I started out as a youth reporter in the Early Times "press gang" when I was eleven years old. I got the chance to review books, cover the Carnegie/Greenaway awards, interview the leader of Plaid Cymru and visit a leech farm. Over 20 years later, my journalistic portfolio is still pretty eclectic.
Faces of Courage and Hope: 16 Inspiring Stories of People Living with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia was published in September 2014 in time for World CML Day.
Big Issue Cymru: mainly arts features but also wrote articles on other topics, including homelessness, sport for the blind and Welsh bardic culture. Interviewed actress Samantha Bond and novelist Iris Gower.
Newsquest Oxfordshire: work in the magazines and supplements team meant writing features on property, health, finance, education and many other topics for the company’s many titles. Also wrote a whole tourist guide to Oxford which has been published by Newsquest.
Leys News: during my two-year stint as editor and chief writer (and for some time afterwards) wrote features on a range of topics, from serious articles about personal finance to light-hearted quizzes. Recurring topics included adult education, the arts and the environment.
Leys News: local news reporting (covering community events, local government reporting, crime reporting, etc). Also occasionally covered national stories with relevance to local people. Updated the Leys News website regularly to keep people up to date with forthcoming events.
Newsquest Oxfordshire: although I wasn’t a news reporter, occasionally a good news story would fall into my lap and I would write it up for one of Newsquest’s regional papers.
I don't do much reviewing any more, but in the past I've written theatre/art/music/book/comedy reviews for the Big Issue Cymru, the Oxford Mail and Times, now-defunct activist magazine BULB, Oxfordbands.com and Leys News. (I started out by reviewing gigs for a music fanzine I edited at university.)
Relevant skills and qualifications
- English degree from Oxford University
- MA in Journalism & Cultural Studies from Cardiff University
- Teeline shorthand (speed 80wpm)
- NCTJ certificates in Newspaper Journalism, Handout, Local Government, Central Government, Law Part I and Law Part II. Gained Merit level in Local Government and the two Law exams.