From Snowdonia, North Wales, to South Carolina, Alison Hill has gained extensive experience in writing and producing.
Alison’s career began in college. She attended the University of Kent and the University of South Carolina. Alison received a bachelor’s degree in American studies with a major in history and a minor in politics and literature.
During college, Alison relocated to South Carolina and married her college sweetheart. However, she returned to Wales to pursue a career in journalism.
“I became a journalist to make a difference [and to] shine a light on injustice,” Alison says. “And that morphed into telling stories. Journalism is storytelling. Every piece of writing is a story.”
One of Alison’s most unique experiences at ITV was going undercover to do a story on an alleged cult in Wales.
Alison worked at PBS KBDI Channel 12 in Denver as an executive producer/host/writer in 2005. There, Alison was responsible for two live shows and one taped show weekly. She gained experience in technical directing and studio directing.
From her experience at PBS, Alison discovered her passion for producing and editing. She started a freelance producing company called Alison Hill Media (previously titled Seren Media) in 2005.
After leaving PBS, Alison had the opportunity to be the host and producer of a few shows, including “Dropframe” (previously aired on the Independent Film Channel), “Quantum Factor” and “Global Agenda.”
In 2012, Alison published a book called “Media Ready, Media Savvy.”
Alison’s writing career changed in 2013 when she became a freelance writer. In this role, she writes personal essays, features, book reviews and other work for various media, including op-ed pieces for Associated Content.
In 2018, Alison discovered she could pitch to magazines.
“It never occurred to me that I could write for magazines,” she says. “I thought that was for ‘real’ writers.”
One of Alison’s most intimate pieces was a personal essay she pitched to a magazine company.
“It’s a different experience when you’re writing a personal essay,” Alison says. “I wrote one about having a miscarriage. It was in Ms. Magazine. Those kinds of pieces flow out of you. You feel like you have to write them. It helps you, and it could help someone else.”
Currently, Alison has a column she writes for Writer’s Digest. She had one of her articles published in the Writer’s Digest magazine and another in the “Writer’s Market 100th Edition” book, two of Alison’s proudest accomplishments as a freelance writer.
A few things Alison enjoys as a freelance writer are brainstorming new story ideas and receiving positive feedback from readers.
“When somebody writes back to you and says they noticed what you wrote is a beautiful thing,” Alison says. “It just makes you feel whole.”
As she explains in this article, pitching is the most difficult part of being a freelance writer for Alison.
“That’s the most odious task, and I still hate it,” she says. “I don’t like to pitch; I just want to write. That’s why I joined Medium.”
Another struggle Alison has dealt with is imposter syndrome, which she slowly overcame as she kept putting herself out there by pitching to different mediums and giving talks about writing for her local writing group.
Getting an editor to accept a pitch and publish a story can be difficult, too. To overcome this issue, Alison suggests, “Get a good writer friend who’s been in the industry longer than you that knows the ropes.”
She also recommends joining a local or online writing group and finding a mentor within the group. From her local group, Alison received pitching and writing tips and editors’ contact information, which improved her chances of having stories published through networking and attending conferences and seminars.
Alison finds inspiration from the achievements of other writers in her local writing group, Triangle Association of Freelancers.
As a freelancer and producer with several jobs and projects under her belt, Alison cannot keep up with everything she has accomplished.
“I’m all over the place,” Alison says. “When people ask me what I do [for a living], I say, ‘Let me think… How long do you have?'”
Along with all her freelance work and production, Alison is a stay-at-home mom. Unlike most women, she chose to wait until her early forties to have children.
“I had my daughter later in life, and I keep saying I should’ve had more,” Alison says. “I love being a mom. It’s my favorite job.”
Alison put her production work on hold to stay home and focus on raising her daughter.
One of Alison’s future goals is to get back into freelance production and make more documentaries with her husband.
“My role as a mother is just as important to me as my career,” Alison says.