ABOUT ME


I am what they like to call a media professional – which means I write, I edit and I present. And with well over 25 years as a busy freelance under my belt, I can lay claim to that other tag, ‘experienced’. I spent a good number of years working for Radio Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster): as a presenter and as part of an editorial team on news magazines, and also as a features editor.

I have trained as a media trainer – something I only occasionally do now but still about the most fun to be had while working. And I’ve worked on media research projects, as researcher, as co-author and as editor – and although I’m a true generalist, media development is a favourite speciality of mine.

Needless to say (having both studied and worked in Germany), I am bilingual in English and German and highly fluent in French. So my field of work is international and I often find myself combining the roles of content- and copywriter, editor, proofreader and translator. This is the added value I offer.

My ‘expertise’ portfolio has expanded to include marketing and PR, but I’m not simply a copywriter. Rather, my strengths are well rooted in my journalistic skills and my multilingual background. My experience as a journalist ensures that I can rapidly acquire a good working knowledge of almost any topic.

I lived for a couple of decades in Germany, but am now firmly ensconced back in the North of England, with three daughters and six (yes, six) cats. I rarely stray far from my computer screen but when I do, I cannot get enough of the people and landscapes of the North East.

Find me elsewhere on the web

SERVICES

The written word is the beating heart of my business. Whether writing for a business webpage, helping creatives to streamline their copy, buffing up a novel or proofreading an academic thesis, my job is to help you fit your language to your purpose.

I make language fit.


Writing

Stories. Wisdom. Credibility. Persuasion and seduction. Or just the hard facts? Showcasing or informing?

I can provide custom content creation in the form of web pages, specialist or research articles, magazine features, press releases, newsletters or scripts, even business reports and whitepapers.

Research articles for example provide a source of information relevant to your business interests and target audiences, and are a great way to make your website stand out. I take your chosen subject matter, do the research where necessary, and bring it creatively to life.

My skills as a journalist can also be brought to bear on blog posts, marketing copy or manuals. It doesn’t matter if it’s editorial copy or straplines, just 20 words, 200 or 2000 - your content is given form in a way most suited to the proposed context.

Proof-reading

This, then, is generally the final buffing. The last pre-flight check.

The proof-reader uses care, skill and experience in checking that the final product is error-free. Typos, spelling mistakes, grammar slip-ups or other minor misdemeanours that have somehow survived previous scrutiny are tackled here. Chapter divisions and layout are checked. In the world of print it’s often after the typesetter’s task is complete – hence proof-reading.

Perfectionism – even anal-retentiveness (or is that anal retentiveness?) – is a required character trait in my job. You cannot ask too many questions or require too many last-minute checks.

The result is a document – YOUR document – that is clear, correct, coherent, consistent and credible – the five Cs of editing. All of which serve the one overarching, defining principle that guides everything we, both you and I, do: the big C, Communication.

Editing /Copy-editing

Your content is on the page. It’s there, black on white, patient and purposeful. But is it ready for exposure? Will a quick polish do? Poetic license or realignment?

“Language is the dress of thought” (Samuel Johnson), and hence as personal to you as the thoughts it clothes. I will approach your text with care, refine it without falsifying it and use style and glossary parameters agreed upon in the preparatory phase of the project.

If what you require is a substantive edit (also known as a line edit), my job will be to focus on content and perhaps to highlight ambiguities in register and usage. Are tone, style and vocabulary appropriate? Do they add authority, or undermine the writer?

I also – if required or requested – tackle overuse of such devices as exclamation marks and the passive voice. I point out clichés and confusing or redundant passages. I correct or query weak or non-linear arguments, and plot holes. The structure may also come under scrutiny.

I can do extensive re-writing or tinker around the edges but everything I do to the text is in collaboration and after exhaustive consultation with the author.

If I’m asked to do a copy-edit, the tasks are somewhat different (although there is always overlap and whilst editing I will invariably pick up on details that may usually belong in the phase of copy-editing – or vice versa).

