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Sylvia Dickens

Writer, Photographer and Publications Specialist

Typist and Transcriber



You can be sure your project will receive the conscientious focus it deserves. Your deadlines will be met and your final product will be of excellent quality.

My extensive career experience guarantees that the learning curve to bring your project to completion will be quick and efficient.

An award-winning journalist, I have mastered the ability to research subjects on a wide variety of themes, whether it's internet marketing, health issues, dog care, travel or other topics.

Skills and Expertise





eBook and eReport creation and delivery

Typing and Transcribing

Typing and Transcribing (click to learn more)

For 20 years, I was executive secretary to management, providing typing and transcribing for the president and two vice presidents, as well as sales and engineering managers and staff. During this period, I received accolades for my speed and accuracy.

Writing Samples | Photography Samples

Experience and Qualifications


After gaining my honors diploma in Journalism and earning two writing awards in the process, I launched my career as an editorial assistant on two trade magazines. Shortly thereafter, I turned freelance and contributed trade articles to gifts and style industry magazines.


Later, I took the job of Manager of Community Education for the Canadian Mental Health Association. In this role, I conducted in depth research on mental health issues. This information was used for in-house publications, educational literature, and for a regular weekly column that ran in four major newspapers in our area.


I also researched and wrote A Guide To Teenage Depression And Suicide that was sold to various agencies in the mental health field.


My career as freelance, staff writer and editor spanned 20 years, during which time I further developed my range of knowledge and expertise, and earned another journalism award for excellence in 1992.


As a result of the expertise I gained from all my experience, I can now help clients with all aspects of their publications, from researching and writing to proofreading and editing, as well as publication development.


Among my clients are the local Chamber of Commerce, IBM, Toronto Star Newspaper, several community newspapers, the Canadian Mental Health Association, an exporter, the duty free shop, and numerous small tourist businesses and agencies.


Projects have included:

  • Edit and coordinate a promotional publication for our local agricultural society

  • Research and publish four booklets on various self help and do-it-yourself topics

  • Develop and produce a local tourist guide to promote the area and its tourism businesses

  • Edit all sections of three community newspapers

  • Research and write content for all of the above

  • Write business and product features for trade and consumer publications

  • Create keyword-rich articles for the internet

In all cases, it was essential to delivery quality work on time and on budget, and to overcome obstacles quickly and efficiently if and when they occurred. This meant being resourceful and knowledgeable about available options.






I have earned several distinguished awards during my journalism career:

1992 - Heritage Award, Ontario Community Newspapers Assoc.

1984 - Lakeshore Advertiser Award

1983 - Carling O’Keefe Award



Journalism Honors Diploma 1984

Humber College, Toronto

While acquiring my Journalism Diploma, I won two writing awards for excellence.

Since then, I have completed several business programs:

1989 - Business Administration and Marketing - Women's Business Development Centre

2000 - Business Promotion and Marketing - Community Business Access Centre


Freelance & Contract

Since 1986, I have worked on various projects as a Freelance Journalist and Desktop Publisher. In most cases, I was the project manager hired to take the job from concept to print.

My responsibilities included everything from concept to delivery, including:

project budgeting, advertising sales and design, specialty publication design, brochure design, writing, photography, printer liaison, print-ready artwork.

I have produced content (including writing and product photography) for booklets, brochures, newsletters, annual reports and flyers for business clients. In some cases, this material was also used on business web sites. I have also produced private label rights materials for online business operators.


As an author and publisher, I have launched several projects.

2009 - Healthy Dog Nutrition Secrets

A virtual bible on dog nutrition and dog care, includes training, first aid, diseases and much more.


2001 - "How to Evaluate and Buy a Used Car" (E-Book)

Complete with illustrations, this guide gives advice on how to examine a used vehicle, what to look for and where, and how to save expensive repairs later. Includes safety and mechanical check lists. Designed for the layperson. 


1994 - LeedScene Magazine - Publisher

Created, designed, edited and published a quarterly magazine promoting businesses and tourism in Leeds County. The project involved hiring freelance writers, sell advertising and undertake all design/production efforts.


1988 - Arts York Region - Publisher

An arts newsletter to promote local artists and provide tips and advice on operating and marketing their businesses. I worked with contributors on ideas, themes and submissions based on the industry needs.


1986 - "Guide to Teenage Depression and Suicide" (booklet) - Author/Publisher

Researched and wrote this guide to help parents and others to identify the signs of depression and the potential for suicide. Advice included how to respond to a person at risk to commit suicide. (Revised 2008 and available online as an eBook.) Currently Out of Print


More career references

Full Time           

Here is an outline of my full-time experience.

1999-2000 - Managing Editor, The Tower newspaper, CFB Kingston, Ontario

All responsibilities of an editor: editing, writing, photography, design considerations, budgeting, printer liaison and all aspects of production. Designed and typeset ads.


1997-1999 - Community Newspaper Editor / Advertising Sales & Design

Neighbour to Neighbour Newspaper, Kingston, Ontario

All duties of the editor/publisher. Advertising sales, reporting, writing, photography, layout, design, and directing a team of reporters.


1990-1994 - Senior Reporter/Acting Editor, The Reporter, Gananoque, Ontario

Provided general reporting, photography and layout. As acting editor, I performed all related duties while overseeing a junior reporter.

1989-1990 - News Editor, Athens Laker, Athens, Ontario

Covered all local news stories and council meetings, wrote business and general interest features, and photography.

1986-1989 - Manager of Community Education, Canadian Mental Health Association

In my role as manager of community education, I made community presentations, coordinated an effective media campaign, worked with various related committees, undertook program design and delivery, publication design, writing, photography, and assisted with the development of a TV panel show and video series. 

1971 - 1981 - Executive Secretary, APV-Canada Equipment Ltd., Weston, Ontario.

In this role, I transcribed dicta-tapes of quotes, letters and contracts, and typed financial statements as needed. I also operated fax, telecopier and switchboard. Nearing the end of my term, I became involved in data entry when computers were introduced to the company.

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