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  Christen McCurdy
 
Professional/Personal Overview
  I write about health care, social justice, women's issues, disability rights, farms, food and popular culture. I take complex technical information and turn it into clean, compelling copy -- and I do it fast.

In the past year I've written about comprehensive brain injury treatment, domestic microfinance, transgender health care, the effects of transit cuts on people with disabilities -- and a one-page biographical comic about Jessica Mitford, the author of The American Way of Death. I also produce and perform on a comedy quiz show podcast that aims to inform as well as entertain. I love doing research and taking on topics others might find weird or daunting, and I've also written PR, marketing and tech copy -- and I can help you edit your work, too.

Drop me a line and tell me what you need. I'm on it.
Work Info
 
Expertise
Editor 4 Years
Writer 14 Years
Specialty
Food 1 Year
Health 4 Years
Politics 4 Years
Total Media Industry Experience
12 Years
Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)
The Lund Report (11+), The Oregonian (11+), Bitch Media (11+), Pacific Standard (3-5), Street Roots (1-2), The Portland Mercury (1-2), Chess Life (1-2), Dartmouth Medicine (1-2), Know Your City (1-2)
Corporate Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)
Microsoft/Compass Rose Media (1-2)
Other Work History
Public relations representative, Tripwire (2008)
Lifestyles editor and general assignment reporter, The Argus Observer (2003-2005)
Editorial intern, The Grants Pass Daily Courier (2003)
News editor and general assignment reporter, OSU Daily Barometer (1999-2003)
Computer Skills
Mac OS, Windows XP, Linux (Ubuntu)
Word, Excel, OpenOffice/LibreOffice suite
WordPress, HTML, command line
Technical Skills
Photo editing (Adobe PhotoShop, GIMP)
Page design (QuarkXPress, InDesign)
Equipment
Laptop
Digital camera with video capability
Digital audio recorder
Foreign Language Skills
Basic French
Survival Spanish
References
Available upon request.
Awards
Award for Comprehensive Coverage, Society of Professional Journalists
General Excellence Award (Argus Observer), Oregon Newspaper Publishers
Association, 2003 and 2004.
Best All-Around Student Daily (Barometer), Society of Professional
Journalists, 2001 and 2002.
Best Collegiate Daily (Barometer), Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association,
2002.
Winner (Barometer editorial board), Society of Professional
Journalists' Best Collegiate Editorial Writing Award, OSU Daily
Barometer, 2000.
Associations
Association of Health Care Journalists
Other
I volunteer at Planned Parenthood, both in clinics (working directly with patients and providers) and at events. Previously I was an information and referral specialist for Outside In, a nonprofit providing health care and other resources for homeless youth and other low-income populations in the Portland area. I have also worked as a paid caregiver for adults with physical and mental disabilities. I've always been interested in the needs and challenges of underserved populations; working directly with patients and providers in these contexts has provided invaluable perspective for my other work.

During my tenure in the PR world, I attended Michael Smart's acclaimed media pitching and PR workshops, and received a certificate in high tech product management and product marketing from Portland State University. I'm happy to advise your small business or nonprofit with PR or marketing assistance.
Freelancer Availability
I freelance full-time. I live near Portland, OR. I am willing to travel anywhere. I have a driver's license. I have access to a car.
Work Samples
 
Journalism  
(Pacific Standard, 10/8/2013)
An exploration of gender neutral pronouns in English, from the perspective of what linguistics research has to tell us about the subject.
(Pacific Standard, 9/5/2013)
Here, I discussed the ways FC2 -- the new female condom -- is an improvement on the noisy punchline that preceded it, as well as the reasons it hasn't taken hold like its male counterpart.
(Dartmouth Medicine, 9/1/2013)
Here's a piece I wrote for Dartmouth Medicine's alumni magazine, about an alumna whose clinic's patient centered medical home program has garnered national awards for her organization.
(Chess Life, 7/1/2013)
Flip forward to page 30 to read my story about the diverse experiences of chess players with disabilities, as well as accessibility issues in the tournament world and the world of chess more generally.
(The Lund Report, 6/7/2012)
After hearing about the on-the-job death of a mental health worker in the home of a client, I decided to try and find out how common violent incidents are against non-licensed health care workers. I learned that health care is one of the most dangerous professions in the U.S. in terms of workplace v
(The Lund Report, 9/14/2011)
This story focused on a comprehensive treatment for brain injury that is well-supported by research, but not often covered by health insurance. I spoke with a traumatic brain injury survivor who received treatment 12 years after her accident, and was restored to a much higher level of functioning --
Comic scripts  
Adventures in Feministory: Jessica Mitford
(Bitch Magazine, 12/1/2011)
For Bitch's "Underground" issue, I collaborated with illustrator Nicole Cuvin on a one-page biographical comic about Jessica Mitford, author of The American Way of Death.
Podcast  
(Think Again, My Friend, 6/4/2012)
For this episode of the podcast, we talked about restaurants owned by families and those frequently attended by families. I learned that there is no way to read Dairy Queen's corporate history aloud without dying in a fit of laughter.
(Think Again, My Friend, 3/6/2012)
I write for, co-produce and perform on a comedy quiz show podcast called "Think Again, My Friend" with three others (plus occasional guests). Each episode has a different theme; this one gave us occasion to learn way, way too much about Albert Einstein's sex life.
Blog  
This is my personal blog. I write about feminism, relationships, personal grief, progressive politics, the media, pop culture, books and disability issues.