I am not a multi-award winning author but I once had a dream where I was. I am blogger who writes silly poems, flash fiction and short stories. My blog www.greatthingsaboutcancer.com explores life with and beyond breast cancer. My articles have been published in The Independent on Sunday and Huffington Post. Not a lot, but they have. I am over 50, have just one tit and live alone. I do not own a cat.
In 2013 I curated the first borough-wide literature festival in Waltham Forest “Words over Waltham Forest”. The programme included over 100 events and projects featuring local community groups and artists as well as Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, best selling crime writer Martina Cole and poet John Hegley.
Read on for my full writer’s CV.
A diagnosis of breast cancer in 2014 provided a jump start to my writing career which had lately been overshadowed by my professional writing commitments as a Marketing Director in the legal sector. Unable to find anyone writing about issues surrounding a cancer diagnosis and treatment who – like me – felt pressurised and ignored by the plethora of positive cancer survivor stories, upbeat warrior-style survival narratives and remarkable post surgery body confidence pronouncements, I gave birth to my blog.
In greatthingsaboutcancer.com I aim to share my own story with humour and honesty. I am a regular contributor to The Huffington Post on body image after breast cancer and my articles and blogs have been featured in press articles including: The Mail online; The Sun online; and the Australian Women’s Weekly.
I have previously written for professional marketing journals, staff newsletters, press releases, advertising campaigns, websites and for The Independent on Sunday.
I am currently working on developing a podcast series to include humorous monologues inspired by my blog and interviews with other so-called cancer “warriors!…ahem!
Publications and Achievements
Huffington Post: regular contributor http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/penny-rutterford
Runner Up in The Times editorial competition “If I were Editor of Crème” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/fyi-q0qkbdkrmzc 2003
Press Coverage related to my Blog
Daily Mail online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3493772/Cancer-survivor-reveals-feels-date-mastectomy.html?amp& Londoner hopes blog will highlight unspoken issues cancer survivors face.
The Sun online: https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/1091536/i-fear-men-will-recoil-in-horror-at-my-body-cancer-survivor-lifts-the-lid-on-what-its-like-to-date-after-a-mastectomy/ A woman who battled breast cancer has opened up about the reality of dating post treatment, admitting she fears men will be horrified by her body. Penny Rutterford, 53, has detailed the way her cancer has impacted her life on a blog.
Australian Women’s Weekly: http://www.nowtolove.co.nz/health/body/how-it-feels-to-date-after-a-mastectomy-13677 “In her brutally honest blog, Penny reveals exactly what it’s like to meet someone new and try to tell them you’ve had a mastectomy (without totally screwing it up in the process.)
Breast Cancer Now: provided case study for focus on Inflammatory Breast Cancer and subsequently appeared in 2016 Christmas Mailing campaign: http://breastcancernow.org/news-and-blogs/blogs/inflammatory-breast-cancer-symposium-brings-new-focus-to-rare-disease?deep_link=penny%20rutterford
Breast Cancer Care Magazine “Vita”: interviewed for “Dating Feature” https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/bcc_vita_issue_29_autumn_2016_web.pdf
Women of Walthamstow Award, July 2017: Nominated for a local community award “Penny Rutterford is nominated for pinging back from serious illness to transform our thinking of cancer through writing and blogs”.
Other press coverage linked to my personal blog and articles for Huffington post have included a video campaign for Macmillan and Clothes Aid and a Macmillan Body Image case study for their support literature.
Relevant Education and Work Experience
Responsibilities have included:
- curating, producing and attracting sponsorship for a borough-wide literature festival “Words over Waltham Forest”
- writing and editing persuasive and engaging copy for all types of marketing collateral including advertising, websites, social media and newsletters
- devising and managing a coordinated social media communications programme
- writing press releases, devising planned media relations programmes including crisis planning, identifying story “hooks” for targeted media
- researching and contributing to fundraising applications including a successful Grants for the Arts application to fund a website and database
- curating and producing a poetry “trail” and anthology as part of an annual artist-led arts festival
- cultivating partnerships and brokering sponsorship deals with businesses to support a cross arts project.
Relevant Work Experience
Artillery Arts – project curator for Words over Waltham Forest, a borough-wide literary festival (May – November 2013)
Artillery Arts – publicity and fundraising for E17 Art Trail and commissioned as curator and project manager for Walthamstow Poetry Trail incl. editing the associated poetry anthology
Artillery Arts – commissioned as a writer and to negotiate partnerships with businesses to display artworks for a regeneration art project Make Yourself at Home in Edmonton
Communications Manager, Spread the Word (Jan 2009 – Dec 2011)
Relevant Education and Courses
Memoir Writing, 2017 week long retreat with tutor, Retreats for You
Sitcom Writing, 2015 day course Bishopsgate Institute
Short Story Writing, 2015 evening classes Bishopsgate Institute
Oral history interview training: Spread the Word for My Old China a Heritage Lottery Funded project; V&A Museum for Black Cultural Archives photography project; British Library for Ex-Warner Estates Project
Community Kit training for writers working in community settings – Spread the Word
Selected for National Association for Literature Development
(NALD) Second Steps Mentoring Programme, 2011
Fundraising for the Arts, Oct 2011 5 week evening course with Insight Education
University College of Swansea (1981 – 1984), BA Joint Hons, English and Drama, (II ii)
You can read my professional profile on LinkedIn HERE