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Inside April’s Southwest: The Magazine

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We at Southwest: The Magazine like doing the kind of story you’d talk about over a beer. I may be slightly biased, but I think we hit the jackpot with our April cover story. It’s about a guy named Dan McLaughlin, who is trying to become a pro golfer through sheer practice. McLaughlin is testing the theory that 10,000 hours of practice will let you achieve mastery in almost... read more

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Inside the March Issue of Southwest: The Magazine

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At Southwest: The Magazine, we sometimes like to dream up themes that cover a whole gamut of things. We hit the jackpot this time: a whole feature section on time. The one thing we don’t write about in this issue is how to save it. Instead we talk about how to freeze time (a story about a guy who made a fortune from ice), travel back in time (through collections), and... read more

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Inside the February Issue of Southwest: The Magazine

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As the inflight magazine for Southwest, we’re all about travel. (Duh.) But at our heart, we’re all about real people. Sure, we do celebrities occasionally, but only when they act like real people. (We loved it when Jimmy Kimmel recently brought out our September issue during an interview of our cover model, Mindy Kaling.) Most of the time, we’re looking for unsung... read more

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Inside the January Issue of Southwest: The Magazine

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Do you have kids?  Then you know what a tricky territory praise can be.  You want to build their confidence, but sometimes we parents get a little too … tactful in praising a poor effort.  In the latest issue of Southwest: The Magazine, Chicago Tribune writer Heidi Stevens covers the dos and don’ts of self esteem. Heidi, a friend of mine, has great kids; she deserves... read more

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Inside The Magazine’s October Issue

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Every time I look at the cover of this issue, the theme song for Reading Rainbow goes through my head. Um, sorry, if I just got it stuck in your head. But that terrific show earned a whole generation of fans for its host, LeVar Burton. He’s the kind of warm celebrity you can think of as a friend; this helps explain how he broke the Kickstarter record, raising $1 million... read more

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Introducing Southwest: The Magazine

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Southwest Airlines new look has a lot of moving parts—literally. One of them is its inflight magazine. Not only did our name change from Spirit to Southwest: The Magazine, but hundreds of thousands of a special, celebratory September issue were switched out on planes beginning September 8 and 9.  (Click here to read more about the first version of our September issue.)... read more

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Inside Southwest: The Magazine’s September Issue

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At Southwest’s inflight magazine, we don’t shove just any celebrity on the cover.  We generally feature real people with real stories to tell. This month, though, we couldn’t resist featuring Mindy Kaling—writer, director, actress, comedian, and star.  The issue focuses on ways to show your heart, getting people to like and trust you.  We were trying to think of... read more

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Inside Southwest Spirit’s August Issue

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What do you think of the phrase, “really hard to get to?” Do you instantly want to go, without even knowing where? If you do, you may be a true hardcore traveler. People who work for travel magazines like Southwest’s definitely fall in this category. And I definitely include former Spirit's Executive Editor John McAlley. He visited Bandon Dunes Golf Resort for this... read more

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Inside Spirit’s June 2014 Issue

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While Southwest Airline’s inflight magazine is famous for doing great storytelling features, we’re still a travel magazine at heart. You’d think the job would be easy. Fly someplace amazing, go home, tell people how amazing it was. And we do that. But the hard part is bringing out all the incredible variety of experiences you can have anywhere Southwest flies. So... read more

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Inside Spirit’s May 2014 Issue

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One of the best things about working Southwest’s inflight magazine is the writers. We consider them friends, and we’re kind of in awe of some of them. Take Tracy Ross, the author of this month’s big story, “The Carousel of Happiness.” She happens to be in Nepal as I write this. The author of a remarkable memoir, The Source of All Things, she’s now reporting... read more

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Inside Spirit’s April 2014 Issue

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The coolest thing about working with the inflight magazine for Southwest, believe it or not, isn’t the travel. Well, okay, it’s the travel.  But the second coolest thing, for me, is getting to meet smart, curious people and to collaborate on meaningful stories.  One of those people is Warren Burger. A mutual friend introduced us a while back, because Warren was working... read more

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Inside Spirit’s March 2014 Issue

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We at Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit, like to follow the trends. But we’re not interested in the flightier trends that involve cats or planking.  We look for ways that society is changing, and focus on the ways it just might be changing for the better. That’s why our latest cover story has to do with the Etsy Generation—the creative entrepreneurs who are... read more

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Inside Spirit’s February Issue

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One of the hardest things to do in a magazine is what insiders call a “concept” cover.  It’s the “Seinfeld” of graphic art: pictures and text about nothing. Most magazines show models or celebrities. Those count as people covers, not concepts. Others mags, including ours, often show places. But what do you do if you have a terrific story about Legos? Well, duh.... read more

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Inside Spirit’s January Issue

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Got your New Year’s resolution? Not me. I’ve never been much for resolutions. We can achieve a lot more with habits. The one little thing we do every day can, potentially, change the world. Or get us in shape at least. Robert “The Raven” Kraft sure knows this. He runs 8 miles a day. Every day. And I do mean every day. He has not missed a run in 39 years. This... read more

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Inside Spirit’s December Issue

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We at Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit, take our name very seriously.  Almost every issue contains a “big read” intended to lift every reader’s spirit.  Last month, for instance, we ran Gabbi Chee’s great profile of Alex Sheen, a great spirit who has taught thousands of people how to keep their promises.  Check out becauseisaidiwould.com and read the story in... read more

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Inside Spirit’s November Issue

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How cool is this: Just as I was booking excursions for a Caribbean cruise my wife and I are going on in a couple of weeks, it started snowing. I got more excited about the snow (just a dusting) than the cruise. That shows you where I lie on the winter love-hate spectrum. But I like the contrast more than anything. Beaches and palm trees are that much better when you have... read more

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Inside Spirit’s October Issue—Let It Grow

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If I told you that Southwest takes you places, you might reply with something appropriate like, “Well, duh.” But what if I asked you to define “place” exactly.  Is it something more than a name or map coordinates or an airport code?  What (besides friends and family) makes you want to go there?  And, once you go there, is there an exact spot you most want to... read more

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Inside Spirit’s September 2013 Issue—Hello Cookie!

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Yeah I’m prejudiced, but one of of the things I love about Southwest Airlines’ inflight magazine is how far we go and how deep we drill down.  Take this month’s issue, about the humble cookie.  We don’t just publish recipes (though we certainly do that), we publish recipes you will absolutely have to try.  Which the editors did, of course.  But they also covered... read more

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Behind Spirit’s August 2013 Issue: New School

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This month’s cover story in Spirit has to do with technology in education.  Teachers across the land are experimenting with “upside down” classrooms, in which the kids watch the lecture stuff—videos—online, and then do the exercises during class hours.  Teachers can spot the struggling students and intervene quickly. For those like me who took their last math... read more

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Behind July’s Spirit Magazine: Spacious Skies

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Putting together a magazine means talking to talented professionals who have become your friends over the years. It’s like a party, usually without the hangover. Plus you get to do it every month. Plus, in the case of Southwest’s Spirit magazine, there’s travel. Yeah, we know we’re lucky.Take this issue, for instance. It started with a phone call from Bruce Anderson, a... read more

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