Unfortunately my pre-school compositions weren’t going to win any prizes, but since I decided that writing was my vocation, I’ve had an extensive career in the media.
Starting out editing my school newspaper Insight at Ballymena Academy in Northern Ireland, I moved on to writing reviews for The Saint while studying English Literature at the University of St Andrews.
In 2001 I joined DC Thomson in Dundee, one of the leading media organisations in the UK. After training as a sub editor on women’s fiction magazine The People’s Friend, I went on to compile flow charts and write about popstars on Shout magazine for teenage girls.
I subsequently moved to My Weekly, a magazine for women in the 45-and-over age bracket, where highlights included interviewing Anne Widdecombe about being grumpy, working as a servant girl for a feature on Shughborough and dining with Patrick Moore at a cat award ceremony.
When the time came for my news stripes, I earned them writing across the Alpha Group series of titles in Northern Ireland. As a senior reporter on the Northern Constitution and the Antrim Guardian, I covered local news, regular features and court reporting.
Moving to Cardiff in 2007, I worked for PSP Rare Publishing in Bristol as Food Editor of Somerfield magazine before trying my hand at internal communications as a partner in the first Welsh John Lewis store in Cardiff.
In May 2010 I started working as a features writer for the national Welsh newspaper the Western Mail, the South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and WalesOnline, publications from Media Wales, part of the Trinity Mirror group.
As well as putting together real-life features and showbiz stories, I made myself the guinea pig for six months of diets, spent five gruelling days on a luxury yacht in the Adriatic Sea for work and lived off £1 a day for a week (completely unconnected to the six months of diets).
As of April 2013, I am a multimedia journalist, writing features for the Western Mail’s arts and culture-focused Week End magazine and editing the weekly Welsh Homes property supplement, as well as across the WalesOnline site. Within my role, I am proficient in InCopy and InDesign, as well as using the Escenic CMS to upload and produce online content.
Perks of my job have included interviewing two Doctor Whos at once; chatting to George Abbey, one of the architects of the NASA Space Programme; and talking about Liverpool FC with one of Wales’ finest chefs, Bryn Williams.
In May 2014, a year after taking up my post with Week End, the publication was named Supplement of the Year in the Regional Press awards.
As well as producing copy for print titles for more than a decade, I have a proven track record working within digital environments.
I started as an enthusiastic contributor to the now-defunct Gigged.co.uk in 2002 and have maintained a web presence ever since on websites such as Choon Online, Bookshelf Boyfriend and most recently as a fitness blogger for the What Moves You campaign with Sport Wales, the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales.
Out of working hours, I live in West Cardiff with my boyfriend, my beloved Nissan Micra and a whole lot of books.For an extensive portfolio of my work until May 2010, click here