My name is Steven Crook. I was born in 1969 and grew up in the UK. I studied Law at university. Starting in a few weeks, I’ll be teaching people how to get started in freelance features writing and related fields.
Before reaching my teens I nurtured hopes of becoming a writer, but I didn’t do anything to turn this ambition into reality until I was well into my twenties and teaching English in Taiwan. Since 1996 I’ve written well over 700 articles for paying publications; the number of articles I’ve done for free can be counted on one hand. My byline has appeared in CNN Traveller Asia-Pacific, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald-Tribune, Journeys, the inflight magazines of several airlines and other outlets.
I’m an occasional contributor to the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong’s main English-language newspaper) as well as Taiwan government publications. I’ve worked as a newspaper copyeditor and a magazine managing editor (this involved everything from commissioning and editing articles to selling advertising to solving distribution issues). I’ve helped fiction and nonfiction authors complete book projects. And in the past two years I’ve taken on commissions to write about Taipei’s whiskey bars, the ancient Polish city of Krakow, the world’s leading vegetable research center, Chinese traditional foot massage, and other topics. I’m the author of three books about Taiwan, including Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide. After the publication of the second edition of the guide, The New York Times asked me to comment on the growth of environmentalism in Taiwan.