James Alston

Freelance Writer

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About me

 

I am a first-class History graduate from Cardiff University with a breadth of writing experience which includes the acclaimed political blog Left Foot Forward as well as Cardiff University's award-winning student newspaper Gair Rhydd. I have had short stories and non-fiction pieces published in both American and British literary journals. Am interested in politics, history, art, culture and music. My personal interests are reading, writing, sports, fitness, and music.

Skills

 

  • Writing
  • Ability to Communicate Well Both Orally and with Writing
  • Academic Writing
  • Creative
  • Music
  • Cultural History
  • History

Work history

Currently

Event Coordinator

Marks and Spencer

Sep 2016
  • Surrey, UK
  • Full Time
  • Within one month of working as a customer assistant at Marks and Spencer I was promoted to a section coordinator role due to my personable nature and hardworking attitude. This means I know coordinate the whole of the events team, making sure rosters are organised in an efficient and timely manner and making sure my team knows where it is meant to be across the store and what it is meant to be doing. I also deal with any problems my team may have, including customer complaints, and escalate them to my line manager when necessary. I work with my manager to deal with holiday requests and bank holiday hours and make sure everyone works fair but adequate hours on a weekly basis. I keep in touch with my team on the shop floor every day and work with them to ensure customers are getting the best experience possible from Marks and Spencer and from my particular team. Being on the events team, I ensure that my team and I are kept fully up to date with any new promotions, events or offers on the shop floor, and that we are prepared to deal with any eventualities surrounding aforementioned events. I make sure that my team and I are clued up on new products which come into the shop, seeing as the store gets new season items in every four-six weeks. I also make sure the events team board is kept up to date with relevant information about who is in each day, what we are doing and where we are located so that we are available to help the rest of the store if needed.

2016

Editorial Assistant

Biteback Publishing

Jul 2016 - Jul 2016
  • London, UK
  • Internship
  • Worked as an editorial intern for two weeks at the prestigious political publishing house Biteback Publishing. Gained invaluable experience with regards to the whole manuscript editing process, from start to finish. Worked with authors in order to bring their projects to life, as well as reading first drafts of prospective authors' work. Wrote cover copy for various titles, learned manuscript editing language and symbols and worked to format books towards the end of the editing process.

Education

2016

History BA

Cardiff University

Sep 2013 - Jun 2016
  • Cardiff, UK
  • Received a First in History from Cardiff University. The degree was fundamental in shaping my writing and research skills, which had to be at an extremely high standard in order to achieve the top grade. History has attributed to countless skills: writing, researching, reading efficiently, time management, organisation, working both as a team to complete projects and presentations and as an individual to research and write, writing both short and lengthy pieces (from 1,000 to 10,000 words), making sure my answers are concise but that my explanation is coherent. My time at university was not just studying, of course; I was a member of many societies, including the sub aqua society, with which I stayed for a year, gaining my Ocean Diver qualification after diving in frankly freezing waters in Chepstow and Pembrokeshire. I also played football for the duration of my time at university, as well as writing for both the university lifestyle magazine and the university's award-winning newspaper Gair Rhydd. I also had a short story published in the university's literary journal Ty Celf.

Awards

2012

Diana Award

Surrey County Council

  • Awarded for outstanding participation in the Surrey Heath Youth Council. Myself and several of my friends petition for a skate park to built in Surrey in place of the out of date and disused children's park. We succeeded after I spoke at the Surrey Heath Council as their youngest ever speaker and received a standing ovation for my speech (taking nothing away from my peers who helped with the whole process).