Zoe Pickburn

I am a

Freelance writer

Freelance | Since 2016

I've always loved to write and now I'm making it my career. I work on commercial projects (SEO content and copywriting) as well as on features and reporting. I've also turned my hand to other digital projects (like websites and photography). Favourite topics include food, lifestyle and hospitality.

Food blogger

EatsLeeds | Since 2016

I started my blog to share vegan news, opinions, recipes and lifestyle advice. Through blogging, I’ve honed my writing, photography and editorial skills, built my personal brand, and worked on sponsored editorial content. I now publish a weekly feminist foodletter, Nice Pear.

Digital Marketer

Stream | Since 2017

I work part-time in-house for Stream (a SaaS product for the logistics sector) and and for Stream's parent company, Proximity. I work on content and digital, with a focus on SEO and conversion. I produce copy and content, manage an editorial calendar, and run 7 social media channels across the brands.

Hi!

I’m Zoe.

I’m a freelance writer, journalist and digital marketer. I also run a food blog, publish a newsletter work part-time in content marketing, and I’m studying for the NCTJ diploma.

Balancing lots of projects is kinda my thing.

Rght now, I write journalistic pieces, commercial articles, content and copy on a freelance basis – mostly on food and hospitality topics. Eventually I want to work on longform reporting and feature writing.

You can read some of the things I’ve written here.

I’m learning as much as I can about the industry by pitching journalistic pieces, studying for the NCTJ diploma and being a founding member of the empoWORD Journalism project.

I’ve blogged about plant-based & gluten-free food since 2016, and still post the occasional recipe or food guide on the blog when I can.

I also work part-time in-house on digital and content marketing for a fast-growing SaaS product.

Actually about me

I’m into vegan food and feminism and books. I’m a (very slow) runner. I love exploring new cities, but I also love to be at home. I’m from Yorkshire. I’m married to a street-food guy.

I’m a digital native (and a bit of a tech geek), able to quickly learn and understand new platforms. As an example: I acted as ad-hoc tech support when Stream switched from MS Office to GSuite.

Website & CMS

I love tinkering round with websites, and I’ve built and maintained a number of theme-based sites in WordPress. I also have some knowledge of Shopify and Drupal, and of HTML & CSS.

Photo & video

I’m confident in DSLR photography (especially food photography), and can also produce short videos. I’m familiar with Adobe Suite editing software (particularly Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier Rush)

Social media

I’m active on a number of platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and with tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Latr and Planoly.

Graphics

I’m able to produce simple graphics (for social media or data illustration) using Adobe InDesign or Canva

I also have a full, clean UK drivers licence and own a reliable car.

Writer & marketer

Since starting my blog, I’ve gravitated towards roles that use writing and digital skills. I’m now actively moving towards a career in journalism.

  • Blogger (2016-present), EatsLeeds
  • Content & digital marketer (2017-present), Stream and Proximity
  • Writer & content marketer (2017-present), Freelance

Event manager

Though I no longer work in the events sector, I still use many of the skills I learned there. Skills like people management, time management and organisation are all transferrable to journalism. While managing events, I’ve worked with public figures and with government departments, and during my degree I’ve completed business modules like finance, law and health & safety.

  • GamesMaker Volunteer (2012), London 2012 Ceremonies
  • Event Management Degree (graduated 2014), Leeds Met
  • Event Coordinator (2014-2015), Bracken Events, Nottingham
  • Event Manager (2016), National Centre for Diversity, Leeds

Casual worker

I’ve held a number of full-time and part-time jobs, both during and after my education. These casual roles have proven my ability to adapt, and act flexibly, whilst remaining professional. Most of these jobs were public-facing –  I’m able to strike up a conversation with just about anyone.

  • Foodservice – I’ve worked hospitality and catering roles both FoH and BoH, everywhere from independent cafes and bars, to breweries, sports stadiums and 4* hotels. I’m still active in the Leeds food scene, and often work in my husband’s vegan food business, Döner Summer.
  • Retail – I’ve worked in  number of shops, including two years at Sainsbury’s, where I worked as a store supervisor
  • Childcare – I babysat for local families from 2004 and later worked briefly in a preschool
  • Currently studying for the NCTJ Diploma (via distance learning)
  • 1st class BA (hons) Event management (2014), Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University
  • Three A-Levels (B, B and C) in English Language, Media Studies and Sociology (2009), Notre Dame VI Form College
  • Eight GCSEs at grade C and above, including English and Maths (2007), Prince Henry’s Grammar School

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