At 29, Charlotte Wilder ’11 has arrived. She’s the youngest senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where her contract was negotiated by her agent at Creative Artists Agency. Her long-form stories about everything from the NFL to the demolition derby at Maine’s Union Fair are both finely crafted and digitally successful. The TV show, The Wilder Project, is about to launch its second season. Most Valuable Podcast, with Wilder and Jess Smetana, is growing in popularity. On Twitter @thewilderproject has 35,000 followers and counting.
And the trajectory for all of these Wilder projects is upward. Which is to say, where she’s at now, in her estimation, is not her ultimate destination.
“I think it’s going to keep growing,” Wilder said over lunch at Seamore’s, a sunny seafood place in NoLita, in lower Manhattan. “The writing, the show, the podcast—all of this is a foundation for what this can become. … I think the sky’s the limit in terms of what we can build here.”
Wilder’s push into the world of sports media was propelled in part by her ability to cultivate relationships, but mostly by talent and very hard work.
Wilder was a poet at Colby, and an inveterate reader, as one would expect from a history major. She started her paid writing career as an assistant web editor at America’s Test Kitchen. A Boston Globe gig helped hone her skills. “I was a good writer,” she said. “I just needed to figure out the landscape.”
She did just that.
“This time last year I was terrified all this was going to go away,” she said. “I think I’m finally in a place where I’m like, ‘Okay. This has staying power.’”