbox” to students.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

My undergrad degree was in print journalism, and my MA was in theological studies. I direct a dance ministry in Lynchburg, Virginia—we have about two hundred kids involved in our program. I also work for IEW on the side and write for four different magazines.

How old you were when you started IEW?

I was introduced to IEW in 7th or 8th grade, starting with the Student Writing Intensive*. We had tried a million different writing courses, so initially we were very hesitant to start IEW. I had always loved to write, but I often struggled with how to structure my thoughts on paper. I really feel like IEW helped me with that. It taught me how to condense and gave me a toolbox I could use to structure my papers.

What IEW courses did you take?

After the Student Writing Intensive, we did Bible Based-Writing Lessons and then SICC*. After I started college I watched the Advanced Communication Series, kind of for the fun of it. I think the Advanced Communication Series is great for freshmen in college or students preparing to go to college.

What was your favorite part of IEW?

What I love about the program in general is how entertaining and engaging Mr. Pudewa is. It was always very fun, and whenever something is fun you are going to be more interested. I learned a lot in the essay sections, and earlier on my favorite part was writing from pictures because I am a very creative person and love that type of writing.

What type of writing do you find yourself doing now?

As a freelance journalist, most of my writing is articles. For example, I work for a business magazine and a few others where I write profiles on different businesses.

My favorite writing is creative writing. I had a short novel published while I was in college, and I am working on a couple others right now. One of the things I have in the works is a children’s series. I’ve been teaching ballet for many years, and I’ve found that most of the children’s books about ballet have the message, “I’m the best! I’m a star!” whereas I like to instill in my dancers that it doesn’t matter if you are the best; as long as you try your hardest and are the best that you can be, you have accomplished something. For this series my grandmother is doing all the illustrations, so I’m excited to be working with her. I’m also working on another short novel.

Do you see any connection between your IEW training and your ability to communicate beyond writing?

Yes. During high school I really struggled with public speaking skills. You wouldn’t necessarily think that writing skills apply to speaking, but they really do. When I went to college and took public speaking classes, I found myself doing the keyword outline method and found it extremely helpful. What I had learned from IEW definitely transferred over. Really any class you take during college is going to require papers or presentations, and IEW trains you for those situations.

When it comes to teaching writing, students normally fall on a spectrum between the child who simply refuses to write and the child who writes so much that they cannot seem to slow down and structure their ideas. Both of these issues can be addressed by supplying the student with effective techniques and models. As educators, it is easy to become frustrated with both a child who writes too much and a child who writes too little. But don’t worry. Once you give your students a set of tools for writing, you will be blown away by what they can accomplish, not just through composition, but also by speaking, thinking, and creating.


*The Student Writing Intensive series was discontinued in November 2019 and replaced by the new Structure and Style for Students program.

Growing up in the Pudewa family, Christopher Pudewa was exposed to the IEW method from a very young age. During high school he had the privilege of competing in the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association, where he was able to apply the skills he had learned through IEW. Chris is currently attending the University of Oklahoma, majoring in Criminology and Psychology.


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