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nDash Writer Profile for Jessica Riches

Jessica Riches

Headline

Writer and Unapologetic Generalist

About Me

I am a writer and editor with over five years of professional experience writing on a variety of topics. 

I'm not a lawyer, but I've written about the law. I'm not an engineer, but I've written about engineering. I'm not a nurse, but I've written about nursing. I have written for lay audiences and for specialists. With a curious mind and a well-developed set of research skills, I believe that a good writer can write about anything.

I have a hard time restraining my curiosity, and I consequently have a hard time restricting myself to a single specialty. When I find a new interest, which happens frequently, I simply have to learn everything there is to know about it. People who know me often find themselves asking, “Why do you know that?” And it’s always because I thrive on the challenge and delight of learning about something new. My creativity operates best when it can synthesize new ideas out of an abundance and assortment of raw material.

This quality has advantages for my clients as well. I have seen throughout my career the benefit of having one member of a team who can bring untarnished enthusiasm while managing to avoid becoming mired in the weeds. New angles are often born when someone asks the right question, and who better to ask questions than a person with fresh eyes? 

That’s not to say I have no expertise. I am an expert in writing and language. With a degree in English and a master’s in Publishing, I have dedicated my life to mastering the art and craft of writing and editing. I understand how stories work — have studied them academically and professionally — and I can write a piece that is well-structured and compelling, whether it’s as short as a social media post or as long as a report. As a copyeditor, I am well-versed in multiple style guides and dictionaries, and I know why those things matter; there is nobody who will pay more attention to the details than a writer who is also a copyeditor. I have also worked hard to develop a certain flair, and the most exciting moment for me as a writer is finding a fun and creative way to express an idea. I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t take pride in my ability to turn a phrase. I particularly excel when a piece requires a degree of wry humour and intelligence.

It’s been my experience that every subject is interesting once you begin to understand it. I would love to write about my current interests, but let’s face it: I’m an information junkie, and my future interests are always just around the corner. I look forward to learning about what you and your company find most interesting, what you specialize in, and I'm confident that I can help you share your fascination with the world. 

Industries I Write About

Business

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Health & Wellness

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Law & Politics

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Lifestyle

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My Writing Samples

Canadian Blood Services: Annual Report to Financial Donors

The Annual Report to Financial Donors shows the impact of every dollar donated to Canadian Blood Services. Through relatable stories, donors can see how their money gets spent and the difference that it makes in the lives of real Canadians. I worked with the Donor Relations team to write the 2018/19 report using various source documents.

https://blood.ca/sites/default/files/CBS_Donor_Report_2019_EN.pdf

Counter Tax Lawyers: Blog Post

This blog post features a downloadable paper inspired by the book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. The paper outlines some of the benefits of taking a systematic approach to legal work.

https://www.countertax.ca/blog/checking-all-the-boxes-to-deliver-better-results

Counter Tax Lawyers: Fun Christmas Post

I wrote this piece for a bit of holiday fun. It was intended to inspire my teammates to keep working hard in the lead-up to the December break, and it's filled with tax and legal puns and jokes.

https://www.countertax.ca/hubfs/Countertax_2016/Downloads/countertax-2017-12-05-NP_to_FRM_re_Your_Holiday_Audit_F.pdf

Counter Tax Lawyers: Blog Post

I worked with the writer on this post to organize her draft into a more compelling narrative and to draw out the relevant points. The goal was to show young lawyers and law students the kinds of opportunities that were available to them at Counter.

https://www.countertax.ca/blog/mytaxlawinternexperienceatcounter

Alberta Energy Regulator: Blog Post

I wrote this post to highlight some interesting facts from an annual statistical report that we were releasing. We had already published a piece detailing all of the most important information, so this piece was more about finding smaller things that might otherwise go unnoticed.

https://resource.aer.ca/stories/the-laws-of-gravity-and-murphy-apply

Experience

Legal Editor and Writer

I wrote all kinds of content, including web copy, bios, blog posts, social media, and internal documents about company core values. I also worked with lawyers to write better legal documents, including briefs and submissions.

Company: Counter Tax Lawyers

I worked there from 7/2017 until 8/2018

Editor

I worked with subject matter experts in fields ranging from engineering, geology, and economics to PR, business, and law to produce documents that were clear, accessible, and informative. My work included annual reports, 400-page rule documents, and an annual statistical report reimagined for the web. I also wrote correspondence to stakeholders who had written in with concerns or questions.

Company: Alberta Energy Regulator

I worked there from 5/2012 until 8/2016

Freelance Writer

I worked on two projects for Canadian Blood Services: their Annual Report to Financial Donors and a project to update and reformat over 200 email templates into FAQ documents for multiple platforms (email, phone, live chat, Twitter, Facebook).

Company: Canadian Blood Services

I worked there from 2/2019 until 9/2019

Content I Write