Natalie Filatoff

I'm a magazine editor set free (lance). I love working on a variety of writing and editing projects at once — juggling keeps me focused and excited.

My background is in arts, food, fashion and lifestyle publishing. Having had the good fortune to work in brand publishing for General Electric (GE) in recent years, I've found my true passion is for teasing out the engaging stories in science and technology. I now frequently write about renewable energy, mining, aviation, robotics, autonomous systems, medical research and the life sciences for a variety of publications, online and in print.

I've always had a passion for health writing — translating science into news people can use. I was founding editor of Prevention magazine in Australia, publishing a monthly magazine, website and related books, and have continue striving to inspire people with scientific ways to fulfil their health potential, lose weight and control diabetes.

Based in Australia, I'm a keen traveller, and like to combine my travel writing opportunities with face-to-face interviews for science or business-related stories — I love finding out what motivates people on their paths to discovery and creativity and I'll take any opportunity to hop on a flight or trek out to meet them. Travel also allows me to express my love of design, food, art and architecture. Life is rich!

my core skills

Science and technology writing

Health writing

Travel writing

Editing

Ghost writing

Q & A

Whats the best thing to happen to you in your career to date?

Working freelance in the age of Internet communications! We have so much at our fingertips. I can contact just about anyone for research, to interview them, and to verify facts. The opportunities for news gathering and keeping current in my areas of interest are ever inspiring.

What does a typical work week look like for you?:

I start my working week on Sunday evenings — to organise, diarise and flick a few pitches into the editor-sphere. Then my week tends to fluidly progress around interviews (mostly on the phone, with some face-to-face opportunities), occasional meetings with editors, blocks of writing time ... I like to combine long-term deadlines and large projects such as ghost writing or editing books with a steady flow of feature writing and the rush of posting daily social media for GE ANZ (I'm trying to organically grow the community ). A colleague and I also teach content marketers how to use storytelling, interviewing and different writing formats in their work — I love these opportunities to help people discover their writing talent.

Describe your working environment in a few sentences..

My desk faces the window of our home on the north shore of Sydney Harbour. Lorikeets shriek about in the Callistemon bush outside, the Frangipani tree blooms at me most of the year and a mature elegant Angophora waves its pink limbs all over my view of the water. I have tea on tap. My Airedale terrier makes me take a break now and then, or I can pull a few weeds out of the vegie garden if I need to clear my head for the next tranche of work. My car barely gets used because I can bus it or catch a ferry to just about everywhere ... including the airport.

What sets you apart from other freelancers in your industry?

I have long experience of the processes that go into creating polished, engaging publications; and I'm passionate about discovery — the things I can discover or interpret in a new way, and the discoveries of other people.

What are the tools of your trade?

My phone is indispensable: for contacting, recording, photographing, sometimes videoing; for posting on social media and for handling email correspondence on the go. I love my Olympus OM-D, light, versatile camera. Google Drive is my go to for storing documents and photos, sharing and collaborating on features, presentations and projects. A big-screen Apple Mac desktop computer lets me research on steroids — having multiple windows with multiple tabs open at once. My laptop lets me process photos and write on the run, in the Qantas lounge, in my hotel room, and in flight if I need to quickly transcribe an interview.

Do you collaborate with others? If yes, how does that works?

I share work with a colleague, which allows us both to be flexible, to maintain a high availability for our main clients, and to strike off in new directions (or travel) when we need to. We talk on the phone, text during the day and work together on some projects (such as organising two-week courses at the University of Technology for visiting Chinese media executives). I collaborate daily online (email, text, shared files) with editors, refining story ideas and copy. Working on multimedia projects for the Guardian in Australia, I travelled with a photographer/videographer, gathering integrated content. I have worked with data-visualisation teams to bring statistics to life.

Whats been the biggest freelancing lesson to date?

I've learned to set aside time in my week to meet with people or see something new (inspiration); to explore new publishing avenues (refresh the work pipeline); and to pitch ideas (keep the ball rolling).

stay in touch

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