Great writing always makes an impact. It keeps readers reading, communicates information with style, and does so efficiently (especially online). As a professional writer who enjoys working with words, I know how to frame ideas in a compelling, engaging manner—and I’ll help you do the same.
I’m Dara Colwell. I work as a writer, editor, consultant, and teach professional writing at the University of Groningen.
I like to help clients tell stories with purpose, making what’s significant to them interesting and relevant to their audience. As a writer, I am highly flexible and open to writing about almost everything. My talent is repositioning the camera, finding a different angle or take on a subject.
In short: I shape dull, uninteresting text into something colorful, succinct and appropriate to your audience.
I offer the following services:
Write website content
Edit and proofread written work; clean up translated text
Conduct research and interviews
Write articles and profiles
Teach writing and communication skills
My rates are competitive, plus I work hard to give a quick turnaround. If you’re interested in knowing more, email me or complete a consultation form!
(new or based on what's there)
I learned to be curious and observant early in life and I have put these talents to good use by seeing what others don’t, be that details or perspectives. Understanding issues and people in depth is what drives me professionally and in life, and my goal in writing--whatever form it takes--is to make people think.
As a journalist, I enjoy writing about:
The environment because it’s my first love and nature is my church.
Relationships because they are moving and dramatic; everyone has a unique perspective and story to tell.
Culture because the world is incredibly diverse, so what's “normal?"
What started as a non-fiction book project dreamt up over cornflakes, eventually morphed into a screenplay. It was simply too visual to be anything else.
My first feature-length screenplay is called The Freedom Machine. I submitted it to the London Screenwriters Festival and was chosen to participate in its 2018 Talent Campus 4.0.
Here’s the logline:
A wealthy, middle-aged housewife buys her way into a women’s cycling group competing in a race—a first for women at that time. She clashes with her unsympathetic husband, who threatens to destroy her if she participates, and has to choose between losing everything or losing herself.
I see writing as visual thinking. Just as a camera captures an image by freezing a moment in time, writing captures our thoughts by fixing them on a page. Because writing helps us figure out what we think, the art of writing involves actively reworking and finessing elements until it the whole thing glides together as smoothly as pistachio-infused gelato.
I teach students studying Media Studies at the University of Groningen how to approach professional writing. They learn that writing well isn’t simply a matter of fixing mistakes. It’s about daring to be creative and persevere as good writing is far too complex to get it right in your first draft.
I also teach private, customized lessons to business professionals who want to write more effectively in English, particularly when it's their second language. Workshops cover grammar, standard business expressions and vocabulary. (Clients include: the Dutch Foreign Ministry, Sony Music, Gouden Gids, Price Waterhouse Cooper, and European Consumer Centre.)
I grew up in Los Angeles, spent my twenties studying and working in the UK, and later graduated from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. I cut my writing teeth as an investigative reporter at Metro San Jose, long before social media became synonymous with the city, and I eventually moved to Brooklyn, where I worked as a freelance writer.
In Brooklyn, I enjoyed walking along the same streets my grandfather had as a young man (I even borrowed his shoes), and discovering New York City. It was my greatest teacher, both in learning how to tackle writing and enjoy life.
I later moved to Amsterdam and fell in love with all the stereotypical things Americans do here: cycling, affordable healthcare, and its Rembrandtesque skies. I am thrilled to live in a city where my ceiling rafters are older than the US Constitution, and which has welcomed diversity for centuries.
Dara has been a true asset to our company. She understood the tone of our message and was able to translate this and write 'to the point’ content that sticks. I am very happy with the clear deadlines she set and the work delivered on time.
I would recommend her to anyone in need of someone who can write, translate and pro-actively think about the tone of voice needed to spread the message.
"To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man"