Sarah-Claire Picton

Sarah-Claire Picton - Publicist

London, UK

London-based writer and editor available to write, edit and proof fresh, engaging and succinct copy for press releases and reviews.

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Overview

I am interested in partnering with like-minded creatives worldwide on a variety of new projects (including book ventures) that champion the publishing industry. I can be of most benefit to authors with a solid campaign in place, and are seeking a writer with a strong journalistic background to write, edit and proof your press releases and reviews.

I have over a decade experience working in print and digital media – B2B and B2C – and former roles include editor, deputy editor, features writer, copy-editor, proofreader and online editor. My first job being a copy writer in 2008, last year marked a literary milestone–a decade working in the industry. Working remotely from my London home present-day, I am eager to collaborate with publishing professionals on projects where my writing and editing experience is valued. I believe in the power of collaboration, and hope to bring 'new eyes' - fresh perspective - to the creative table, by combining my collective skill-set (writer, editor, proofreader, researcher) with my experience and insight gained from writing about a spectrum of subjects (art, photography, technology, film, travel, music, business, finance, and fashion). Every story, every subject, echoes a sense of familiarity; at the heart of every story, one finds the the nuances of human behaviour beats incessantly. Whether I am writing about finance or fashion, people are at the core. My approach is people-orientated, thorough and very hands on, and I invest both heart and time to understanding the faces and forces behind the story. I am delighted to join Reedsy, which, I consider to be an inclusive platform amplifying creativity and giving literary ambassadors – proof readers to publicists – the opportunity to work together to breathe life into ideas, shape narratives and energise the industry and its pioneers. Looking ahead in 2019, my goal remains consistent: learn and grow; create and collaborate; seek out and ask the right questions; and keep perceptions fresh. Words are my vehicle for cultivating positive change; writing is my fuel, my common ground, my journey...I look forward to meeting you along the way. Note on Projects: These projects comprise some of my most memorable moments as a writer and editor, and come together to offer an authentic, accessible and engaging insight into my career.
Services
Languages
English (UK)
Non-Fiction
Art
Biographies & Memoirs
Entertainment
Fashion & Textiles
Music
Photography
Publishing
Travel

Certifications

  • Certificate of Merit (BA)
  • CTI Programming Diploma – Award of Excellence

Awards

  • Golden Key International Honour Society member
  • one small seed Network Award Winner – 2009 Best Editorial Contribution
  • Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence (three)

Work experience

Editorial Associate

Arcimedia Ltd
September, 2018 – Present (11 months)

Collaborating with Antony Reeve-Crook, director of Arci-Media and author of Where Markets Meet: The Story of the Modern Exhibition, on various projects; writing about the global exhibition industry and the economic impact of trade shows in first and second-tier cities.

Deputy Editor, International Portfolio

Mash Media
January, 2018 – August, 2018 (7 months)

As deputy editor of Conference & Meetings World magazine and Exhibition World, my duties were writing news and features and fulfilling reporting duties for both print and digital (attending press trips, conferences and exhibitions), and ensuring social media posts and seeing that the whole production process went through on time.

I travelled extensively and reported on events including London Tech Week 2018; AI Summit 2018; IMEX Frankfurt 2018; Women in Exhibitions initiative launch in Maastricht; International Confex; UFI Verona Congress; Global Exhibitions Day 2018 in Rome.

Testimonial: Please contact me for a copy of a signed testimonial from my former Managing Editor, Paul Colston.

Freelance writer (Art reviews)

The Mail on Sunday
August, 2017 – Present (almost 2 years)

Under the leadership of Dominic Connolly, Arts Editor at The Mail on Sunday, my freelance work entails submitting ideas, attending events, namely art exhibitions, and writing reviews primarily for the MoS's weekly EVENT supplement.

Copywriter

Division Distribution
March, 2017 – April, 2017 (about 1 month)

In 2017 I collaborated with the Stockholm-based company, Division Distribution, assisting them with tagline development and also writing a fresh company portfolio.

Copywriter

GROOMED
October, 2016 – December, 2016 (2 months)

Working closely alongside former London celebrity fashion designer Eric Way, who is now the face and force behind GROOMED. Main roles included website copy and tagline development. (I also wrote about Eric Way for Premier Magazine, promoting the launch of his new company GROOMED.)

Features Writer

TCB Media
August, 2015 – October, 2016 (about 1 year)

TCB Media is a leading South African custom publishing provider.

My responsibilities included writing features, interviews, 100-word ‘snippets’, reviews and profiles. A large part of my role was attending press trips, extensive research, proofreading, copy-editing, client liaison, copywriting, sourcing high res images and social media-related tasks.

