2Write for writing and editing
Pip Desmond and Pat Martin are two experienced, versatile writers with a passion for telling the stories of people, organisations and communities. We’ve been writing, editing and designing for over 35 years, including two years sharing our skills as volunteers in Timor-Leste from 2013 to 2015.
Our strength is our ability to turn complex ideas into clear, simple language and present them in an engaging, effective way. Together we have worked in the public, private, not-for-profit and development sectors. Whether it’s producing your publication, editing a university text, writing a speech, recording your family history, designing your website or running a writing workshop, we bring life to words.
I work part-time for Volunteer Service Abroad after two years as a volunteer communications advisor in Timor-Leste. In New Zealand I’ve been communications advisor for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, a political advisor for the Labour Government and publications manager for the Department of Building and Housing.
Along the way there have been websites and newsletters, union publications, book editing and book writing. I also have a post-graduate diploma in journalism and first class honours in Sociology and History.
Who I work for matters to me. Vast sums are spent on marketing but we don’t often hear from the people who hold our communities together. It’s satisfying when good communication shines a light on their work.
I love writing stories about real people, especially those whose voices are often silent. My new memoir, Song for Rosaleen, puts the spotlight on my own family. The book is both a celebration of my mother Rosaleen’s life and an intimate account of how our family coped when Mum got dementia.
My two other published books – the award-winning Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs and The War That Never Ended: New Zealand Veterans Remember Korea – also tell the stories of ordinary New Zealanders facing extraordinary circumstances
I’ve been a ministerial press secretary and political advisor, as well as editor of the flagship not-for-profit publication, Dialogue. I have post-graduate diploma papers in journalism, an MA in Creative Writing and a BA in History.
A two-year volunteer stint in Timor Leste gave me the unique opportunity to teach creative writing and write a creative writing guide in the local language, Tetun. On our return to New Zealand, I helped record the experiences of staff at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority before the agency wound up.
I love editing almost as much as writing. Plain language and apostrophes are in. Jargon’s out. My red pen is my sword.