At 7pm on November 18th, the English Department will co-host The Hope College Connection LIVE: Creative Jobs for English Majors. This will be a virtual event featuring a panel of alumni ready to share their advice and give some direction for landing an exciting and rewarding career. In advance of that event, the English Department is sharing more information about the panelists here in our blog. The selected panelists are:

  • Matthew Baker ‘09 | Author & Screenwriter
  • Annette Bourland ‘94 | Founder, Bourland Strategic Advisors
  • Natalie Brown ’17 | Freelance Writer & Author
  • Chris O’Brien ‘12 | Editor, Writer, and Owner of Long Overdue Publishing Company

Students will have the opportunity to ask all alumni in attendance their burning questions. This event is co-sponsored by the English Department, Alumni and Family Engagement team, and the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career at Hope College. Faculty, Staff & Alumni can register for this event HERE. Students can HERE.


Matthew Baker ‘09 | Author & Screenwriter

Matthew Baker (’09)

Named one of Variety’s “10 Storytellers To Watch,” Matthew Baker is the author of the story collections Why Visit America and Hybrid Creatures and the children’s novel Key Of X, originally published as If You Find This. Stories have appeared in publications such as New York Times MagazineThe Paris ReviewAmerican Short FictionOne StoryElectric Literature, and Best American Science Fiction And Fantasy.


Annette Bourland ‘94 | Founder | Bourland Strategic Advisors

Annette Bourland (’94)

Annette Bourland is a C-Suite level executive with more than 25 years of media and publishing experience. From books to magazines to digital platforms, Annette has developed long and short-form content, led teams in creating award-winning publications, and engaged virtual teams in areas of editorial, marketing, art, design, and technology. She currently leads Bourland Strategic Advisors (BSA) as a media consultant, guiding business strategy and publishing expansion for worldwide publishers and high caliber authors. Prior to launching her own business, Annette spent 12 years as Group Publisher with HarperCollins Publishing, leading adult nonfiction, curriculum, and children’s and teen imprints.


Natalie Brown ’17 | Freelance Writer & Author

Natalie Brown (’17)

Natalie Allison Brown is an award-winning author and motivational speaker. She is the author of Fifty-Two Cups of Coffee, a weekly devotional for the modern believer seeking intimacy with God. Passionate about the Gospel, Natalie uses storytelling as an instrument to encourage, challenge, and inspire others.


Chris O’Brien ‘12 | Editor, Writer, and Owner of Long Overdue Publishing Company

Chris O’Brien, (’12)

Chris is an author and also the Co-Founder of Long Overdue Books.

His very first book, right after he graduated from Hope College, was called “Medium Rare.” This led to his ongoing blog of the same name published Tuesday mornings on ChicagoNow

Through his own experiences navigating the confusing worlds of traditional and self-publishing, He decided to create what he hopes will serve as a social network for creating books, one that always puts authors first.

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