Subjects of interest: culture; tech/digital trends; travel and tourism; film; art; music; fashion; business and finance; entertainment; home and décor; health and wellbeing; property; and leisure.

Writing an average of 8,000–10,000 words per month, my work appeared in various magazines published by TCB Media, namely Inflight, INDWE, Premier and SLOW.

Driven magazine responsibilities: Proofreading; copy-editing; and I also helped create the Driven magazine website, assisting with the initial web development (WordPress), uploading content (copy, videos and images), copywriting (like category names) and managing Google Analytics.

Editor of Twenty Journey book

Freelance
May, 2015 – August, 2015 (3 months)

The Twenty Journey Booklet is a 90-page booklet containing stories, photographs, paraphernalia and conversations from the seven months on the road travelling this magnificently puzzled country. -- Twenty Journey

Booklet details:
First Edition limited to 250 copies. (Sold Out)
Published in August 2015
90 pages 260 x 182mm
Edited by Sarah-Claire Picton
Designed by Hanno van Zyl

Note: See below 'Projects' for visuals and press coverage in Inflight magazine following the launch of the book.

Writer and Editor

one small seed ltd.
May, 2014 – April, 2015 (11 months)

Taking time to explore other roles and projects, I joined one small seed again in 2014. Responsibilities included attending press events; writing; editing; proofreading; sourcing images and conducting interviews. Further requirements included commissioning and managing freelance and/or contributing writers, magazine theme development, budget approvals, layout checks and handling local and international distribution. I was also involved, from conception to execution, in various marketing campaigns (print, online and mobile.)

Contributing Writer

DazedDigital
February, 2014 – November, 2014 (9 months)

In 2014 I contributed to (pitching ideas, conducting interviews and writing reviews.) Writing published on DazedDigital includes a piece covering a music event in Johannesburg, and an interview with Mos Def and Petit Noir.

Online Author

Beautiful Bizarre Magazine
February, 2014 – Present (over 5 years)

I contribute to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine's online platform, writing in 2014 and then taking a few years hiatus, I am back on board the team as an Online Author. My first piece this year includes coverage of a new contemporary art gallery concept launched by Sarah Jayne Fell at Pop Up Place in Cape Town, South Africa, 21-25 February, 2019.

My author page can be viewed via their online site.

Copywriter

CLRS&CO.
November, 2013 – April, 2014 (5 months)

Writing (creative platform copy, brand manual copy, VM copy), proofreading, editing, developing concepts, interviewing and research. I worked closely with the in-house art director(s), illustrator and photographer on a sundry of projects.

Selected Works: School of Light; Wecke&Voigts (brand identity and newspaper “The Blatt”); Checkers Sea Point.

Writer

Superlative Magazine (WeSC)
September, 2012 – September, 2014 (about 2 years)

I was a contributing writer for WeSC's Superlative Conspiracy publication. Writing published explored new music released by South African WeSC ambassadors: the iconic muso Spoek Mathambo and DJ-producer Haezer.

Writer, Online Editor, Editor

one small seed ltd.
April, 2010 – October, 2013 (over 3 years)

My role at Cape Town-based one small seed. ltd included managing various platforms (onesmallseed.com, one small seed network and one small seed TV). I was partly responsible for providing copy for these three platforms, from blogs, profiles and reviews, to tagline development and event listings.

I took care of the relevant visuals required for the sites and used Photoshop daily. I was involved in both print and digital campaigns and competitions and have acquired extensive experience in marketing.

My role included extensive coverage of press events, especially launches in categories fashion, music and art, was a significant part of my job.

In 2011 I became the editor of one small seed magazine. I managed two interns at any given time, who assisted me with the various administrative and campaign planning tasks. Interviews I conducted covered a colourful spectrum of individuals, including international and local musicians/DJs, event organisers, artists, architects and photographers as well as fashion designers and interior/product designers.

See 'Projects' below for one small seed writing samples, including my interview with Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman.

Features Writer

021 Magazine
September, 2009 – January, 2012 (over 2 years)

Attending events, conducting interviews and writing features for Cape Town arts/music/culture magazine 021 Magazine. Further tasks involved image sourcing, research and copy for monthly event listings.

Copywriter

Allabout City Guides
August, 2008 – March, 2010 (over 1 year)

My first job in the industry, I joined the Allabout team in 2008, writing the initial copy for Allabout Cape Town’s digital touch screens (digital “city guides”), plus newsletter copy.

My role involved many face to face interactions and experiences (writing about food, entertainment, leisure, among other businesses.)

