Friends (1)

Elisa Drake

Freelance Writer, Editor, & More

Location:Chicago, Illinois, United States
11 Skills
18 years of writing and editing for magazines, newspapers, marketing materials, books, social media, newsletters, and blogs

- Author, “Insiders’ Guide to Chicago,” Globe Pequot Press, 1st edition; January, 2012
- Author, “Day Trips from Chicago,” Globe Pequot Press, 1st edition; June, 2011
- Broad content expertise includes property management business and law; events and destinations; health and fitness; parenting tips; food, arts and culture; women’s issues; lifestyle; and celebrity profiles
- Substantively edit websites, guide books, magazine articles, and custom publications
- Write regularly for magazines, websites, books and trade publications in a range of article formats, including reviews, full-length features, product descriptions, FOB content, how-to pieces, and marketing collateral
- Key credits include Globe Pequot Press, Chicagoland Cooperator, TimeOut Chicago Kids,,,,, Chicago Tribune, SELF, “TimeOut Chicago” and “TimeOut Los Angeles” (books), Dorling Kindersley
- Diverse freelance highlights include:
o Chosen as exclusive writer for TimeOut Chicago Kids magazine’s pullout city guide.
o Led Where Chicago magazine’s social media campaign.
o Researched and wrote original content for the first edition of Eyewitness Top 10 Chicago, an award-winning travel guide series from Dorling Kindersley.
o Visited and reviewed more than 70 hotels for a major expansion of’s coverage of accommodations in the Chicago area.
o Revamped the annual report for an international financial institution.
o Was a profiled contributor to the breast cancer awareness issue of SELF magazine.
o Served as Managing Editor of the Illinois Travel Guide: supervised eight writers and editors, developed editorial budget, created and kept production schedule, collaborated with designers, and contributed original features.
o Wrote 16 in-depth 3,000- to 4,000-word articles for a leading recreation facilities trade publication.

Morris Visitor Publications (Augusta, GA) | Associate Editor | 2005-2010
- Researched and wrote monthly features, departments and thousands of event listings for the Chicago edition of a global series of tourism publications.
- Generated ideas and contributed extensive content for multiple Chicago and Milwaukee publications: monthly magazine (Where Chicago); two annual, high-end hardcover books (Where GuestBook); an annual pocket publication (Where QuickGuide); and annual map (Where Map).
- Interviewed and profiled celebrities such as Peter Max, Jane Kaczmarek, William Petersen, James Denton, Julia Sweeney, Nelsan Ellis, Henry Winkler and Audrey Niffenegger.
- Overhauled and updated all Chicago neighborhood overviews for the Where QuickGuide, garnering positive feedback from local hotel distributors.
- Managed and wrote copy for Where Chicago’s social media presence, with special emphasis on Facebook and Twitter, building to nearly 1,000 followers within several months.

Mobil Travel Guide (Park Ridge, IL) | Contract Editor | 2004-2005
- Researched, wrote and edited copy for a major travel guide publisher.
- Managed seven freelance writers, editors and fact-checkers.
- Contributed to first-ever Mobil Travel Guide, NASCAR Travel Planner, including editing, securing photos and making online updates. (Chicago, IL) | Editorial Producer & Copy Editor | 2000-2002
- Produced copy for three daily website pages (Shopping, Attractions, and Hotel and Visitors Guide) for a leading online travel and events guide.
- Spearheaded event coverage that was instrumental to a successful partnership with the City of Chicago.
- Contributed to selection of Best of Citysearch 2000 and 2001 nominees and winners.
- Copy edited all published material for eight Citysearch websites; established a network-wide style guide.

Big Picture Media (Chicago, IL) | Founding Partner | 1995-2000
- Co-founded a successful media services company: secured clients; wrote and edited copy for national trade and consumer print and online publications; refreshed copy for financial services annual report; created marketing material for Lynn Sage Foundation.
- Launched three client magazines: built circulation; hired freelancers; wrote features, departments and front-of-book articles; collaborated with designers; sold advertising; edited copy.

Modern Dad (Chicago, IL) | Founder/Editor-in-Chief| 1995-1998
- Developed a parenting magazine for fathers, building the operation from scratch, including media kit, ad sales, collateral materials and copy; solicited articles and managed freelancers.
- Published six issues and achieved a 30% newsstand sell-through rate and more than 3,000 paid subscriptions.

Camp Management (Chicago, IL) | Writer/Editor/Circulation| 1994-1995
- Created a trade magazine from concept to prototype, as part of a collaboration with Northwestern University graduate journalism students.
- Successfully sold magazine to publisher and was invited to join the three-person launch team.

Northwestern University – Medill School of Journalism (Evanston, IL) | MS in Journalism | 1994
Brandeis University (Waltham, MA) | BS in American Studies, magna *** laude | 1991

Mac and PC proficient; MS Office; InCopy; QuarkXPress; AP and Chicago style expertise; social media tools

American Society of Journalists and Authors, member since 2006
Neighborhood Parents Network of Chicago, board member since 2010