People working together

My Story

Hi, my name is Sophie and my interest in journalism started at school, getting articles published in school magazines. My first work experience after my O’level exams (last year before GCSEs) was at the West Sussex County Times in 1986. I learned not to spend time or energy doing more than asked and I wrote up all the weddings and then rewrote them in the house style, using words like ‘officiated’ each time. Before my art degree, I seemed to be successful in getting jobs I wanted and the work published in the WS County Times led to a paid job offer on GQ Magazine. Unfortunately this clashed with the traditional trajectory for a young lady and I was sent to cookery school.

While at art college, a group of us set up a magazine (Artholes) and I wrote the text, alongside contributions from photography (Christel and Paula), graphics (Nicole), cartoons (Rizal), artwork (Hernando and Guillermo) and more.

I started generating press publicity in the mid-1990s for the Raj Teamrooms in Highgate Village (Darcy, the boss, said the best publicists did the journalists’ work for them). I publicised live entertainment at the Raj Tearooms, then worked at Lynne Franks PR publicising music events and learning about live music listings. I worked for a local newspaper, the Muswell Record and wrote a regular music column, interviewing local artists and live music venues in Camden.

This got me onto a Postgraduate course in Periodical Journalism at the London College of Communication, after which I worked at the Camden New Journal, writing about health, history and features about interesting roads in the Borough of Camden (Brecknock Road, West End Lane). I put my head above the parapet and was criticised by Cancer Research for interviewing an homeopathic doctor, who reported how she had helped people.

Samples from Camden New Journal

The Camden New Journal sent me out to write theatre reviews on the London Fringe, which I loved. Next, I started work in a trade magazine publishing company for the insurance, finance, health, IT and charity sectors as editorial assistant. Over the 5 years there, I sourced pictures and created an image library, designed the magazine pages and prepared for printing, collaborated with communications agencies and company spokespeople to create impartial, reader-interest stories, rising up to interviewing people and writing features.

Theatre reviews

In the midst of this period I started writing regular theatre reviews for the London Newspaper group and getting features commissioned on subjects that interested me. After leaving the publishing company in 2003 as Associate Editor, I worked for Deafblind UK for two years and created teams to organise inclusive events, which I publicised, such as An Evening of Live Radio for an Audience of Blind People, which included Deafblind performers to raise funds and awareness for Action for Blind People. The event drew interest from Channel 4 and Peter White on Radio 2. The London Fringe plays I reviewed from 1998-2000 can be seen here on my Scribd page.

During the 2000s, I joined and formed teams to organise and publicize: Weekly live music nights at 333 Old Street, The Verge in Kentish Town and Infinity in Picadilly. The last night of Square Peg Promotions at Infinity ended at 11pm, when Carl Barât took over the venue, soon after the Libertines played their last gig at the same venue. I continued to work on being part of a team, after experiencing the committees for the Muswell Hill and Crouch End street festivals, when I booked the bands to play from events 1997-2000. The weekly live music nights in 2004 were the first to use an MC to warm up the audience and introduce bands. I left Square Peg Promotions to Malcolm Griffiths and moved into comedy promotion.

In 2005, I started working for a company, which published magazines about graduate careers for under-represented groups. I was given the opportunity to raise enough ad revenue and gather editorial for issues of The Arberry Profile, a careers magazine for graduates with disabilities.

My first comedy night was The Best Medicine Comedy Club at the Defector’s Weld pub in Shepherd’s Bush in 2007 alongside Carwyn Jones, which featured rising comedians including Nathan Caton. I had acts featured in Metro newspaper’s pick of the week. Following this, I ran 4 paid-act nights at the Camden Head in Camden (now the Camden Comedy Club) called A Night Called Valerie (inpsired by A. Winehouse), a shortlived monthly night at the Music Palace in Crouch End, which featured Joe Wilkinson (After Life) and brilliant topical comedian Stephen Carlin. Inky Jones asked me to book acts for a tourist night on Fridays at the Thistle Hotel in Leicester Square, featuring emerging acts including Josephine Lacey and to do improv on a Sunday night.

Metro pick of the week – Best Medicine Comedy Club metions

The culmination of these experiences as well as two years of training in teamwork led me to gather a team of 4 (myself, Nigel Rushby, Rufus Penzance, Howard Long and Andrew ‘Bagel’ Rogers) to launch a weekly comedy night at the Torriano, now the Rose and Crown in Kentish Town. This started as the Freedom of the Fringe and became the Freedom Fridge, which still runs and survived the pandemic, outliving the other comedy nights at this venue. Talking of which, Sarma Woolf started the Tuesday night TNT joined forces for an Edinburgh gang show in 2010, where I deployed my experience from a 9-day show in 2009. In 2010, our team organised two shows a day for the whole run of the festival at Espionage and The Punch and Judy.

From 2007 to 2011, I wrote features for the Hearing Times, which included meeting and interviewing Deaf actors, artists, choreographers and advocates and I also wrote about hearing aids.

This brings me up to the last decade when I moved to Cornwall to do an MA in Professional Writing. For the industrial placement, I generated press for the Fish Factory, which is documented on the website to showcase my work. My desire to work for a music company was answered when Dale Olivier recruited me to publicise his artists, who included Keenan Cahill, a viral YouTube lip-sych sensation, and Titch Harris from Napalm Death – quite a contrast. Then I found work for Aardvark Records, based in Penryn and had a chance to satisfy my lifelong ambition to scout for musical talent. I started a musical jam night in Toast and generated publicity for Graham Wilkes, Cornwall’s hilarious and generous comedy promoter and comedian.

Examples of by-lined articles and press publicity for events, venues, people and places can be seen on my Recent Portfolio page.

I enjoy looking at things from different angles and creating strategies to implement marketing, events, publicity and websites. I’m also interested in apps, but am focusing on the content, not the mechanics as I am not a coder. Am currently networking to find a collaborator on this.

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss raising your profile and collaborating on digital and press content to tell your story.

Sophie’s Services

Press Publicity

Bespoke Websites

Events + publicity

Delivering Your Message

Promotion Strategy

UX Consultancy


Previous communications experience

Sweet Sound PR
(2012 – 2020)
Alongside working for a music PR company, I provided press publicity for an art gallery and studio space, DJ, comedy promoters, venues, theatre, local musicians and events. I also wrote trade press expert pieces collaboratively with customers and assisted e-commerce websites with intuitive navigation routemaps for new customers to convert advertising prospects into loyal customers.

Aardvark Records
(2016 – 2019)
As well as promoting new and existing artists signed to this record company digitally and in the local press, I scouted for new talent and organised events to launch their recording releases.

Discover Music Digital Global
(2013 – 2016)
I joined a music PR company with a large roster of clients releasing new music, who ranged from novelty Internet sensations, new artists to familiar names to write attention grabbing news stories and find ways to engage entertainment and music print and radio press to increase their audience and raising clients’ profiles.

Art degree, journalism postgrad, writing MA and Entrepreneurship MSc, lived in Falmouth and Crouch End, loves outdoors, swimming, conversation and creating innovative fun solutions

Sophie Sweatman inside in December 2021
Sophie Sweatman – Photo: 16 Dec 2021