Marketing extraordinaire and Young Writers icon talks over 20 years at the company
Can you tell us what you do here at Young Writers?
I'm like Young Writers' mum (hmmm maybe older sister)!! I started working at Young Writers as a trainee in 1996 & now I look after all the Young Writers' team, the competition packs, websites, and prizes. I work closely with our designer to create packs & with Jenni (Editorial) to write them and the online resources, before getting them printed and online for you to use.
If you've read a competition pack, online resources or an email, it's quite likely that was me! I also work with Luke, who runs our social media, we come up with ideas for us to write about for blogs, newsletters, giveaways, writing tips and challenges to make sure we can help keep as many children and young adults interested in reading and creative writing.
Every day is different, creative, and fun. I am very lucky to be able to say I absolutely LOVE my job and the Young Writers' team!
Tell us about yourself, your hobbies, what do you like to do outside of work?
I have a teenager and a quirky rescue cat so a lot of my time is spent with those two characters! Love the movies, reading, cooking, seeing my family & friends, and going on an adventure whether that is a day trip or saving up for a flight somewhere new with my daughter!
What’s your favourite thing about Young Writers?
That we get to inspire, motivate and publish so many amazing pieces of work. I was the kid at primary school with all the imagination but couldn't spell and my grammar was awful. It's so easy for a child to be put off creative writing because their technical writing isn't as good as their imagination. Young Writers is all about imagination, expression, finding YOUR voice and having a safe platform to showcase your ideas... the editors are mega at spelling and grammar, so children can lose that pressure and concentrate on learning to love to write.
It's a fun environment to work in, and everyone cares so much. It's a pleasure to work somewhere where everyone is passionate about what they do, it means we all help each other to make sure we give the best experience as possible to every child who sends us their work.
What is a typical day in the life for you?
Once I hit the office, there is no such thing as typical! I could be hosting a live workshop with Mark Grist behind the scenes, writing a pack, organising a guest blog or giveaway, writing emails, testing new SPaG Monsters games, ordering prizes, updating the website, visiting a school, writing back to a young writer... you never know what could happen, what a teacher or parent might ask for, when a deadline changes... I love it!
What's your favourite book/author of all time?
As an adult, “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald and as a kid I loved “The Secret Persuader” by Pamela Oldfield. And I still read my Point Horrors now!!
What's the best thing you've worked on here at Young Writers?
That is a tough question, in 25 years there has been so much change and improvement!! The technology is amazing now... Young Writers didn’t have email when I started (I feel old) and we had one small press to make books, and I am pretty sure ClipArt was the height of design software...
One of my personal favourite things was creating The BFP video script for Once Upon A Dream competition and seeing that first virtual lesson come to life. Winning an Education Resources Award was pretty special too... And reading the work we receive - I try to read through a few packs of entries from each competition as I just love seeing how inspired children are, as that then inspires me!