Anna Saunders

Poet/ Writer /Festival director/ Tutor/ Editor /Communications Specialist/Press & PR

  • A highly creative graduate, who has experience in media work and developing and implementing communications strategies for a range of organisations and individuals, from a major British energy supplier to a local arts centre. Proven skills as a freelance writer for national and local press.
  • The founder and CEO of a successful poetry festival (Cheltenham Poetry Festival).
  • Experience in busy press offices and dealing with media, managing press campaigns.
  • Has combined press, marketing skills and project management in managing several direct mail projects from concept to print as well as leading marketing campaigns for several organisations.
  • Writing and editing skills – can produce concise copy to deadline and has worked as Features Editor for two publications. Has edited several collections of poetry. Extensive experience as creative writing tutor and mentor.
  • A ‘poet of quite remarkable gifts’, (Bernard O’Donoghue). Author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), and Struck, (Pindrop Press).

Educational Qualifications

BA Hons English (2:1) & Masters In Creative and Critical Writing ( Distinction)

Director of Cheltenham Poetry Festival (2010 – On Going)

  • Responsible for launching and developing a successful, and rapidly expanding, poetry festival which offers readings from internationally acclaimed artists, music, film, spoken word, opera. The Festival also has a thriving outreach programme which offers art activities to vulnerable members of society.
  • Responsible for the festival’s strategic, artistic, organisational and financial management and for planning, programming and delivering the festival.
  • Devised and implemented a Communications Strategy which resulted in regular coverage in a wide range of media including the Guardian, The Independent, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, The Gloucestershire Echo.
  • Developed and sustained relationships with key stakeholders including funding bodies, artists, audiences and partner organisers.

Creative writing tutor / editor ( 1998 – on going)

  • Has worked both in groups and in a one-to-one environment to assist writers in developing their work.
  • Worked with poets on their manuscripts and has edited three collections of poetry. (Details available on request).

Public Relations Executive, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum (October 2007 – 2009)

  • Devised and implemented public relations strategy for the proposed redevelopment at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum.
  • Initiated and designed a stakeholders’ newsletter.
  • Wrote features for the newsletter and media releases for local and national press.

Communications Officer, British Energy (March 2005-April 2007)

  • Devised and implemented communications strategy for the Programme Management Office of the Information Management department.
  • Initiated the promotion of the department’s information management solutions through flash media, brochures and leaflets to staff and customers.
  • Drafted, edited and published the department’s internal newsletter in order to ensure better internal comms – staff reported that they felt more fully informed and more aware of the department’s work.
  • Initiated the drafting of user guides for upgraded technology used by staff.

Consultancy work

2004-6 Produced features and reviews on a regular freelance basis for a number of different publications including The Gloucestershire Echo, Food and Drink Guide and Worcestershire Now. Anna’s assignments included reviews of plays and a gardening column for Oracle magazine.

Public relations and press work for local artists including PJ Crook, whose work is now internationally known, Adam White, and The Cheltenham Group of Artists.

August 2005 – March 2006 Managing design and production of direct mail for Nelson Thornes (educational publisher, Cheltenham)

Features editor for specialist health and safety journal, Safety Specifier (February 2004 – August 2005)

  • Edited copy of magazine and devised forward features list.
  • Planned and implemented direct mail strategies. Utilised data base to segment market and produce mailing list.
  • Designed leaflets, wrote promotional copy and briefed designers.

Features editor for regional property magazine, Property Preview (August 2003 – February 2004)

  • Responsible for planning a forward features list and submitting imaginative and original copy on a variety of subjects ranging from architecture, heritage, property to lifestyle.
  • Coordinated artwork and copy and liaised with printers, designers, advertisers and editors.
  • Opened and managed several key advertising accounts which generated an average of £10k revenue per magazine.

Public Relations, Blue Horizon Marketing (September 2002 – August 2003)

  • Worked with directors to secure media coverage and maximise PR opportunities.
  • Produced copy for newsletters and worked on marketing and PR campaigns for clients.

Marketing/New Business Executive, Orchard Press (March 2001- August 2002)

  • Designed and print managed marketing materials such as direct mail and corporate brochures.
  • Wrote copy and provided editorial and press release to local and trade media.
  • Opened and managed key accounts.

Public relations officer, The Axiom arts centre (July 1997- February 2001)

  • Devised and implemented a public relations strategy to promote the activities of an art centre.
  • Designed and produced marketing, promotional and press materials and organised distribution.
  • Represented the centre on television, radio and press (secured many interviews with self and manager of the centre on regional arts programmes).
  • Organised a series of promotional events such as open days, private views and live performance arts events.