Writer Spotlight: Penny Ethridge — Showing Newbies How It’s Done

Penny Ethridge Writer Spotlight

Andre Shinyashiki, Yordan Alvarez, Pete Alonso, Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa, Luka Doncic… What do these people have in common? Each recently won their respective league’s Rookie of the Year award in the MLS, MLB, NFL, and NBA. Rookies aren’t always the best players on the field, and they often have skills to develop to become an All-Star player, but they certainly start out with a bang and leave no doubt that they’ve got big things ahead of them. 

We don’t have a Rookie of the Year award at Crowd Content, but I won’t let that stop me from appointing Penny Ethridge (aka Imogen) as the first recipient of the Crowd Content Writer Spotlight Newbie award. 

ALSO – Hire Freelance Writers Today

In the freelance writing business, there’s no shortage of newbies. They come and go on a daily basis, many discovering that it’s not quite as easy as expected. But once in a while, we find a diamond in the rough: a writer with natural talent, strong communication skills, a positive team-player attitude, and the capacity to learn quickly. Over the past year, Imogen has shown us that she embodies each of these valuable qualities. 

Writing just over 13,000 words, Imogen hit the ground running in her first week back in late May of 2019. Of the 18 orders that received client ratings, half earned four stars—the rest got five. She worked on Marketplace orders while also dabbling in Darice product descriptions, and in July, she began working on some new managed projects, writing rehab-related orders for UKAT and blog posts for Amazing Medium. She caught our attention. 

High-quality writing led to a three-star promotion, and her willingness to accept—and deliver—  last-minute rush orders resulted in a growing reputation as a reliable contributor. It wasn’t long before Imogen found herself added to more and more teams, both in the Marketplace and on Managed Projects. 

Imogen doesn’t have a background in writing—unless stapling papers together to create books as a child counts as resume-worthy experience. “I’ve dabbled with fiction and poetry ever since but never tried to do anything serious,” she says. “In the future, I’d love to get fiction published.” Prior to discovering Crowd Content via a Reddit thread, she worked as a restaurant manager in London. 

She now resides in Helensburgh, Scotland, where she spends her days writing from Wetherspoons and enjoying £1.35 refillable coffees—at least she did before the pandemic turned us all into homebodies. 

While she’s tried out many different types of content, Imogen feels she prefers “writing blogs and website copy. Researching diverse topics keeps my brain happy, and I find practicing those helps me to write more clearly and simply. Otherwise, fiction is my preferred type of writing.”

When asked what her favorite project is, Imogen replied, “I love Lead to Conversion because it involves writing about puppies. I like the variety involved in writing for digital marketing agencies and find the tone comes quite naturally. BathMate always brought a smile to my face as well.” (BathMate has no doubt brought smiles to many faces, Imogen. Quick, somewhat-related side note: BathMate sent a package of samples to the original project manager when they first came on board. Good times.) 

Being a newbie, Imogen found it helpful to listen to some of the experienced veterans. Advice from a well-known CC writer stuck with her, and she offers that same advice to other newcomers. “As a wise lady (Greta Scribe) once said to me, you’ve got to have a thick skin in this game. Throw yourself into it from the beginning, work hard, embrace critique from editors and you’ll do really well.” 

With little provocation, Imogen felt it prudent to throw some compliments our way, and I’d be remiss not to share her thoughts. “The community,” she offered when contemplating what sets Crowd Content apart from other platforms. “The forum has been such a great resource, and I’m elated to have met everyone at CC. It also seems to genuinely reward hard work and a good attitude, which is awesome.”

In the interest of balanced reporting, I gave her the opportunity to tell us what we could do to improve. She went easy on us. “I’d have it so you could highlight text in the editor and the word count would display.” I’ll pass that request along. 

We all have our stumbling blocks, especially when writing content is a new endeavor. When asked what she’s found most challenging so far, Imogen said, “Referring to companies and organisations as it and not they! We say they in British English, and it’s so hardwired. Most other spellings/nuances are easy to adapt to, but that one is a blighter.” (editor’s note: that means something that’s looked at with contempt or irritation. Brits have some weird words.)

As is tradition in the long and storied history of Writer Spotlight, we took some time to get personal with Imogen and discover compelling secrets that only her closest friends and family members know. As always, we share the intimate details with you: 

Do you have any hobbies or unusual interests? “Erm… I don’t have any unusual interests but I think I’m probably unusually into my interests. I listen to the radio all day — BBC Radio 4 in the morning and BBC Radio 6 in the afternoon. I’m a huge music, literature and comedy fan, which keeps me busy. Politics and current affairs interest me a lot, too. That sounds so boring but I’m actually cool.” 

Who is your favorite author? What’s your favorite book? “The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky. But also The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. But also Demian by Herman Hesse. But also Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami. I could go on doing that for so long.” 

What’s your favorite restaurant or meal? “I love so many restaurants. Other than writing, food is definitely my passion. I love nothing more than treating myself to a lovely meal. The best dinner I’ve ever had was at The Fat Duck, which was a gift from @Olivia Goodwin (AKA my aunt and legend in her own right!).” 

Complete this sentence: When I’m not working, I love to “ROCK.”

If you were a farm animal, which one would you be and why? “A cat. Is a cat a farm animal? Cats have always been my Gs.” 

I had a boss once who always asked that farm animal question during job interviews. When I asked him why, he said, “Because it makes them think that I know something they don’t. I just like to hear what they come up with.” 

And with that, we bring the June Writer Spotlight to a close. Imogen now joins the ranks of those in the spotlight before her, and she carries a shiny, albeit imaginary, Writer Spotlight Newbie of the Year award. Display it with pride, Imogen. You’ve earned it! 

Join us next month when we get to know another Crowd Content writer. Maybe it’ll be you!

ALSO – Writer Spotlight: Carrie McCarthy — A Story of Wine, Crayons and Coyotes


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As Director of QA/Enterprise Production, Lisa is in the trenches of content marketing everyday. She manages large-scale projects for some of the web's largest etailers, ensuring they get high-quality results on time.

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