and Longform Stories
I love diving into a story! I started out covering city news as a cub reporter at a local daily newspaper, but it wasn't long before I realized that features had my heart. Ask me to research something a bit out of the ordinary, and I'll line up four interviews and start a resources doc before you know it.
As an editor and writer, I always approach stories from a content-planning perspective. How can we get the most mileage from this work? What kinds of photos are best? What are the corresponding tweets and do they warrant threading? Should we have a sidebar? What about multiple sidebars? Would data visualizations make sense? Should we talk about this on Facebook Live? Can we use this as a jump-off point for a print series?
In the media world, we don't always have the resources to do all of this (Ok, those of us at small outlets usually don't have those resources at all), but we invariably think through the options because the mere possibilities strengthen the core story without fail.
I'm in awe of visionaries -- the people who can see an empty space and start generating ideas for meaningful ways to fill it. I'm capable of understanding and covering specific tech, but I'd much rather dive into an innovator's spark for fixing the world -- their "why."
In addition to the Venture Cafe publications previously mentioned, some of my favorite tech and innovation projects include:
• Leading SXSWi coverage from Austin and discovering a robot that could revolutionize the senior care and hospitality sectors. (Learn more.)
• Immersing myself in sharing women's experiences with gender and race biases in tech fields. (Learn more.)
• Naming GlobalHack among St. Louis' best ideas -- and later serving as a judge for the program's youth event. (Learn more.)
• Helping local readers discover Pixel Press, a simple video game engine, before it gained much national attention. (Learn more.)
Ask me to create content that helps readers live their best lives, and I'll show you a happy Allison. Beauty, fashion, wellness, dating -- I love it all.
A few favorite moments include:
• Learning about why it's important for yoga instructors to think through accessibility issues. (Learn more.)
• Fixing readers' lives through my karaoke advice column. (Learn more.)
• Interviewing an award-winning chocolate maker about social responsibility. (Learn more.)
• Collaborating with a hotel on multi-platform sponsored content. (Learn more.)
• Watching my slideshow about women's terrible first dates go viral. (Learn more.)
As a Marvel nerd and karaoke junkie, I'm always looking to bring pop culture into my work. From reviewing big-name concerts to checking out a local writer's self-published comic book, I love covering those who are trying to make magic in our world. Proud moment: When I was the digital editor for a weekly newspaper, I was writing so much geek content that they had to create a "nerdgasm" story category to contain it all.
Some favorite memories include:
• Playing an accidental role in a Stormtrooper being kicked out of Busch Stadium's first-ever "Star Wars Night." (Learn more.)
• Chatting with Ben Folds about how classical music and sex are related. (Learn more.)
• Diving into why true comic book fans might not actually want large comic-cons. (Learn more.)
• Interviewing the local musicians who become their favorite national acts for a yearly festival. (Learn more.)
• Enduring the wrath of a now-shuttered "bro" radio station after my critical piece went live. (Learn more.)
Quirky Character Studies
I'm always drawn to interesting people -- the quirkier, the better! That's why publications know they can count on me to share stories about folks who have, uh, unconventional hobbies and interests.
Favorite feature story topics include:
• The people who collect vast amounts of New Kids on the Block, Pez, grape soda and '70s cereal items. (Learn more.)
• The world-champion air guitarist who now hosts competitions nationwide. (Learn more.)
• The Missouri natives who sold their homes to permanently live in vans, buses and RVs. (Learn more.)
• The dessert chef who adores Harry Potter and has a delicious butterbeer recipe. (Learn more.)
Want more? I've got nearly 20 years worth of media and marketing projects under my belt.
You never know what or who might spark a great editorial idea! I'm available for short-term, long-term and one-off writing, editing and content-planning projects for media, in-house teams and agencies. I generally need at least two weeks' notice and a signed contract (or other mutually agreed-upon commitment) before beginning work, so please connect with me as soon as you anticipate a project. PR folks, feel free to pitch me as long as your story ideas are tied to the greater St. Louis region in some way.
One more thing: This site looks awful via mobile. View it on a laptop for best results.
A Note About Images
All photos and images are displayed as part of my portfolio packages and as commentary. They belong to their originators, which include periodicals, agencies, brands, individual photographers, stock resources and myself. Please obtain permission from original owners if you're interested in using these or similar images. Please do not steal items from my site.