My Job In 5: John Chrimes, Freelance ELT writer

My Job In 5: John Chrimes, Freelance ELT writer

Describe your role

I create content for English Language Teaching learning materials including course books, apps and online materials. I produce general titles for adults and teenagers to more specialised content for university students for naval officers and sales managers. I mostly write to tight briefs and deadlines for publishers wishing to launch months not years ahead.

What do you like best about your role?

Variety. I write about a huge range of topics and with constantly changing teams of people across the globe. It’s not for everyone, but I love it. Also, the personal challenge to identify the audience and meet their needs in a fast-paced competitive market is something I thrive on.

What new projects or titles are your working on?

Right now my compass has turned east. I’m just starting a new project with a team in China to write for young learners and I have a title for biomedical scientists studying English coming out any day now. It’s fascinating to watch the channelling of content into different technological streams and tailor output to new innovations in content delivery.

Do you get to work for lots of different publishers?

I work with a range of publishers from around the world. Most recently I’ve written for US and UK publishers—which means Skype meetings at unsociable hours with colleagues from Dubai, Poland and Asia.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

Get some experience and get known—which is easier said than done. Experience can come from small-scale projects, volunteering and speculative emails to publishers. Ink your name onto ELT writer databases as well as the lists each publisher keeps. Getting known involves a social media presence and participation in the wider debate at conferences, blogging and industry publications. There is not a mountain to climb just lots of hard work.

Follow us #myjobin5. Questions by Maria Vassilopoulos.
If you are working in the industry and would like to appear in this column, please email maria.vassilopoulos@thebookseller.com