Jess Novak

Brooklyn, NY USA

Professional Experience

I cover everything from the challenges of nonprofit start-ups to fun date ideas to luxury resorts for a variety of publications, including Men's Journal and Thrillist. Fun fact: my story is the first result if you Google "kale smoothies." Is that a testament to the power of good SEO, strong research, and kicky writing, or the stranglehold kale has on an increasingly health-conscious public? You be the judge.


Content Editor (online)
3 Years
3 Years
3 Years


Entry Level
1 Year
1 Year


Academia Teaching
4 Years
Magazine - Large Consumer/National magazines
1 Year
Online/new media
3 Years

Total Media Industry Experience

3 Years

Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)

Men's Journal (6-10), The How (3-5), Thrillist (3-5)

Other Work History

Former Positions: Drink Editor - The Daily Meal Freelance Reporter - InStyle Online Editor - The Southeast Review Staff Writer - Newslo

Technical Skills

Basic image editing skills

Computer Skills

Experienced in SEO, multiple CMS platforms, basic HTML, photo acquisition and editing, Microsoft Office programs, social media savvy


MacBook Air, iPhone 6


References available upon request


Nominated for teaching award (2011, 2012); Pushcart Prize (2011, 2012, 2013); Best New Poets (2012, 2013); anthologized in a collection nominated for a Lambda Literary Award (2012)


Writing Samples - Travel

Several travel experts weigh in on the best ways to keep luggage intact and retrievable.
Roundup and descriptions of the most remarkable overwater hotels in the world.
If you're in town for the film festival, this guide can help you decide where else to go and what to do.
A monastic community has been living and making wine on this small French island for centuries.
What can $5 buy you in cities as diverse as Dubai, Phnom Penh, Mumbai, and London?

Writing Samples - Dating

New York is full of fun date ideas that aren't always obvious, from floor shuffleboard to burlesque shows to craft beer tours on a sailboat. This list suggests them based on the number of dates you've been on.
Characteristics of D.C. residents and why they're so fun to date. Published under pseudonym Alice Earnshaw.
What defines the residents of Oklahoma City, and what makes them fun to date? Published under pseudonym Alice Earnshaw.

Writing Samples - Wine, Beer, & Spirits (Booze!)

Why CAN'T you drink rubbing alcohol? What exactly are tannins, anyway? What's the stuff that gets filtered out of vodka? Why don't we drink cocktail bitters? I answer all questions about the world of booze. With science.
The list of 101 wineries was shaped with the help of many experts, including personal hero Alice Waters. I was interested in creating a list that is geographically diverse without being disingenuous.
A panel of experts helped me determine a wine a week for the whole year of 2014.
A panel of craft beer experts helped me develop a list of nominees, then our readership was invited to vote on the results. This story received attention from Guyism, NBC Chicago, and Businessweek.
A look into the origin and literary relevance of the classic cocktail, and an inclusion of my own tried-and-true recipe. Because I am a narcissist, I determine it to be the best in the world.

Writing Samples - Health & Wellness

Pregnancy articles always seem to be about women aren't allowed to do. This piece focuses on delicious drinks that are beneficial for pregnant women. Does not include whiskey.
Juices, smoothies, and spices that can improve your skin's tone and repair damaged cells.
Do you like kale smoothies? Neither does anyone else. Here are some hacks to make them palatable. Let's hope these allegedly magical cruciferous vegetables are as good for you as everyone says.
Most of these drinks have enough sugar to put a Shetland pony in a diabetic coma.
I interviewed a DC-based GMO activist whose work leads her to protest through a variety of means--including the preservation of heirloom seeds.

Writing Samples - Start-Ups

Nonprofits and socially-minded businesses experience challenges that other startups don't face. How do you take risks and "fail forward fast" when real people's lives are on the line?