Projects

Entertainment | Kyle Shepherd from 21 Icons series; Brett Rogers from Food, Booze, & Tattoos series

The project images include two pieces of entertainment (TV) writing samples: the first is a profile-interview on Kyle Shepherd, solo pianist, poet, composer, and leader of his band, the Kyle Shepherd Trio, who starred in SABC's 21 Icons television series; the second is a profile-interview on Brett Rogers, the talent behind the series (streaming on UK Netflix) Food, Booze, & Tattoos.

FYI credits:
Tones of an Icon - Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; Image © Gary Van wyk
The Creative Search - Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; Images © Gugu Khumalo

Art & Publishing example - Johanna Basford article

I wrote about Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford, author of renowned adult colouring books including Lost Ocean, Secret Garden, and Magical Jungle.

FYIs and Facts
Genres: Art; Publishing; Biographical
Date: 2016
Magazine: Premier magazine (TCB Media)
Text: Sarah-Claire Picton
image © Sam Brill

View the article in my Project images below.

Memoir & Publishing example - Finding Sarah: A True Story of Living with Bulimia by Joanne Jowell

NB: The below offers insight to the book Finding Sarah by Joanne Jowell to my profile (view Portfolio section below)

Background: In 2008/9 I reached out to South African author Joanne Jowell about a deeply personal project I had in mind. I wanted to share my experience, my journey, of addition; of bulimia, depression, love, loss, anger, and ultimately, the journey of finding meaning out everything.

I worked closely with Joanne (being interviewed, sharing journals and insight into the dark underbelly of eating disorders), and, in 2011, Finding Sarah: A True Story of Living with Bulimia by Joanne Jowell was published by Pan Macmillan South Africa.

Book details:
© Joanne Jowell 2011
Credits: Author Joanne Jowell; Editing by Sharon Dell and Andrea Nattrass; Proofreading by Tracey Hawthorne; Cover design by K4; Front cover self-portrait by Sarah Claire Picton
File Size: 701 KB
Print Length: 204 pages
Publisher: Pan Macmillan South Africa (July 12, 2011)
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

FYI below (My involvement with Finding Sarah (and the next chapter in my journey)

Involvement:
I assisted with the publicity, namely managing the Facebook page; doing a radio interview; being at the book launch (interviewed on stage at the launch in Cape Town); and I also contributed to the prologue and epilogue.

Looking ahead:
I am keen to invest time into this in 2019, exploring various ideas (including workshops, a second edition perhaps, and picking up the dialogue on social media); the goal is to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge stereotypes surrounding addiction, eating disorders, depression, and lay the foundation for others' journey in recovery.

Personal notes:
Change is possible. I am living proof of this. It takes work - everything you have - and a lot of love. This is an important project to me, it highlights the power of love and hope; resilience and courage; and shows how a story can empower the human spirit in ways deemed impossible.

Collaboration was crucial for this project to come into fruition - seeing Jo bring to life my story was such a powerful experience; this was a significant milestone in my life, as I realised what collaboration truly means. In 2015, when collaborating on Twenty Journey booklet (see 'Projects' section), I was able to help bring life to the story of three photographers journeying South Africa; again I realised the power of inclusivity, of working as a team. I am hoping to connect with others via Reedsy, nurturing ideas and kick-starting stories.

Herewith the Amazon description of Finding Sarah by Joanne Jowell:
‘Society turns a blind eye to people with eating disorders as they are often considered as merely seeking attention. This is extremely ignorant as it goes way beyond that,’ says Finding Sarah’s troubled but captivating protagonist, 26-year-old Sarah Claire Picton.

For more than nine years, Sarah has been purging her food in any place she can find: public toilets, plastic bags, coffee mugs. When she couldn’t satisfy her bulimic addiction, she restricted her diet to the point that she weighed only 41 kilogrammes, a weight better suited to a girl less than half her age. She has lost teeth and her gag reflex. She has lost her energy and her friends. She has come close to losing her life.But then she decided to do something about it.

Sarah reveals her story in brutally honest detail to author Joanne Jowell, setting on a path of enlightenment for herself, her family and anyone who might hear her story. No holds are barred as Sarah describes the selfishness of the illness, the shame surrounding her condition, and the deceptive ends to which she will go to hide her addiction. Along the way, Joanne meets the players in this story, including Sarah’s mother, friends, ex-boyfriend and psychiatrist. And, of course, there is Sarah herself – cowed but not beaten, searching for herself even as the author does, sharing her life story so that she can reach out to the countless others who suffer in the shadow of addiction.

Scroll down to my 'Portfolio' to order Finding Sarah on Amazon.

