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Maggie WAKEFIELD                                                                              

Freelance journalist / editor / translator


 
 



Hello, and welcome to my website.                                                                                              


Who am I?

I am a language graduate from the University of London, and I have worked as a freelancer since 1996. Prior to that, I worked for a number of years in university administration, followed by a succession of jobs in various sectors including manufacturing, the oil industry, leisure and tourism, and finally publishing - where I finally found my niche.

What do I do?
I work as a French to English translator and also as a British journalist, and I provide proofreading and editorial services on a regular basis for publishing and PR companies in the UK.

My special interests include travel, local interest, classic motoring, history, environmental issues, and topics relating to small business and enterprise. I have written about crystal healing, free range eggs, setting up a business in France, local nostalgia in Grimsby, and beer in Belgium; I have interviewed British business leaders, French politicians and Dutch farmers.

I am a member of the NUJ and you can view my profile in the NUJ Freelance Directory.

I also write short stories, a number of which have won prizes. My third collection of short stories, Adam's Revenge, is currently available on Amazon.


What are my priorities?

In my many jobs I have sometimes been appalled by poor standards of communication, a result of laziness or poor communication skills, and all too often a result of people simply passing on words and phrases that they themselves have not fully understood. As a journalist I believe it is vital to understand a topic before writing about it (that may sound obvious, but haven't we all read pieces written by people who clearly had scant knowledge of their subject?). Unlike many people who are afraid of asking what may seem stupid questions, I freely admit that there are lots of things that I don't know, and in my experience experts never mind being asked to explain even the most basic concepts. So whatever I am writing about, my first priority is to clarify things in my own mind. My second priority is to select the information I want to use, and present it in a format that its target audience will understand and find interesting - neither too erudite and serious, nor too 'dumbed-down' and flippant.

The same principle applies to translation. I see translating as a three-way process - reading the source text, assimilating the meaning, and then expressing the same meaning in the target language. I aim to combine accuracy with clarity of expression, a fluid, natural style, and a tone that is adapted to the subject matter and the audience.

As proofreader and editor, I limit myself as far as possible to correcting errors of grammar and spelling, and I try to change the style and structure of the original as little as possible. If I feel the tone is inappropriate for its intended readers, I will discuss this with the author and suggest changes, but the final decision is theirs.

Who do I work for?

My time is divided between North Wales and Normandy, I am registered to work in the UK and in France, and my clients include publishers, individuals, agencies and private companies in both countries.

Please browse through some of my sample articles; I have included a varied selection and I hope you will find something there to interest and intrigue you.

If you need a content writer, editor or translator, please get in touch; I'm always happy to discuss potential projects. Email me at euroreportage@live.co.uk, or telephone me on 0114 360 9229.  I look forward to hearing from you.