A selection of my best writing in 2022

A selection of my best writing in 2022

About Writing, Freelance Self-Promotion
2022 has been a really interesting year for me professionally. My role at Now Then magazine, where I was a community correspondent focusing on reporting on the LGBTQ+ and disability communities, changed as I took over as editor for six months to cover the regular editor's parental leave. Since he has come back to work, we are sharing the role, and I am still focusing on my original remit as well. I spend half my working week at Now Then and the other half freelancing. Most of my freelance work this year has been editing, whether at Global Comment or doing sensitivity editing for a range of authors and publishing companies. As a result of that, most of my writing this year has been either for private clients, mostly in…
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I was a guest on the No Shame In My Name podcast

I was a guest on the No Shame In My Name podcast

Podcast, Speaking
I was recently invited onto the No Shame In My Name podcast. It's a podcast I already listened to and I invited the host to take part in Global Comment's Podcast Showcase, after which she invited me to be a guest on the show. I had a really fun chat with Juliana about the name Philippa, the name's odd meaning, and my thoughts about names and how they impact our lives. Plus what I'd call my imaginary children. Listen, and enjoy! Transcript Hi guys, you're now listening to Episode 75 of the No Shame In My Name podcast. I'm Juliana and today we're joined by special guest. Philippa Willitts. Hi, Philippa, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you. Tell us more about what you do. I have a…
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Who do you think you’re apostrophising? The dark side of grammar pedantry

Who do you think you’re apostrophising? The dark side of grammar pedantry

About Proofreading, Language
Rob Drummond, Manchester Metropolitan University He’s been called “punctuation’s answer to Banksy”. A self-styled grammar vigilante who spends his nights surreptitiously correcting apostrophes on shop signs and billboards. The general consensus is that he’s a modern-day hero – a mysterious crusader against the declining standards of English. But his exploits represent an altogether darker reality. The man himself is not particularly offensive. In a BBC Radio 4 report, he comes across as a reasonable person who simply feels a compulsion to quietly make a difference to what matters to him. He doesn’t ridicule, he doesn’t court publicity, he simply goes out and adds or removes apostrophes as required. And he does it with care, usually. So what’s the problem? The problem lies in what this kind of behaviour represents and…
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I was on BBC’s Front Row in defence of sensitivity readers

I was on BBC’s Front Row in defence of sensitivity readers

About Proofreading, Freelance Self-Promotion, Speaking
A couple of years ago, I started offering sensitivity reading for disability- and LGBT-related topics. I have worked on some fascinating manuscripts since then, including both fiction and non-fiction texts, and have worked with some brilliant authors and publishing houses. It was exciting to see this role begin to gain popularity as authors realised the benefits of making sure that their representations of marginalised characters or issues affecting marginalised communities were not going to alienate or inadvertently upset the very readers they wanted to attract. In recent weeks, however, sensitivity reading has become mired in controversy. After writer Kate Clanchy wrote a critique of her experience of sensitivity readers' assessments of her book (which, already published, had attracted accusations of racism and disablism), we are being discussed widely but the…
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Upcoming presentation: LGBT Apostasy and Conversion Therapy

Upcoming presentation: LGBT Apostasy and Conversion Therapy

Freelance Self-Promotion, Speaking
A few weeks ago, I wrote about conversion therapy for Now Then, the magazine where I am a community correspondent. I had been trying for several months to find a local case study and, in the absence of anybody willing to talk about their own experiences, I shared mine instead. I was surprised by how confronting it felt to address the experiences I had when I was younger; surprising mostly because I did not undergo conversion therapy myself, instead I was offered it... twice. But being told you need it does profound damage to your sense of self, your sense of goodness, and your confidence. As a result of that article, Humanists UK's Faith to Faithless project have invited me to speak about conversion therapy at an online event next…
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Bloody hell, I’ve been at this for ten years

