Copy Talk

Interview with a Writer: Katie Sweeney

Before I moved to Philadelphia, I started following other Philly copywriters on Twitter. I wanted to get a sense of what work was being done in Philly and who was doing it.

Katie Sweeney is who. Not only does she do impressive freelance work (see her site!), Katie is also great fun on Twitter. She’s generous but not careless, funny but not slapstick, critical but not cruel. How rare is that? I asked her a few questions about being a writer.

BR: What kind of writer are you?

KS: I’m a freelance advertising copywriter.

BR: How did you get wherever you are now?

KS: I spent my first four years working in marketing for a magazine in NYC. I got a taste for advertising while working on promotions for the magazine and started taking portfolio classes at the School of Visual Arts. That led to my first agency job, and I spent the next 8 years moving over and up and through different agencies. Finally, in 2012 it was my turn to get laid off and instead of looking for another agency, I started saying Yes to more freelance work. The past two years have been incredibly rewarding (and a whole different kind of hard work).

BR: What advice would you give to someone trying to improve their writing?

KS: Write, write, write, write. Read, read, read. Read Stephen King’s On Writing and David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. (Still relevant!) Observe your surroundings and look at how you’d write ads differently. We all have a natural writing voice, but you need to know the difference between what’s yours and what’s your clients. Again: keep writing, keep reading.

BR: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve worked on?

KS: Probably my own pet project Better Off Soaked. It’s a blog of broken umbrella photography. haha

BR: What’s something you’d like to work on in the future?

KS: I desperately want to name a line of nail polishes. I think I’d kill it. KILL.
Katie, I totally agree.
This post is part of Interview with a Writer, a series trying to figure out what being a writer today looks like. Want to suggest a writer for me to feature? Is that writer you? Get in touch.

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