Film examples - Lebogang Rasethaba; Muti Man

The project images comprise some film writing samples, namely interviews (published by TCB Media in Inflight magazine) with two pioneering South African film directors, Lebogang Rasethaba and Guto Busab aka Muti Man.

Note: My experience writing about film comes in part from interviewing industry pioneers and my own love affair with film and popular culture; film (motion and sound) is a powerful catalyst in my creative process. This year I would love to connect my love for writing and passion for film with projects that encourage such a connection.

FYIs:

Lebogang Rasethaba article blurb:
South African filmmaker, director and co-founder of arcade Content, Lebogang Rasethaba forms part of the celebration of South Africa’s new creative force – a collective community that is igniting the world.
Credits: Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; Images © Darren Gwynn

Muti Man article blurb:
A creative tour de force, Guto Bussab has produced work under the role of director, producer, photographer, director of photography, art curator, and fine artist. he is also the founder of Cape town-based MUTI, the parent brand for MUTI films, MUTI Photography, and MUTI Gallery.
Credits: Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; Images: © Alfonso Franke, Meredith Shearer Leeward and Brendan Shore

Read both articles in the project images below.

Fashion examples - Unknown Union; Hanneri Slabbert

Fashion, popular culture and the creative process take the lead in the project images writing samples.

The first is my interview with WGSN Regional Director for Africa, Hannari Slabbert, published in TCB Media's SLOW magazine in August, 2016; the second is a profile on Unknown Union, including comments from CEO/Founder Jason Story, and published in TCB Media's Inflight magazine 2016.

FYI Credits:
African Expansion - Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; Image © Kikitography
Unknown Union: A Collective of Ideas - Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; Images © Unknown Union, Photos by Ignatius Mokone

UNKNOWN UNION (blurb):
Since its inception in 2010, the journey of creative collective and clothing designers Unknown Union (UU) continues to evolve. An infectious energy flows within it, and culminates in the team’s passion for “celebrating the art and cultures of generations past and present.

Read the full article below.

Travel writing examples - Thornybush Game Lodge; Cape Town

I've had the privilege to attend press trips which have taken me to many countries, covering many topics - from a music festival in the Reunion (one small seed), an event in Jozi called LimPop (DazedDigital), to a five-star private game lodge in Africa (TCB Media's Inflight magazine.)

FYI Project images:
I've uploaded two travel writing samples: The first is on Thornybush Game Lodge, published by TCB Media in Inflight magazine in 2016; the second, published by TCB Media in Premier magazine in 2016, takes a look at Cape Town from a tourist's perspective.

Credits:
Journey of Abundance - Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; images © Thornybush Collection
The Mecca of Travellers - Text by Sarah-Claire Picton; images © V&A Waterfront; Newmark Hotels

Book reviews in one small seed magazine

Product sampling, previewing books and attending press launches was a key part to my role at one small seed magazine. I have attached a few screen grabs of book reviews in the magazines. My ability lies in writing concise, fresh reviews which capture the spirit of the book, sharing important information but not revealing too much.

I would love to collaborate on projects where I can use the experience gained from writing such reviews, such as book publicity.

Art example - Ralph Steadman interview (one small seed magazine 2014)

This interview took place in October 2011, and was published in the Jan/Feb/Mar edition of one small seed magazine. It was an absolute honour to spark dialogue with Ralph Steadman; he completely transformed my view on humanity. His humour, candour and beauty shines so strongly. What the experience showed me is something I treasure daily: keep it real, whatever we do in life, authenticity and embracing our idiosyncrasies is not a small feat. Long live us freaks.

FYIs and Facts
Genre: Art; Biographical
Dates: Conducted in October 2011, and published in the Jan/Feb/Mar 2012 edition of one small seed magazine.
Text: Introduction by Gustav Swart; Interview by Sarah-Claire Picton;
Images © Ralph Steadman

Memoir example - Shirley Zinn: A Story of Triump

I interviewed Prof. Shirley Zinn about her new book, entitled Swimming Upstream: A Story of Grit and Determination to Succeed.

FYIs and Facts
Genres: Books; Biographical & Memoirs
Date: August 2016
Magazine: Indwe magazine (TCB Media)
Text: Sarah-Claire Picton
Images © Shirley Zinn

Article Blurb:
"In honour of Women’s Month in August, Indwe chatted to Professor Shirley Zinn, a mentor to countless women across various industries and author of Swimming Upstream: A Story of Grit and Determination to Succeed. Born and raised in the Cape Flats, and now one of South Africa’s leading human resources professionals, Zinn’s journey inspires one to defy the odds and not let your past determine your future."