This is the next phase of fine-tuning and focuses on consistency in style on a grammar and syntax level, consistency in spelling variants throughout (i.e. US English or UK English, color or colour, aluminum or aluminium?), and whatever else may be covered by a style sheet or other guidelines, as provided

This level of editing should follow up on doubtful facts or errors, possibly also check numerical coherence and labelling in tables or graphs, if there are any. The list could go on. Again, always in close collaboration with my client.

Multilingual/ Translation Services

This is in practice an extra – the bonus skill that I bring to bear on my work and offer my client. Far from being peripheral, my multilingual skills can be at the core of the work I do. They broaden the scope of sources that I can use, both in writing and in editing.

It is not unknown for my clients to send me a jumble of notes and source material, in both English and German or French. The skeleton of the article (or marketing piece or newsletter) is clear, my job is to extract, distill and clarify, in order to clothe the bare bones.

Far from literal translation, a professional linguist adapts the source language, so that original nuances and tone remain intact, and the original message is nonetheless conveyed. So if the foreign language text (or text segment) is not merely a source but meant to be an integral piece of the final document, my task will be i/ to translate, whilst ii/ adapting and editing to fit seamlessly in with the surrounding con-text.

Naturally, I also do straightforward translations. Based on the above precept, of course, that it’s never entirely straightforward but more a question of adaptation, whether you’re an author or an editor, a marketer or a scholar.

Trust me, I’m a journalist.

Wir haben für unser neu konzipiertes Kundenmagazin eine gute Texterin und Übersetzerin gesucht, die zuverlässig ist und sich nicht scheut auch an technischen Texten zu arbeiten. Jackie hat während unserer Projektphase hervorragende Arbeit geleistet und zum Erfolg unseres Kundenmagazins beigetragen.

Durch Ihre Vielseitigkeit und Erfahrung konnten wir ihr die Rohtexte in jeder beliebigen Form, in zwei verschiedenen Sprachen und aus mehreren Quellen zukommen lassen. Sie hat keine Probleme gehabt, die Texte in die richtige Struktur zu bringen und hat uns dadurch sehr entlastet.

Mit Jackie zusammen zu arbeiten, macht einfach Spaß. Sie ist kreativ, zuverlässig und übernimmt eigenständig Recherchen, um die Texte noch brillanter zu machen.

Having launched a re-design of our client magazine, we were looking for a skilled and reliable writer and translator who was also comfortable working with texts of a highly technical nature. Jackie joined us on the project and did some really great work, contributing considerably to the success of our new magazine.

Her versatility and experience meant that we were able to use source texts in varying forms, from multiple sources and in two different languages. Structuring and aligning the various source texts into one whole presented her with no problem and made her a highly valuable member of the team.

Jackie is just great fun to work with. She is creative, reliable and resourceful, going to any lengths, including independent research, to give us brilliant copy.


- Kathrin Dahmen

Marketing Manager
Sales Division
FRIEDRICH KOCKS GMBH & CO KG
Hilden

Jackie wurde uns empfohlen als eine, die mühelos sowohl Deutsch als auch Englisch beherrscht. Wir wussten, dass ihr Medienhintergrund sie bestens qualifizierte, unsere Mitgliedsrundbriefe und vierteljährliches Journal redaktionell zu begleiten.

Zusätzlich dazu ist sie aber auch zuverlässig, kommunikativ begabt, engagiert und verbindlich, so dass es eine Freude ist, mit ihr zusammenzuarbeiten. Sie zögert nicht, auch mal spontan einzuspringen, wenn es sein muss – sie zeigt, wie man auf Distanz trotzdem als Team arbeiten kann.

Jackie was recommended to us as someone who can communicate effortlessly in both English and German. We felt that her media background meant she was ideally suited to help us curate our newsletters and quarterly members’ Journal.

In addition to this, however, Jackie is reliable, a talented communicator, committed and obliging so that it’s a pleasure to work with her. She is always ready to help with last-minute fixes and demonstrates how to be a team player, even at a distance.


- Jennifer Kranz

General Manager
International Tube Association e. V.
Düsseldorf

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