I've always been fascinated with words. From age 10, I revelled in the world of magazines and books. A boyhood hero was ace Maclean's magazine writer Harry Bruce. I loved the way he'd take you inside the lives of the people he'd profile, and his word-pictures were as vivid as a cardinal in a snowfield.
But then as a teenager I became restless with merely reading. I wanted to write!
The first thrill of publication came at 15, with a letter to the editor of the local paper. At 17, I wrote regularly for the newspaper of my university in New Brunswick, where I had launched into a BA in English. A few months later, I hired on with the local daily paper as campus correspondent.
After graduation, I did a one-year stint as a reporter and then won a scholarship to pursue an MA in Professional Writing at an innovative university in Iowa. At the same time I freelanced for several Midwest newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune. After completing the academics, I stayed on to edit the university magazine. The school had a dynamic research program and we covered it often. It was great training in translating academic, technical language into plain English.
After five years, and completion of a business diploma on the side, I moved to Toronto, and worked for four years at a Bay street financial brokerage firm as a staff writer-researcher.
Now I'm enjoying the freedom and variety of operating my own writing and editing business.
When I'm not working, you can often find me in the gym, at the pool, or doing yoga. I'm a certified fitness trainer and have been passionate about exercise and health for a long time--almost as long as I've been passionate about words!
--See also my LinkedIn page.
I collaborated with Neil on several ad design projects from 2009 to 2011. He was a joy to work with. First, he is an excellent copywriter, and skilled at modifying text to make it fit. But more than that, I always found him so easy to work with, a very clear communicator and always cheerful and upbeat. I have also followed Neil’s work as a freelance writer over the years, and am impressed by his abilities. He knows how to make complex material clear and understandable, and how to structure an article to engage your interest. Two thumbs up for Neil, a skilled word-crafter who will always brighten your day!
--Amy Geddes, Marketing & Recruitment Specialist, Faculty of Science at University of Waterloo
Neil is a great writer and editor to have on a team -- or to lead the team. He writes clear, readable prose, is a highly competent editor and researcher, and is self-motivated and flexible. Neil and I worked together for several years writing and editing a university newspaper. Under his leadership the paper received an Honorable Mention for Distinguished Achievement from the National School Public Relations Association.
--Sue Brown, Assistant Professor at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa