WRITING PORTFOLIO

1. COPYWRITING

Cornwall Coated Cover Mailers
B2B/Print – Direct Mail

The Problem: Introduce printers and designers to the possibilities of a new line of cover stock (cardboard)

The Solution: A series of postcards highlighting various features and applications, including glossy graphics, two sided printing and die-cutting.

Role: Wrote slogans and body copy for existing visual elements, assisted in stock photography searches, selected visual elements and images that conveyed the brand, and wrote matching copy.

Plainfield Opaque – Poolside Fantasy Catalogue
B2B Print – Direct Mail

The Problem: Create a catalog that introduces printers and designers to a new line of paper in a way that showcases a variety of weights, coating and textures, while respecting a very tight budget

The Solution: The “Poolside Fantasy” concept created a unifying framework that tied together textual and visual elements but also allowed the design team to reduce photography costs significantly. By renting a public pool during its off-hours, the project photographer had access to multiple staging areas that allowed the creation of visually distinct scenes that demonstrated product benefits in a humorous manner.

Role: As head writer, I wrote all copy, assisted in the elaboration of the concept, and helped the photographer to create a number of scenes. The project was initially called “Voyeurism” and had a slightly edgier feel, however, the catalog was delivered on September 13, 2001 and the client felt that it might be too risqué for the American market. I was called in to rework the cover and introductory copy to create the gentler “Poolside Fantasy” theme.

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Black’s Photography Tutorials
B2C – Online

The Problem: Black’s Photography was Canada’s largest photography retailer, with a chain of stores stretching from coast to coast. In the mid-to-late 2000s, the company was experiencing a sales slump and was losing ground to big box retailers both in its bricks-and-mortar locations and online. Site traffic and search engine rankings were low, and e-commerce was practically non-existent. The company needed eyeballs.

The Solution: A series of informative and in-depth tutorials was drafted to increase site traffic and provide organic SEO. These online lessons specifically targeted novice and casual photographers. Instead of focusing on theory, technique and technology, the tutorials were highly practical and addressed specific situations and issues that ordinary people might encounter in photographing themselves and their loved ones. As a result of these tutorials, the Black’s Photography website consistently appeared in the top results when Canadian consumers and photography enthusiasts searched for the selected keywords. Online sales also benefited from a halo effect as links to relevant sales items were included on every tutorial page.

Role: As head writer, I performed keyword searches, selected and researched topics, tested instructional elements, wrote and revised all copy.

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Black’s Photography – Photo Gifts
B2C – Online

The Problem: As customers shifted from film to digital photography, the demand for traditional photofinishing services declined. Consumers printed images at home or shared them online. The arrival of all-in-one compact digital/chemical photo labs like the Fujifilm Frontier also signaled increased competition from big box stores that were able to offer photofinishing services in house at competitive prices due to volume.

The Solution: Black’s created an online photo gift service that enabled customers to upload digital images to be printed on a variety of keepsakes, including calendars, Christmas ornaments, and blankets. These personalized items were then shipped directly to customers. These photo gifts not only expanded Black’s range of photofinishing products but also increased site traffic, specifically from consumers who normally wouldn’t use photofinishing services.

Role: As head writer not only wrote product descriptions and ad copy that introduced users to the service, but also technical copy that instructed users how to select products and upload images to be printed on photo gifts.

2. MAGAZINE ARTICLES

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Optical Prism – Lucentis v Avatsin
B2B – Trade Magazine (Print/Online)
Optical Prism is Canada’s largest magazine serving eyecare professionals. It covers everything from the latest trends in eyeware to the cutting edge medical science.

This article explored the benefits and cost-savings of the off-label use of the cancer drug Avastin for the treatment of macular degeneration (a degenerative eye disease), as opposed to the approved drug Lucentis, which is based on a similar molecule but is far more expensive per dose.

I researched the scientific literature on the subject and then reported on the findings in easy-to-understand language appropriate for eyecare professionals with varying degrees of medical knowledge. 

 

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INSTINCT – How to Disappear Completely
B2C — Consumer Magazine LGBTQ/Lifestyle

Instinct is the one of the largest consumer publications aimed at upscale young gay males, and covers the latest trends in fashion, travel and leisure, health and entertainment.

How to Disappear Completely is about minimalism. It urges young men to choose style over fashion, to buy durable goods rather than the latest styles, and to step away from their mobile devices. I pitched it as a counterpoint to the content of most consumer magazines and the acceptance was immediate. 

 

3. ONLINE WRITING

Stonewall-2
I expected Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall to be Independence Day with drag queens, but it felt like the 1983 music video for Pat Benatar’s “Love Is A Battlefield…”
DailyXtra – Stonewall is not worth Boycotting
B2C – LBGTQ/Culture and Politics

Daily Xtra is Canada’s premiere online source from LGBTQ news, opinions and arts.

This review of Stonewall not only focused on the film itself but also on the controversy that surrounded the way that it fictionalized the events of a major event in queer history. The tone is snarky, to say the least, befitting the awfulness of the movie.

READ THE FULL REVIEW.

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In 1950, British mathematician, logician and cryptographer Alan Turing devised a method to determine whether a computer could truly think…

Daily Galaxy – The Theology of Battlestar Galactica
B2C – Science and Culture

Daily Galaxy, a website devoted to the latest news in space exploration and astronomy,  hired me as its full-time pop culture writer to complement its scientific character. I wrote several pieces a week over the course of several months. This one uses the television series Battlestar Galactica to real-life scientific issues about artificial intelligence.

READ THE FULL STORY. 

Br9OwyDCUAE14qt-2The one light in Jeffrey’s short miserable life was Superman. He loved the Man of Steel. He wore the cape and the shield and he dreamed of flying…

Medium – An Open Letter to DC Comics
Personal Essay

When DC Comics announced that it wouldn’t allow the use of the Superman symbol on the statue of five year-old murder victim Jeffrey Baldwin, an instant outcry arose in the comic book community. I penned this missive and shared it on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and my own blog. It got thousands of views and I hope it played a small part in DC’s reversal of the decision.

READ THE FULL LETTER.