I have been a journalist for around 30 years, during which time I’ve worked as both a freelancer and staffer, depending on my other commitments. Professionally trained and versatile, I have a particular fondness for interviewing but like many a newspaper journalist turned feature writer I can turn my hand to pretty much anything.
My most recent staff jobs have included working as the editor and principal writer of The Guardian UK 300 and the UK’s Top 100 most popular employers for school leavers – titles produced to help students make career decisions – published by GTI Media. The features included many interviews with company executives and young employees to give students an insight into working life and career paths. I also created features from the analysis of the biggest and most comprehensive careers survey in the country, the annual trendence UK graduate barometer survey. In 2015, 44,000 university students answered the extensive online questionnaire. I juggled these responsibilities with work as the publishing manager for RECOVERY magazine – contract published on behalf of the insolvency professionals’ organisation R3. My job as a whole involved project management and maintaining relationships with third-party stakeholders, as well as writing, commissioning, subbing and editing plus networking and promoting the publications.
I’m often asked how I started in journalism by students. As a keen sports player I wrote and delivered reports for my local daily newspapers and radio stations. I was encouraged by then radio reporter Kevin Piper to get professional qualifications through the NCTJ and these led on to a staff role in news and general reporting and feature writing. In my early career I covered everything from sports reporting to breaking news, food and theatre reviews, fashion direction and women’s interest articles and many interviews with ordinary folk with extraordinary stories to tell, plus anyone ‘interesting’ – politicians, actors, authors, poets, musicians, comedians and performers.
Later, I landed the plum job of editor of the highly-regarded Eastern Daily Press NORFOLK magazine before moving to the Buckinghamshire-Oxfordshire border where I took on the editorship of Oxfordshire Life before it merged with Cotswold Life.
As a freelance writer I’ve had articles published in lifestyle magazines and daily newspapers, brochures, websites, e-learning sites, books and guides, consumer, lifestyle, business-to-business and news publications.
I welcome enquiries leading to work. You can email me at sandra @ sandra dot kessell dot co dot UK. I’ve put some articles on my professional website at www.sandrakessell.co.uk or seek me out on Twitter – @SandraMKessell. I’m a member of Linkedin where a full list of my personal and professional qualifications can be found on my profile. There are further examples of my work on my previous blog under my former name Sandra Fraser.
Before I put fingers to keyboard I bear in mind:
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. SAMUEL JOHNSON