Gallery: The full article can be viewed in the project images below.

Music example - The 17th Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Previewing the 17th Cape Town International Jazz Festival, my article was published in Indwe magazine in 2016.

FYIs and Facts
Genre: Music
Date: 2016
Magazine: Indwe (TCB Media)
Text: Sarah-Claire Picton
Images © Courtesy espAfrika/Shalini Tewari, espAfrika/Jeffery Abrahams, espAfrika/Gregory Franz, espAfrika/Cindy Waxa

Article Excerpt:
Music has the power to stir, and the Cape town International Jazz Festival is a movement that doesn’t just bring people together, it forms a network of genuine connection between them. the event cultivates a platform for sharing music, passion, thought, conversation, laughter and deep appreciation for the many changes – socio-cultural, political, economic – that jazz has been both a witness and a catalyst to, both in South Africa and overseas.

Read the piece in my project images below.

Entertainment/Book/Film example - Iris Warriors: The Birth of Colour

I attended a rare behind-the-scenes preview of the film Iris Warriors while it was being filmed on location the Salt River Film Studios in Cape Town, South Africa on 31 May, 2016. Published in Inflight magazine, my article presents a first-hand experience of being on set, also exploring the role of colour and the ubiquitous message in this film-book-ballet.

FYIs and Facts
Genres: Film; Entertainment; Publishing
Date: 2016
Magazine: Inflight magazine (TCB Media)
Text: Sarah-Claire Picton
images © Julia Janse van Vuuren Photography; supplied

Article Introduction:
As many were chasing month-end deadlines, I was chasing the clock to find Salt River Film Studios. While doing so I found myself gazing at the bright urban aesthetic characteristic to Salt River; a drive-by scene of industrial vignettes, merging to resemble the beautiful spectral colours you see in an oil spill on the road after a rainy day. An hour later, inside the studio, I smiled, re-acting on my “rainbow route”, realising that it provided the ideal introduction to what the journey of the Iris Warriors is all about. A film, a ballet, a book – yes. However, overall, the story of Iris Warriors is about the birth of colour. But to start at the beginning...

View gallery images to read the full article.

Photography & Publishing example - Twenty Journey (booklet & additional coverage)

Three South African photographers [Wikus de Wet, Sipho Mpongo and Sean Metelerkamp] on a journey to explore South Africa twenty years into democracy...The Twenty Journey Booklet is a 90-page booklet containing stories, photographs, paraphernalia and conversations from the seven months on the road travelling this magnificently puzzled country. -- Twenty Journey

Booklet details:
First Edition limited to 250 copies. (Sold Out)
Published in August 2015
90 pages 260 x 182mm
Edited by Sarah-Claire Picton
Designed by Hanno van Zyl

FYIs and Facts
Published: August 2015*
Position: Editor (I also assisted with writing image captions, pull quotes and the introduction copy, as well as translating audio files and research.)
*Note: Following the book, the three journeymen went on to create the next installment to the Twenty Journey project, entitled The Journeymen, which opened Durban International Film Festival on Youth Day, 16 June, 2016.

Shout-out from the Twenty Journey team: “We would like to give a massive thanks to Hanno van Zyl for making our booklet so spiffy with his design and layout. And to Sarah-Claire Picton for her masterful editing of our thoughts and scribbles.”

Awards and nominations:
- The Twenty Journey Book received nomination as the ‘Most Beautiful Object in South Africa’ by the Design Indaba team
- The film went on to win Best South African Documentary for the 37th Durban International Film Festival in 2016.

**Additional press coverage:**
Following the book launch, I interviewed photographer Wikus de Wet for an article exploring the Twenty Journey project. The piece was published in the September 2015 edition of Inflight magazine.

View gallery images for a sneak peek inside the booklet, and to read the Inflight article.

Portfolio (1 selected work)

Finding Sarah: A True Story of Living with Bulimia

Joanne Jowell

‘Society turns a blind eye to people with eating disorders as they are often considered as merely seeking attention. This is extremely ignorant as it goes way beyond that,’ says Finding Sarah’s troubled but captivating protagonist, 26-year-old Sarah Claire Picton. For more than nine years, Sarah has been purging her food in any place she can find: public toilets, plastic bags, coffee mugs. Whe... read more

‘Society turns a blind eye to people with eating disorders as they are often considered as merely seeking attention. This is extremely ignorant as it goes way beyond that,’ says Finding Sarah’s troubled but captivating protagonist, 26-year-old Sarah Claire Picton. For more than nine years, Sarah has been purging her food in any place she can find: public toilets, plastic bags, coffee mugs. Whe... read more

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