Elyssa

Career

I’m an award-winning editor and writer with two decades’ experience producing engaging publications and web content across the charity, education and corporate sectors.

Freelance editor, journalist and copywriter  2014 – present

After 15 years as a magazine editor and publications manager for major membership organisations, I turned freelance in 2014. I now work for big brands, charities, membership associations, educational organisations and content agencies, delivering: 

  • comms project management, from initial concept to finished product
  • clear, concise and compelling writing for print and web
  • meticulous, speedy sub-editing and proof-reading
  • consultancy and training in brand tone of voice, effective writing and house style.

Take a look at some of my freelance journalism, editing, content marketing and publications projects.

Editor, The Teacher, National Union of Teachers 2006 – 2014

Teacher magazine wins TUC Award

We won! The Teacher scoops the Best Magazine title at the TUC Communications Awards, after I overhauled the content and design.

I was the first female editor of The Teacher, the National Union of Teachers’ membership magazine, in its 130-year history. Managing a team of three staff and annual budget of up to £1.6m, I produced eight magazines (and six supplements) each year for a third of a million NUT members across England and Wales. The role drew on my full range of journalistic and editorial skills, from feature-writing, interviewing and commissioning to page layouts, picture editing and print-buying. I also introduced an online edition and social media communications.

Publications Editor, National Childminding Association 1999 – 2006

I joined NCMA during a time of rapid growth and change for the association and childcare sector. My main responsibility was Who Minds?, the quarterly magazine for NCMA’s 52,000 registered childminder members, which was Best Association Magazine runner-up at the 2006 MemCom Awards. When the government reformed childcare inspections, I worked in partnership with the Department for Education and Ofsted to produce special magazines guiding childminders through the changes. I also helped implement a new brand identity for the association and wrote and edited a vast range of materials, from handbooks and policy documents to kids’ magazines and party packs. 

Editor, Lloyds of London Press (now Informa) 1997 – 1999

Editing business journals Internal Communication and Focus on Change Management, I researched, commissioned and subbed best-practice case studies from corporations and consultants worldwide. I also reported on news, trends and events, and typeset both publications.

Early work experience

As a student, I taught English in a French lycée, worked in the entertainments team at two French holiday camps, and was a nursing home care assistant. I became entertainments editor for my university newspaper, did work placements on Country Living Magazine and Virgin Atlantic’s The Globe, and had my first freelance work published in the Daily Telegraph.

Education

BA Hons (first class) in French and English literature, University of Reading

A levels in English, French and Maths

Training 
(all short courses lasting one to three days, except where noted)

Writing

feature writing

introduction to freelance journalism

interviewing for journalists

writing in plain English

creative writing (two years of evening classes)

storytelling (one term of evening classes)

scriptwriting for film and TV

Multimedia

website management

introduction to HTML

new ways to make journalism pay (focusing on blogging and social media)

digital photography

digital photo library management

making short films for organising and campaigning

creating digital publications with Foleon

Management and personal effectiveness

management styles

conducting appraisals for personal and professional development

time management

safer recruitment (online training)

effective governance

Equality

diversity and equal opportunities

making your writing accessible

disability equality awareness

Software packages

Microsoft Office

Adobe InDesign

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Acrobat Pro

Quark XPress

Apple Pages

Apple iMovie

Useful extras

clean UK driving licence and own car

able to work from home or anywhere from London to the south coast

member of the National Union of Journalists

enhanced DBS clearance (for work with children)

French speaker

Outside of work

parent governor at a primary academy trust

ballet, yoga and swimming

creative writing

film, theatre and music