Freelance Writer – Leslie J. Thompson

Seasoned Writer and Editor with a background in Journalism, Marketing Communications and Ghostwriting

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Entries from February 2015

The Art of Asking Questions

February 19th, 2015 ·

Earlier today, I received a phone call from an entrepreneur who has invented a new product. She wanted to know whether I had any experience writing scripts for direct response commercials. You know, the kind of “As Seen On TV” spots that air in the wee hours of the night? I told her that I have written dozens of scripts, from news stories to educational segments, but had not specifically done a direct response ad. Then she asked whether I thought it was something I could handle. With complete confidence, I told her, “Yes.”

How could I be so certain, when I didn’t have specific expertise in that industry? The answer is that I have made a career out of being a generalist. Although as a freelance writer I have considerable experience in certain sectors, such as financial services and education, my primary talent is asking questions. Ask the right questions, and you’ll get the answers you’re looking for–the answers you want to give your readers and viewers.

Whether I am writing a video script, white paper, blog article, or press release for you, I focus on collecting the needed information from the best sources. Sometimes that means interviewing experts by phone or in person, while other times I am doing background research online or culling through a competitor’s marketing collateral. Once I am done gathering intelligence, my job is to rephrase and reframe it in the format, voice and tone that you have requested for your intended audience. For me, the key is not the subject matter itself, but asking the right questions. As a result, I have created content for industries ranging from insurance and financial services to food manufacturing, benefits administration, travel and tourism, data network security, industrial cooling systems, nonprofit charities, and senior living centers. These writing samples from the past year illustrate the diverse nature of the projects I take on:

D.R. Saur Financial corporate brochure

SQL Injection Attacks Put Businesses at Risk for Data Breaches
(blog article for cybersecurity firm)

PacMoore website copy (food manufacturing)

5 Tips for Buying an Independent Insurance Agency
(blog article for business broker)

Destination Discovery promotion flyers (sent to IHG partner travel agents)

I credit the excellent instructors in the graduate journalism program at NYU for teaching me the art of asking questions, and am grateful that I’ve been able to use this skill throughout my career as a writer. If you need help with a writing project of any kind, please give me a call at [two one four] 704-6661. I’ll ask you a lot of questions–about your audience, the voice and tone of the piece, and whether you need a strong call to action–and then I will gladly get busy helping you get your message out.

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Tags: Freelance Writing

Food & Travel Articles

February 17th, 2015 ·

Some travel writers get to explore far-off lands. I’ve done that, too, although my work often is more pragmatic. For example, I recently wrote all of the copy for the in-room guest services directory for a boutique hotel in Colorado, as well as a series of online promotions targeted at travel agents.

On the fun side, I’ve written my share of shorter food and travel-related articles, samples of which you can see below. (Some are under my maiden name, Leslie Rosenberg.) The picture to the left is from a trip to Campeche, Mexico, which I wrote about here. I also did a really snazzy piece on Montreal a few years back, but it ran in a newspaper, and I can’t figure out how to scan the sucker down to a readable size. Hopefully, these other tasty tidbits will still whet your appetite.

If you have any questions or would like to get a quote on a project, please email me at

Plan a Family Getaway to Campeche
Inside the North Texas Fair & Rodeo
(cover story Denton County magazine)
Creating Community in Old Town Lewisville
The Wildhorse Grill, Bar & Lounge
Review of Mary’s Fish Camp, NYC
Review of Spread restaurant, NYC
ATOMIC Magazine: Venus Lounge (Las Vegas) & Kent Motel (Miami)
Review of Nana restaurant, Dallas

Note: You will need Acrobat Reader to view the PDF files: 

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Tags: Food & Travel articles

Financial Writing

February 17th, 2015 ·

I have been writing for the financial services industry for more than 15 years, both as a marketing writer and a journalist. I have ghostwritten three books related to financial planning and entrepreneurism and for many years was a regular contributor to and, two of the top online resource centers for financial services professionals. As a journalist, I have written about the world of financial services for Registered Rep, TICKER, and (now Reuters), among other media outlets. As a copywriter, I have written newsletters and white papers for numerous CFAs and investment advisory firms.

Here is a brochure I recently created for D.R. Saur, a local financial advisory firm.

Here is a blog article I wrote targeting insurance agency owners who want to sell their business.

Here is a magazine article about the direct selling industry for Success from Home.

Here is a white paper on outsourcing employee benefits administration.

And here is a website bio for a financial advisor in Montana.

A few of my recent (and less recent) financial articles are posted below. (Some are under my maiden name, Leslie Rosenberg.) I can send newsletter samples upon request.

Need a project quote? Please email me at

Financial Articles – Coaching Insights from an Award-Winning Manager – Secrets to a Successful Support Staff – 10 Time-Saving Strategies for Branch Managers – Serving the Middle Market – Hiring the Perfect Advisor to Complement Your Staff – 5 Best Practices to Increase Client Referrals

Registered Rep – Remember My Values, Not Just My Wealth – The Big Squeeze

Note: You will need Acrobat Reader to view the PDF files:

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Tags: Financial articles