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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast


Episode #191 Public Health Freelancer, Interview With Melanie Padgett Powers

Public Health Freelancing

Melanie Padgett Powers fell into public health after a career in small-town journalism, and she has not looked back since. She still uses many of her journalistic skills to inform the work that she now does through her business, MelEdits, where she offers writing, copy editing services and serves as a Managing Editor for membership associations’ publications. Melanie is a great example of how following your passion can help you transition into your public health dream job.

On this episode, Melanie shares insights into her fascinating professional path and how she marries the different elements of her diverse skill set. She sheds light on why she is currently interested in racism as a public health crisis and talks about how her work has allowed her to explore different interests over the years. Our conversation with Melanie will inspire you to trust the path you are on and go after your dreams!

Meet Melanie

Melanie Padgett Powers is the owner of MelEdits. She is a freelance writer, magazine managing editor, copy editor and proofreader in the Washington, D.C., area. She primarily works with membership associations and health care organizations. She has a journalism degree and was a newspaper reporter in her home state of Indiana before moving on to membership associations. She has been a freelancer since 2013. Melanie is also the creator and host of the Deliberate Freelancer podcast, which focuses on the business side of freelancing.

Key Takeaways From This Episode

  • How Melanie fell into and in love with public health after a career in small-town journalism.

  • The skills Melanie gained from her work as a journalist that still help her today.

  • How Melanie connects public health and journalism.

  • Insights into what a membership association is and the work Melanie does for them.

  • How Melanie came to start her company, MelEdits.

  • The value of following your passion and trusting where your journey is taking you.

  • Writing is a skill you can learn and strengthen and it serves you well in any career.

Listen To The Podcast Episode

Melanie's Career Advice

For public health students who might want to become freelance writers:

(1) Start looking for ways to practice writing and build a writing portfolio. Start your own public health blog; volunteer to write for non-journal public health publications; write public health columns for your local newspapers or news sites.

(2) Determine the type of writing you want to do and for who and consider whether you need some beginner or refresher writing or journalism classes, which you can take online.

(3) Talk to other freelance writers about the business side of freelancing and the mentality and discipline it really takes, as well as how they find clients.

(4) Join freelance writing organizations and/or Facebook groups; take part in Zoom (and eventually in-person) networking events where you can learn more about getting started and running a freelance business.

Connect with Melanie

Links Mentioned in This Episode

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