My name is Helen Nugent and I am a freelance journalist, copywriter, proofreader, content provider, PR consultant, social media expert and media trainer based in Manchester. My experience takes in a wide range of disciplines and subjects including news reporting, features writing, arts coverage, business journalism, corporate writing, SEO, lecturing and consultancy.
I have 20 years of experience writing news and features for the UK’s national newspapers, as well as editing and subbing. You will see my work in a wide variety of publications, both in print and online. Many of my articles have appeared in, among others, The Times, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday and the i but I also write for a number of other outlets including The Big Issue in the North, the Yorkshire Post and the British Theatre Guide. Five years ago, I founded a culture and enterprise online magazine about the North of England, Northern Soul. I am also a freelancer presenter and producer and have worked for BBC 5 live, BBC local radio and Sky News. Most recently, I spent 18 months as Money Editor of The Spectator.
I have been working as a journalist since 1998. Previous employers include Financial Times Business and Emap magazines. I spent ten years at The Times in London in a variety of roles including news reporter, politics correspondent based at The House of Commons, assistant news editor, transport correspondent, business writer, personal finance correspondent and night news editor. As a journalist at The Times, I covered everything from General Elections and local councils to company reports and murder trials.
During 14 years in London, I freelanced for The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, the Financial Times and The Independent on Sunday. I also wrote for specialist trade and consumer titles including Bloomberg Money as well as undertaking corporate contracts.
Since returning to the North West to pursue a freelance career, I have worked for BBC Radio as a producer and presenter at MediaCityUK, covered for the Northern Correspondent of The Guardian, freelanced for The Observer and The Mail on Sunday, written for The Times Northern business supplement, edited and written the Yorkshire Post‘s business magazine Yorkshire Vision, sub-edited for the Creative Tourist website and been a regular contributor to MCR magazine. I was a contributor to The Guardian‘s Northerner blog. At present, I freelance for the arts and news pages of The Big Issue in the North. A significant amount of my work is now in the digital and social media arena.
Since launching Northern Soul in 2013, the website has gone from strength to strength. As editor, I am in charge of a team of around 60 journalists, multimedia specialists, photographers and bloggers. Northern Soul is a top-ranked Google page and read all over the world.
I run media training and undertake consultancy work and I deliver copywriting, proofreading and editing services. Previous clients include the Royal Mail, the National Theatre, a Pakistani NGO, an American PR firm, a North West hospice, a financial PR agency based in the City of London and a number of global healthcare and insurance companies. At the moment, I am employed as a PR consultant and copywriter to a London-based public relations and communications consultancy. I also help a number of clients with their social media presence and promotion.
As a confident, clear and engaging public speaker with extensive on-air radio and television experience (including Sky News, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC 6 Music, BBC Worldwide, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside, talkRadio, What’s TV) and a number of past engagements as a chairperson and keynote speaker, I am available to chair forums and debates and chair seminars and workshops. Previous engagements include chairing the 24:7 theatre conference, chairing events for Manchester’s CityCo and being a panellist at the Manchester Literature Festival. I have also chaired a number of events at HOME, Manchester’s multi-million pound arts complex, including live-streamed Google Hangouts.
In addition, I run blogging workshops and I mentor aspiring journalists via my Northern Soul website and through the alumni scheme at Newcastle University. I am a judge in the annual Headline Money Awards for financial journalists. I was also a visiting lecturer at Westminster University in the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication and at City University.
Most recently, I have set up Northern Soul Events. Last year my team and I hosted the inaugural Northern Soul Awards at Manchester Hilton. This year’s awards will be held at Manchester Cathedral. We are also launching The Proper Northern Food & Drink Festival in September 2018. In addition, I am hosting a number of events at the 2018 Rochdale Literature Festival.
During my career I have won a number of awards including Journalist of the Year, Trade Journalist of the Year, Best Newcomer to Health Related Financial Journalism, and Best New Pensions Writer. In 2017, I was shortlisted for Person with Purpose in the Northern Power Women Awards.