I was lucky enough to be given some excellent copywriting opportunities this year with the Telegraph.
First of all, I interviewed Insta-famous photographers from around the world to get their advice on getting a really brilliant photo of sunset. You know how when you’re on holiday, the sunsets are better? Here’s how to translate beautiful moments into Instagram gold.
There were loads of great pointers from the pros – for example, it turns out the ‘cloudy’ phone camera setting usually yields better results than auto. Who knew? Photographers also recommended you shoot from a high point, get started early, and to look for nice ways to frame a shot. All their tips and more in the feature.
Then The Telegraph introduced me to a clued-up Roman hotel manager who gave me half a dozen insider tips about making the most of Rome in a weekend. He told me when to avoid the Vatican, the city’s best foodie tour and the best deli for gifts, which film to watch before travelling, and a delicious arancini-like snack that’s not actually arancini to look out for at the market.
Both of those features were sponsored content for American Express.
Interested in this work? I’ve also worked on:
- Working with Guardian Labs on a VisitBritain mini-site, ‘UK Home of Amazing’
- Highlighting some cool London events for a Time Out/Martini feature
- Writing about unusual global festivals for the Clydesdale Bank
Contact me to read clips and find out more.
In my most audacious use of a book review ever, I gave a talk for the Vine Collective at the William Morris Gallery in August about what I learned from reading Etta James’s autobiography, Rage To Survive.
The Vine Collective has been behind a number of brilliant events in the past year, including a night of music from The Magnetic North at RIBA, and so I was really chuffed to be on the bill with Salena Godden at one of Kirsteen McNish’s nights. Click ‘Read more’ to read the talk in full.
I haven’t done a lot of talks but last February I did a bit at a night in Dalston called Romantic Misadventures and last year I read short stories at the Peckham Pelican. Follow the links to find out more about those two readings.
While working as a listings writer for Time Out I got the chance to cover the homes of London heroes as the lead feature in the Things To Do section. My favourite entries were for Luke Howard – the man who invented the naming system we still use for clouds – and Nipper the Dog (yep, the HMV hound).
Eddy Frankel commissioned a couple of Top Fives, which ran in the front of the mag (click here to read one of those on the blog), and a couple of street guides (Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury and Pitfield Street in Hoxton).
I also covered 12 Things To Do In Parks This Summer (PDF), reviewed an exhibition at the V&A, visited an art arcade in Holborn and visited Portobello for a markets feature.
Thanks to the listings editor who kept in this cheeky line about George Michael’s bottom.
If you liked this, you might also want to read features I’ve done for another London publication, Londonist:
Chris Watson makes sound for BBC Wildlife docs, and he also makes sound art installations. After I heard his latest one, Okeanos, I got a chance to talk to him about listening, whether his work is political, and the one animal he’s found it impossible to record.
Click here to read this piece as it was published by Caught By The River.
If you like the kind of nature writing featured in CBTR, you might also like to check out a new journal called Elsewhere. Disclosure: I have done a couple of pieces for them about going on holiday to a lighthouse, and witnessing the aftermath of the 2015 floods in the Lake District.
Last Valentine’s weekend, I got up on stage to entertain strangers with the story of my hopeless return to the dating scene at Romantic Misadventure.
Although my Romantic Misadventure reading isn’t available online, you can check out past readings on Soundcloud.
If you want to read any of my creative writing, you can find short stories I read aloud at Literary Kitchen in Peckham last year on The Learned Pig and The Cadaverine. (I also have one published with Queen Mob’s Teahouse).
My next reading is on 4 August, for The Vine Collective, where I’ll be reading on the same bill as hero storyteller Salena Godden. Come along!
And, if you ask nicely, I might retell dating anecdotes in person.