About Darcy P. Smith
Everyone writes in second grade, but I knew then that I was a writer. I was so proud of my portfolio then, and I still have the darn thing. The first time my work was selected for publication was in high school. My English teacher, Ben Gordon, suggested that I submit my short story to the school's literary magazine, and the piece was selected and published. Without Mr. Gordon's encouragement, I never would have done it.
Many life stages later, including a lot of learning about writing in high school, college and various workplaces, I am still in love with writing.
Communications writing has always been part of whatever job I have had beginning with the Admissions Office at Ohio Wesleyan University. As a student, I worked twenty hours a week in their admissions office, replying to prospective student requests, giving the occasional campus tours, greeting visiting families, and assembling mailings (this was before that thing called the Internet). The office manager, Carol, knit her brows together wondering how great it would be for prospective students to hear from a current student in the mail, but who would do it? "Carol," I said, "I'm happy to write it!"
I now realize that the piece I wrote for them was a steal at the eight bucks an hour I was originally paid to merely stuff envelopes.
Two decades have passed, and in every avenue of employment, I have evolved as a writer. Writing columns for my high school and college newspapers was a way for me to explore non-fiction writing which I had to do for my job at The United Nations in the press department. After the '92 General Assembly (and my job) ended, I ended up in the large marketing department of Oxford Health Plans where I wrote copy for whatever they needed: brochures, proposals, advertising, you name it. It was there that I learned how to coordinate with all types of departments: legal, art, finance, operations, and more.
After the soul-searching many of us do in our twenties, I decided to become a teacher. Currently certified to teach English and French to grades 7-12 in Connecticut, I have spent over a decade writing, editing, proofreading, and writing even more every day. Whether the purpose has been to write a detailed assignment for my AP English Lit students or a press release about a poetry fest for the district website, it's always been about the writing.
Some time after I became a teacher, I joined The Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk and dove into writing communications materials for them. After three years of writing press releases, web content, Facebook posts, annual report copy, their e-newsletter, advertising, and more for this well-established non-profit, I know the ins and outs of a non-profit's communications needs.
Now, as a freelance writer, I am thrilled to have so much experience in writing, editing and proofreading. If you are a restaurant owner, chances are I have found a typo in your menu. If you have your own writing skills but don't have the time to implement your ideas, I'm your gal. So send me an email and let's see how I can help your business, school, or non-profit spread the word.
Do you do technical writing?
I can edit and proofread anything in English. If you need original copy about the intricacies of a highly technical and specialized area such as, let's say, quantum physics, I recommend that you speak with someone who specializes in that area.
How can you write copy about a topic with which you aren't familiar?
Part of my job in writing for you is conducting research about whatever topic you like. If you provide me with bullet-pointed information, I can flesh out those ideas into an entire brochure. The amount of research depends on the level of detail you need in your final copy. I've written about studies on diaper need, the health benefits of olive oil, how acupuncture works, and several other seemingly random topics. I have also written an employee training manual on how to use Word and Excel. Bottom line: give me the topic, and I'll write about it.
Will you work with my employees on a project?
Yes. I'm used to working with multiple departments and all personality types. If you need me to write copy and run it by the legal department while working on layout with your art department, I am happy to do it. Farming out the work to a freelancer makes your life much easier; you have bigger fish to fry than managing the daily minutia of a writing project. You will certainly approve anything and everything before it goes to a printer or gets posted on your website.
What are your rates?
It depends on what you need. Do you need me to write an article of 1,000 words about something, or do you need me to create a package of brief social media posts to accompany a campaign you have planned? Do you need me to be a liaison with your art department to create copy for ongoing seasonal advertising, or am I working with just you?
Each project is unique, so I can't provide you with a cookie cutter response to this one. Some quotes will be hourly and others will be project-based. Proofreading is on an hourly basis, and I am a fast and accurate reader. Original content creation involves more work, so I provide quotes after meeting with the client when I know what their needs are.
What is the difference between proofreading and editing?
Proofreading is when I read your final copy and find typos and formatting inconsistencies. I identify the issues, but your office fixes them in the final document, and we all go on our merry way.
Editing is when I do the above but also improve and revise a piece to sound better, to be grammatically correct, and to be something you are proud and confident to send to your audience.
Will you proofread my existing website content?
Yes. I can proofread it and edit it online if you provide me with the access to do so.
Do you orchestrate snail mailings of fund raising letters?
I will write the letters, and if your office prints them, supplies the envelopes, postage and mailing labels, then sure, you can pay me to do such a thing. I do not sell mailing lists or pretend to know the best place to get them.
Can you send out mass emails?
I can write them, and I can send them. However, if I am sending a mass email from your website, then you will need to provide me with the temporary administrative access to do so.
Contributing writer for NewCanaanite.com
Awarded 2nd place for General Editorial in 2015 by CT Society of Professional Journalists