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My name is Kate Pendlebury, and I am a wordwrangler, yarn spinner, thing-maker, and wit. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 to do a PhD in English at the University of Pittsburgh. I have been fiddling with language as long as I’ve had it. I treat words and syntax as putty, paste, and paint: materials I can use not only to deliver content from my brain to yours, but also to please the eye and ear.

That is to say: before anything else, I am a writer. I am at ease in a variety of forms, professional and literary: web copy, newsletters (electronic and print), storytelling, fundraising (in particular, grant-writing), speech-writing, academic articles, poetry, presentations. I have taught writing and studied writing, and the key principle I follow as a writer and editor is that all writing – including forms that are plain, rhetorical, promotional, academic, creative, and so on – can be artful and interesting. All writing can be creative. All writing can be “good writing.”

My blog, the Wordsmithery, is not only a space to discuss the sorts of writing issues that are relevant to professional and promotional writing, but also a venue for my writing – unlimited by theme, content, or style. I write about topics that are relevant, interesting, and worth writing about; sometimes personal; sometimes salty; always thoughtful. I hope that you will enjoy, participate in, argue with, and share my blog posts!

Professional Experience

I earned my PhD at Pitt, where I taught composition, literature, and children’s literature. I’ve taught at two universities in South Africa and tutored many Pittsburgh high school students. As a freelancer, I’ve edited academic, technical, and journalistic work. I know the secrets of the semi-colon.

For the last four and a half years I worked as a development professional at two Pittsburgh nonprofits. I researched, wrote, and managed grants up to $500,000; designed and created newsletters (print and electronic), program books, fliers, posters, articles, and ads; built and maintained a website; and tussled with a database.

As Pittsburgh Wordsmith I am striking out on my own, bringing my assorted skills to non-profits and small businesses that want the benefits of working with a sharp and efficient freelancer. Message me for costs. I am new to this gig and price accordingly.