Bethany Ashley is a multi-creative, who’s particular focuses at this time are writing, narrative journalism, publishing, blogging and podcasting. Bethany started freelance writing when she was fifteen (2011), writing for small outlets and small business’ blogs. All of her freelance work can be viewed here, amongst the rest of her published work. Bethany wanted to further her creative skills and knew she would eventually like to work with magazines and publishing. Bethany began working in retail to earn money for train tickets to London, and then started a work experience placement at Bauer Media, attending several magazine workshops with Heat, OK!, Grazia, FHM, The Debrief and Closer. She worked one-on-one with journalists such as Boyd Hilton, learning how to produce entertainment magazines, and what exactly went into running a creative team to produce issues. When her freelancing career first began, Bethany wrote for publications such as The Muslim Gazette, BodyMatters, and wrote reviews and press releases for iAppAdapt. Bethany had hundreds of article ideas in her head that didn’t seem fit to publish with most of the companies she was working for, and so she started a blog where she could publish more personal pieces.
Her blog, at bethanyashley.com took off quickly, and within a year she managed to grow her following to 30,000 across her platforms. Wanting to utilise her platform, she began speaking out about issues like domestic abuse, sexism, and racism. Bethany is particularly proud of her ability to not hold back on talking about taboo subjects online, and it became her motto to use her blog for creativity, inspiration and motivation. She hopes for everyone who reads her blog to leave the site having learned a new skill, thought of a new idea, or feeling inspired motivated to create something new. She ocassionally publishes her own creations on her blog, such as magazine issues with a ‘behind the scenes’ element, showing how she creates certain things, her equipment, and how she executes particular techniques.
In 2015, Bethany enrolled at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey to study a combined course in creative writing and journalism, where she was awarded the Sir Ray Tindle Scholarship. She has two fiction books in the works; a poetry/excerpts collection, and a sci-fi novel. She also writes personal essays, and aims to publish those too. She hopes to have at least one of these creations published within the next two years. During Bethany’s first year at university, she co-founded the literary magazine Paperfox and became editor-in-chief of the publication. The magazine focuses on celebrating literature and shining some light on ameteur writers’ and artists’ creative work. She has now released 6 issues of Paperfox, ranging from fantasy themes to feminism themes. Bethany manages a team of creative people to produce Paperfox, while also managing the company’s social media channels, designing the magazine and accomponying website, and interviewing authors for features. While working at Paperfox, she’s interviewed many writers and influencers from Lauren Cassidy of Instagram’s Fiction Tea, to Kiran Millwood-Hargrave (author of The Girl of Ink and Stars) and Hannah Gale (author of Alarm Girl). Each have been extremely influencial on Bethany, which is why she particularly enjoys the interviewing aspect of her role and considers interviews to be her strongest journalistic skill. She aims to create a comfortable setting for her interviewees, and intends for all her interviews to come across as colloquial conversations, both to the audience, and to the interviewee.
In 2016, Bethany decided to express her thoughts regarding her domestic abuse story and the way she was treated by the police during the case through her blog, and the article went viral. Following over 14,000 shares and reads, Bethany was contacted by hundreds of women around the world who’d unfortunately had a similar experience. Bethany maintained online friendships with these women and helped them where she could. The attention surrounding the blog post lead her to become a Women’s Voices contributor for The Huffington Post. She became more actively involved with fighting against domestic abuse when she was approached by Refuge, the women’s charity, about working with them. Bethany soon volunteered to work with Refuge journalistically. In February 2017, she was approached by Avon, the cosmetics brand, about teaming up with both them and Refuge to speak as a panelist about her experience with domestic abuse and what young girls can do to reach out for help, alongside MP Jess Phillips, journalist Emma Barnett, the CEOs of Avon and Refuge, and many more inspirational women. Bethany’s story was covered by Channel 5 Live, Avon, Refuge, IB Times, Reuters, The Mail Online, and several radio stations across Britain.
Following this, Bethany wanted to amplify her feminism through her creative work, and co-founded the magazine JeTuNous with Laurén Du Bignon, and became Senior Editor of the publication. The magazine is primarily a fashion publication, but with feminism underlying all topics featured. JeTuNous features models considered to be outside of the ‘norm’ such as models with body hair, and pus size models. The magazine focuses on how different people use their feminism, and how they express it through their personal style and day-to-day lives. Bethany’ roles for JeTuNous include writing articles for the magazine, editing submissions, conducting interviews, and supervising the design of the magazine. It’s first issue will be released in June 2017.
During her second year at university, Bethany decided to launch a podcast (combining her love for both literature and interviews), Beth’s Bookshelf, which is hosted through her blog and iTunes. The podcast works as a collection of conversations with creative writers, about creative processes and topics related to the specific guests for each episode. For instance, when interviewing L.E Delano, they discussed the topic of mental health in literature and the development of fantasy novels. She’s interviewed writers such as Michael Grant, Ava Dellaira, and Erin Summerill on the podcast, and eventually formed a partnership with Egmont Publishing Group through it.
If you’d like to view my journalistic CV, click here.
You can speak to Bethany about hiring her or working on a project of yours through firstname.lastname@example.org or by heading to the contact page.