You might say that virtually every week of my adult life as a journalist, I wrote the following for the edification of several thousand readers: human-interest stories ranging from lighthearted to poignant; accounts of governance, politics and bureaucracy; true stories of crime and punishment; public service announcements; local gossip; career and educational accomplishments; homage to the dearly departed, and humorous and occasionally heartfelt opinion pieces. On top of that array of wordage, I rewrote, edited, proofed and/or tweaked submissions from the literate and semi-literate alike to make them fit for consumption by intelligent human beings.
In short, I was a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor — and an award-winning writer at that. But aren’t we all? Between 1997 and 2011 I received fifteen Pennsylvania Newspaper Association (PNA) awards — seven of them first places—for reporting and writing in virtually every category, including straight news, personality profiles, investigative series, ongoing news coverage and commentary. There were no awards handed out for rewrites and edits of ungrammatical and garbled news releases. Yet I did plenty of that, along with laying out pages and writing captions and headlines, in what would turn out to be over three decades as the editor of two community newspapers before retiring in the spring of 2011.
That retirement from one career in my early sixties ushered in the start of another — a freelance copywriter specializing mostly in website content and, along the way, authoring a book about traumatic brain injury and editing a children’s book. Over the span of barely 36 months I have written copy for a law firm’s website, developed web content for a group of insurance underwriting firms, written blogs and news releases for one of the largest insurance agencies in Northeastern Pennsylvania, written case studies for a top innovation consulting firm, written instructional articles and blogs for an award-winning interactive career coaching website and written the copy for a website outlining discrepancies in evidence in a complex murder case. Check out my résumé for more detail.