Writing is my specialty, but freelancing is an interesting life that opens many doors to different kinds of work.

Laurie McBurney

QUALIFICATIONS Experienced and award-winning writer.
Experienced Programs and Communications Officer for a provincial Arts Council
Experienced event planner.
Experienced in creating and managing social media sites.
Experienced photographer.
Experienced in public relations and speech writing.
Solid and accurate research skills.
Staff and budget management skills.
Proven ability to meet deadlines in fast-paced environments.
Familiarity with several computer programs and internet-based research.
Good team worker.
EXPERIENCE Solid practical experience with:

  • planning, implementing and organizing arts events, including arts exhibits, a province-wide literary awards program, a city-wide literary festival and an artists-in-residence program.
  • spearheading communications strategies, including writing press releases; contacting editors and journalists; creating, maintaining and updating social media, including websites, Twitter and Facebook; and writing a weekly newsletter.
  • reaching into and collaborating with culturally diverse arts communities.
  • recruitment, organization and supervision of volunteers.
  • the province-wide development and implementation of arts grant policies,
    programs and services.
  • speech writing.
  • news & feature photography.
  • managing budgets.
  • public speaking.
February 1997 Part of a three-member editorial team responsible for producing the Weekly Journal, recognized as one of the best community newspapers in Ontario by the Ontario Community Newspaper Association and chosen second-best in its circulation class in Canada by the Canadian Community Newspaper Association.
February 1993 Ontario Community Newspaper Award of Excellence for arts reporting.
Ongoing Freelance Journalist
Published in several media outlets, including The Globe and Mail, The United Church Observer, The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen and MacLean’s. Wrote speeches and election brochures and developed website content for municipal and provincial politicians. Provided story ideas for CBC radio documentaries, also sat in as on-air panelist.
October 2007 to August 2010 Program & Communications Officer PEI Council of the Arts
Provided leadership and direction in developing and implementing arts grant policies, programs and services throughout the province; served as the Council’s
communications specialist and aided in enhancing awareness of the arts on PEI; created, maintained and nurtured partnerships with communities traditionally under-served by arts organizations, such as newcomers to Canada and Aboriginal groups; wrote and disseminated weekly arts newsletter; communicated through social media such as Facebook and Twitter; liaised with provincial government and regional arts groups to ascertain needs and gain support for arts programs.
January to
June 2006 & 2007
Co-ordinator, 19th & 20th Annual Prince Edward Island Literary Awards
Contracted by the PEI Council of the Arts to organize and co-ordinate the 19th and 20th Annual PEI Literary Awards. Liaised with poets, novelists, journalists and editors, as well as school board officials and three levels of government representatives, including the provincial Lieutenant Governor; spearheaded communications; supervised volunteers; developed sponsorship opportunities; co-ordinated final event gala, including readings, prizes and special guests.
June to
October 2005
Co-ordinator, City of Charlottetown’s 150th Anniversary Writers’ Festival
Contracted by the City of Charlottetown to conceive, organize and co-ordinate a four-day writers’ festival as part of the city’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Responsible for an all-school student writing competition, writing workshops for all ages, author readings throughout the city, a book show and sale and an evening gala. Successful liaisons were forged with CBC and other radio stations; federal, provincial and city government organizations; newspapers; and poets and authors.
January 2003
to December 2010
Author and Project Manager for Cumberland: A History (working title)
Contracted by the City of Ottawa be part of a team to research and write the history of the former City of Cumberland (now amalgamated with Ottawa).
December 1998
to March 2003
Editor, East End Communiqué (initially known as the Cumberland Communiqué)
Editor, main writer and photographer for monthly public relations newspaper for the City of Cumberland, and, after municipal amalgamation, for the City of Ottawa when the paper’s coverage was extended to the entire east end of the new mega city. Duties included responsibility for editorial content, co-ordination of columns from city departments and politicians; layout, proofreading, translation, printing and distribution of newspaper. Managed budget of $100,000 and staff of four.
October 1995
to March 1998
Photojournalist, Weekly Journal
Responsible for several beats, including arts, crime and municipal politics. Wrote weekly arts column.
December 2006
to June 2009
Webmaster for the Upton Farm Preservation Network
October 2004
to February 2010
Executive Officer, PEI Writers’ Guild
January 2005
to August 2010
Executive Officer, Canadian Association of Journalists, Charlottetown Chapter
EDUCATION and TRAINING Third year Bachelor of Arts
Successfully completed several writing, editing, interviewing, photography and computer skills workshops given by professional associations, including the Ontario and Canadian Community Newspapers Associations; the Canadian Association of Journalists; the Canadian Press Club; etc.
REFERENCES  Available upon request

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