My early training as a newspaper reporter was invaluable for virtually every style of writing: get your facts and say what the story is about, cutting out the waffle to get to the point. The key is to express a concept logically and concisely, answering the basic questions of Who? What? Where? When? And Why?
While the discipline of features is similar to that of news – find out what the story is about and say so – there’s room for more detail, more creativity, more insight; and more scope for the writer’s personality to show through. I have great contacts in a wide variety of fields and can supply features on all kinds of subjects, from human interest to retailing, from product design to business management.
Commissions about personal interests are welcome:
+ the outdoors (hiking and map-reading). I’m a member of the Ramblers’ Association and have gained the Bronze and Silver awards of the National Navigation Award Scheme, I once walked round the Isle of Wight on my own and have navigated for a Ten Tors team on Dartmoor.
+ genealogy. I’ve researched my own and other people’s families.
+ music. Am learning to play the guitar and write and perform songs.
+ plus… cats, playing squash, cookery and working towards the advanced driving test.
Blogs and web copy
I can construct engaging and informative copy for use by businesses in their online communications. While understanding the requirements for web copy to be search engine optimised, I would not let this translate into boringly obvious repetition of keywords at the expense of interesting, useful content.
I have a naturally fluent, opinionated and humorous writing style that lends itself very well to newspaper column purposes.
Not everyone can stand up in front of an audience and speak ‘off the cuff’, so some business people like to have some help with writing their speeches.
One of my duties when I worked for a large plc was writing speeches for senior executives. This entailed interviewing the speaker to get an idea of their own speaking style, and researching the subject matter and the audience to create a speech that was interesting, relevant and informative – and of a length appropriate to the likely attention span of the audience!
For experienced speakers this meant devising a list of bullet points around which they could improvise, for others it meant writing an entire speech which they could deliver word for word.
A brochure needs to be concise yet entertaining and visually compelling. I will interview the client about their products and activities and undertake any additional research required to produce engaging, informative and relevant copy. I will liaise with in-house production or marketing staff and with external designers and printers as required.