Writing skills trainer, Journalist, wordsmith
Juliet Colly spent more than two dozen years on some of South Africa’s best known newspapers, honing her skills in communicating simply and clearly. Having worked as a reporter, feature writer and a sub-editor, she is expert at reviving hackneyed writing, resuscitating terminally boring prose, and mentoring inexperienced writers on how to produce readable, interesting work.
For seven years she was Chief Sub-Editor of the Sunday Tribune (600 000 readers) which is part of Independent Newspapers. This meant control of page design, copy editing, headlines, the production process, and deadlines. It also meant assessing news values and rewriting reports for style and readability, while checking for legal issues and ensuring factual accuracy.
After Juliet resigned, her expertise and experience led to part-time lecturing in Media Writing at Damelin College and an assignment from her former employers, Independent KZN, to set up and present a training programme for reporters and sub-editors. Working with a former colleague, they introduced a well-received series of courses, which they have since expanded to The Witness in Pietermaritzburg.
Juliet also worked as an editor for E-Briefs, an international online news and information analysis agency; as Chief Sub-Editor for a start-up newspaper operation, ExpressMedia; and in the corporate writing field, writing press releases and producing publications.
She has designed and facilitated courses for such organisations as the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism and is an English writing skills mentor for the University of KwaZulu-Natal's HEARD Institute (HIV/Aids studies).
She now runs Write Ahead, which, in addition to journalism training, also runs courses in business writing skills and press release writing skills.