An award-winning writer with an extensive branding and advertising background, I bring serious marketing savvy and real writerly chops to all copywriting, communications, content management, and branding endeavors. From quick copy sound bytes and social-media memes to compelling long-form content and long-term engagement strategies, I help people, companies, and organizations tell better stories.
- 10+ years branding, marketing, copywriting, strategizing and developing targeted content and communications for print and digital channels.
- 10+ years in print and digital publishing, including content development, writing, editing, and proofreading.
- 14 years teaching creative writing at undergraduate and graduate levels—which means I can help your team learn to curate content and speak your brand language with fluency.
- Seasoned author of long-form content including essays, articles, interviews, grant proposals, white papers, and corporate histories—and the award-winning short-story collection, Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes.
- Inventive thinker; compelling writer; effective multi-tasker; tireless brainstormer offering smarts and initiative.
Writing, Editing, Marketing, Communications & Branding Consultant, 1998–Present
Write, edit, and develop strategy, campaigns, and initiatives for corporate, independent, and nonprofit clients, generating branded content; mission statements; social media strategies; cross-platform promos; newsletters/e-blasts; direct mail; special events collateral; press releases; media kits; grant packages—all tonally calibrated to brand and target audience.
- Selected clients include: medical supplier MDF Instruments; affiliate marketing/tech platform CJ Affiliates; cause-driven lifestyle brand Juju Supply Co.; urban education nonprofits Publicolor and 826NYC; educational entity Stanford Continuing Studies; networking and media platform Project Eve; global beverage giant Tullamore D.E.W.; medical outfitter Cherokee Brands; media networks Bravo, TLC, NBC Universal, and Nickelodeon/Viacom
Poppin, Senior Copywriter/Brand Voice, NYC, NY, September 2012 – April 2014
Established, developed, and sustained brand voice/identity in copy for use across digital, print, and promotional platforms for both general and targeted consumers, spearheading new means for adding depth—and stickiness—to brand identity.
- Worked with marketing heads to brainstorm campaigns. Developed concepts, positioning, and copy with minimal direction. Consistently produced persuasive, punchy, on-brand copy while calibrating tone and messaging to general or highly specific target segments.
- Generated content for nearly all internal and external communications, including product names and descriptors; packaging; pop-ups; banner ads; training materials; third-party brand-handling guides; special event announcements; and social media campaigns—sustaining brand voice and reinforcing brand across all.
- Entrusted to interview, hire, and train junior writers, overseeing clarity, SEO efficacy, and brand allegiance
BrandSpeed, Viverito & Associates, Creative Partner (Freelance), NYC, NY, 1997-2007
Apprenticed under—and eventually partnered with—advertising maverick Joe Viverito at BrandSpeed/BrandMaker Express, conducting branding and product development ideation workshops for Fortune 500 and start-up companies; developed multiple distinct positioning possibilities per project; wrote concept-specific copy; presented to clients and integrated feedback as needed.
826NYC, Volunteer: Marketing, Teaching, Fundraising, Brooklyn, NY, September 2004–2007
Wrote mission statements, educational philosophy, web content, promotional and fundraising materials, and creative content for this nonprofit writing/education center. Developed programming, designed courses, and taught workshops geared to various age groups. Helped plan, promote, and pull off various events, programs, and fundraising campaigns.
Business Week Magazine, Proofreader & Copyeditor, NYC, NY, 1996-2007
Copyedited and proofread articles and entered fixes into layout under deadline pressure; checked math on monthly Corporate Scoreboards; performed data entry for monthly roster of Best Business Books.
Teach graduate, undergraduate, and continuing education creative writing students, helping them fully develop and transmit ideas as they generate, revise, publish, and promote fiction and nonfiction. Experience includes:
UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, Los Angeles, CA, Summer 2017–Present.
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, Adjunct Faculty, Fall 2017.
Todos Santos Writers Workshop, Baja Sur, MX, Faculty, February, 2017; January 2018.
California State University, San Bernardino, CA, Visiting Assistant Professor, 2014–15.
Columbia University, NY, NY, Adjunct Creative Writing Instructor, Summer 2012.
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, Assistant Professor, Fall 2007–Spring 2012
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing, 2006-2007
Visiting Writer, Writer-In-Residence, and Volunteer teaching experience encompasses students at a wide range of public and private schools; community institutions; and a NY State Maximum Security Women’s Prison.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS & PURSUITS
Books: Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes, University of Iowa Press, October, 2004. Winner of Iowa Award for Short Fiction. (Link to Author Website)
Anthologies and Periodicals: Publication of fiction, creative nonfiction, and multimedia narratives (text/image and video) in periodicals such as: McSweeney’s Quarterly; Electric Literature; Virginia Quarterly Review; The New York Sun; Texas Observer; Poets & Writers Magazine. My stories have also been short-listed in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.
Interdisciplinary Arts Events: In New York, Baltimore, and LA, I’ve been involved in organizing events designed to cross-pollinate literary, visual, and performing arts and to facilitate exchange among artists and across communities.
2000 MFA, Fiction Writing, Columbia University, School of the Arts, New York, NY
1993 BA, Creative Writing & Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA
merrillfeitell at gmail dot com