Bloody hell, I’ve been at this for ten years

About Proofreading, About Writing, Freelancing
Ten years ago, I embarked on a self-employment experiment. And I did it all "wrong". First, I didn't tell everyone to support my business as you're supposed to; instead, I was so convinced that I would fail that I told a handful of my closest people. Second, I didn't do that smart thing where you work a full-time job while trying to gradually build your freelance clients on the side; instead, I just launched full-time from scratch. I had some savings that could support me if my business failed and I did expect to have to live of them but, to my surprise more than anyone else's, I got clients, people hired me, and I made a success of it. [bctt tweet="Ten years ago, I did it all 'wrong'. Yet…
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Talking about the Paralympics on BBC Radio Sheffield

Talking about the Paralympics on BBC Radio Sheffield

Disabled writer, Speaking
I was on Paulette Edwards' show on BBC Radio Sheffield again, this time talking about the Paralympic Games and the visibility it gives to disabled people. There were a couple of other disabled people being interviewed, too, so I've clipped my bits here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRDUcxbbOHc Transcript Well, listen, I'm going to talk to Philippa now, Philippa Willitts freelance writer and blogger. So for the next couple of weeks, the Paralympics are going to be getting extensive coverage on TV and online. How important Philippa do you think that is? This X kind of exposure? Actually, I think it's brilliant because it brings a level of visibility that disabled people have normally have. We were not on TV 24 7, and when the Paralympic games is on the last, you know, two…
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I was on BBC Radio Sussex talking disability discrimination against a disabled councillor

I was on BBC Radio Sussex talking disability discrimination against a disabled councillor

Disabled writer, Speaking
Claire Needs is a disabled local councillor but, because her council has now removed the option of attending meetings via Zoom, she is being excluded from participating in local democracy. I spoke to BBC Radio Sussex about it. https://youtu.be/f-eU2JmQDWw Transcript: Just the five Friday afternoon as we head towards the weekend. Hope you well. So as society opens up after COVID, for some it's shutting down, that's been the experience of one disabled Sussex counselor. Who's unable now to attend council meetings in person, Aaron district counselor, Claire needs lives in a residential care home and to protect other residents. She can't go out to crowded council. Chambers virtual meetings had been the perfect dancer, but since may, they haven't been allowed by the government. Our political reporter, Ben vice…
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I was a guest on the Crippled Stomp podcast

I was a guest on the Crippled Stomp podcast

Disabled writer, Podcast, Speaking
Last week, Shabaaz Mohammed invited me to be a guest on his intriguingly named podcast Crippled Stomp. Always keen to talk all things disability, I said yes. We had a great chat about white men failing upwards, abuse in ATUs, the French far right, having EMDR for PTSD. Amongst much, much more. The article I discussed is here.   The transcript below was auto-transcribed, so expect errors. Hello, and welcome to another episode of crippled stomp. Today we have another guest. Oh you and Pippa will introduce yourself over the paper. Hi everybody, I'm Pippa or Philippa either goes, not pick that like that. But I'm Philippa Willitts I am a freelance writer and editor, and I have done a lot of disability rights campaigning and feminist campaigning and LGBTQ…
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Just say no to unethical marketing: disablism in health copywriting

Just say no to unethical marketing: disablism in health copywriting

About Writing, Disabled writer
I got an email yesterday inviting me to be an affiliate for a health product. By complete coincidence, the product promised to rid its gullible audience of a condition I actually have, so I clicked with interest. The video sales letter, within three short minutes, was outrageously offensive. And I don't say that lightly. A man was offered life-saving surgery that involved amputating a leg. This is a big deal for anybody, of course. I would not downplay that. But the alternative was death. [caption id="attachment_2896" align="alignright" width="328"] An Indigenous Two-Spirit person ties their shoelaces while sitting in a chair. They are dressed in all black and have braided hair, tattoos, and a prosthetic leg.[/caption] Phew, you'd think. It will be a big change to my life to lose a…
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