Interviewing MP Simon Hughes for CAFOD @ Leticia Valverdes



With an MA in Journalism from Stanford University in California under my belt, I am a versatile writer who can turn my hand to many different writing styles - from press releases to feature-led human interest stories and from fundraising materials to web pages.

I worked as both a news reporter and a feature writer for newspapers in the UK and the US for five years before moving into the charity sector. I pride myself on writing jargon-free and compelling copy that is tailored to each individual brief and target audience. I am also used to turning around complex assignments on a range of topics and to tight deadlines.

I am a skilled interviewer and have been lucky enough to interview people from many different walks of life - from MP Simon Hughes (see photo) to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor to children orphaned by AIDS in the townships of South Africa and women living in the favelas of São Paolo.

More recently, I have been interviewing people closer to home for a story-gathering project called 'Habitorials' involving new and existing residents in a rapidly-expanding area of Cambridge. Here's a sneak preview:

Some of my more recent writing assignments have included:
  • Writing copy for UNICEF's Childmatters newsletter since 2013

  • Researching and writing stories for CAFOD's 50th anniversary book

  • Writing web stories for Camfed, a charity that supports girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Compiling web copy and writing member newsletters & enewsletters for WAY Widowed and Young, a charity that supports people who have been widowed at a young age.
In the past, I have also written journalistic assignments for publications ranging from The Guardian to the Palo Alto Weekly. Here are some of my favourites:

The Guardian
What Women Want

Out on a Limb

Stanford magazine

Reversal of Misfortune

Catholic Times

Haven of Hope (South Africa)

Palo Alto Weekly

Civics for Dummies

Go to Portfolio for more examples of my writing assignments.


I began my professional life as an editor in the oh-so-glamorous world of reference book publishing and I have never shaken off my love of wielding the editor's red pen! I am a highly skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, offering all levels of editorial support - from proofreading and basic copy editing to more substantive editing that may involve some rewriting.
  • Basic copy editing - checking grammar, spelling, capitalisation, punctuation and consistency of style throughout the document. Since I have worked in the US and UK, I am also adept at adapting texts for UK or US audiences, as required. My foreign language skills (I have a BA degree in French and German and have lived in Berlin and Bordeaux) also comes in handy when editing reports that have an international focus.

  • Technical editing - making sure the writing style and vocabulary is appropriate for the target audience, questioning factual errors, checking for any apparent omissions, making sure text is accessible and flows smoothly (specially when written by non-native English speakers), as well as checking references (plus everything already listed in basic copy editing, above).

  • Substantive editing - redrafting and restructuring copy to meet the brief; clarifying the meaning of sentences where necessary and eliminating repetition or cutting out unnecessary copy (plus everything already listed in technical and basic copy editing, above).
Recently I have edited complex reports for clients ranging from the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) to the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO). Go to Portfolio for more examples.

I have also worked with organisations like SOMO to develop house style guides to help make reports and communications more consistent and accessible.

If you need writing or editorial support, I'd love to hear from you. Please email me using the link below for more information.

Public relations

I have written press releases for a range of clients - from Cambridge University Press to Camfed. Because of my experience as a journalist, I have a good understanding of what reporters are looking for. Recently, I have been acting as Press Officer for the charity WAY Widowed and Young. In the first 12 months, I secured coverage for WAY in publications from The Guardian to The Sunday Times. See here for more examples...

For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Email: (replace the word at with the at symbol)

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