Hi – I’m Michelle Guillemard. I’m the creator of Health Writer Hub, and I’m also a freelance health writer and the President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association.
I teach people like you – health professionals, academics and aspiring writers – how to enhance your writing skills and grow your health & medical writing careers.
I work with people who are looking for guidance and an understanding of the career options that are available to them in the field of health writing.
My courses are designed to open up this world and show you how you can use your skills and experience to forge a successful writing career.
Health writing is an evolving, exciting discipline – and we all make our own pathways. You can read more about mine a little later on.
A brief history of Health Writer Hub
Health Writer Hub began as my business blog about health writing back in 2013. The more I blogged, the more I learned about SEO, marketing and networking – and my blog continued to grow.
As my readership increased, I started to receive requests from aspiring health writers for coaching and mentoring. I’d never actually considered this – but, I decided to give it a whirl, and I’m glad I did. Because I loved it. As I worked with more and more writers from around the world, it became apparent a lot of people had the same sorts of questions, concerns and challenges. So, I thought to myself, why not create a course?
At the beginning of 2015, I created two unique health writing courses which I absolutely love teaching (they’re like my babies – and I say that as a mother of two!):
- Introduction To Health Writing, which teaches you all about the different forms of consumer health writing
- How To Become A Freelance Health Writer, a 6-week guide to setting up your freelance health writing biz
My newest course is called Simple Health & Science Writing, and it teaches you how to write clearly to help your readers create better health outcomes.
Inspiring behaviour change is something I have become quite passionate about over the years, having worked with many clients who are doing great work in this space.
This year, I’ll be launching a new course called Principles of Medical Copywriting, which is all about the art of copywriting in the medical industry.
Today, my blog posts are a real mix of advice about health writing, finding work and freelancing – so, regardless of whether you want to improve your writing skills or grow your career, there’s plenty here for you.
My resources and advice are for health professionals and writers who are relatively new to the health industry, as well as those who want to learn how to write about health.
Most of the people who take my courses are aspiring writers, copywriters, doctors, health professionals, health coaches, scientists, academics, PhDs, health bloggers, technical writers, students and industry professionals.
If you’re interested in enhancing your skills or freelancing, you can view all my online courses here.
I’m Michelle, and my first medical writing job was at the British Medical Journal in London more than ten years ago. Fortunately for me (yet perhaps unfortunately for them) the BMJ team took a chance on a young, eager digital publishing assistant with no prior experience in health or medicine.
The only people more surprised than me about my new job were my parents – a scientist and a pharmacist who, for years, had tried unsuccessfully to get me interested in science. But all I wanted to do was write, write, write. And, eventually, be my own boss – though that was to come later (you can read that part of my story here).
I’d studied an Enriched Major in Media & Communications at the University of Melbourne, then had taken a year off to be the editor of the university paper, Farrago. I wanted to be a music journalist, then a travel copywriter, then a newspaper reporter.
So, when I told my folks their humanities-loving daughter had decided to explore a career in medical writing, they thought I was kidding, lying or kidnapped.
For me, though, it was love at first sight. The BMJ gave me a taste of medical writing had to offer, and I wanted more. I discovered I quite enjoyed reading scientific studies, learning about diseases, researching health topics, and writing evidence-based content. What followed was a decade-long immersion in the health & medical writing industry.
Over the years, I’ve written copy for literally hundreds of large and small health brands and businesses. I’ve simplified complex topics for hospitals, health professionals, medical specialists, medical journals and dozens of healthcare brands and companies. I’ve written about cancer, heart surgery, liver surgery, psychology, neuroscience, neurosurgery, the chemistry of extraction, radiation therapy, and much more.
I’ve also lectured medical students on the art of clear writing, and have taught hundreds of students about health writing.
As well as writing and teaching my passion here at Health Writer Hub, I am currently serving as the President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association (elected in August 2015), I contribute to the European Medical Writers Association Journal, and I run training workshops for AMWA and soon Cheeky Scientist.
I now live in Sydney, Australia, with my husband and two young daughters, aged 3 and 5. I try to live out the healthy lifestyle I so often advocate in my writing – though some days that’s easier said than done (right, Mums?!).
I do what I do because I’m passionate about changing lives through effective communication – and that’s why Health Writer Hub is all about health writing for the general public. I collect best-practice advice to help us all write high-quality health content.
For me, health writing is about producing clear, engaging, convincing and trustworthy content.
Health is deeply personal and ideological. There are conflicts and battles with belief systems. People follow trends like they follow religions. These issues make it an exciting yet challenging industry to work in.
I believe that, as health writers, we have a responsibility to promote adherence, foster knowledge growth, inspire behaviour change and, ultimately, create better health outcomes.
Because, if we enhance the quality of our content, we can help to improve global health standards and change lives.
Dinethra Menon is my very trusted writer, helper and adviser. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Not only does she help me with Health Writer Hub, but she also works with me over at Purely Content, my freelance health writing business.
She’s also a freelance medical and science writer herself, with over a decade of experience – and we went to the same university in Melbourne. Dinethra has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a postgraduate diploma in genetic counselling.
Working in the pharmaceutical and medical indemnity industries, she has written medical conference reports, pharmaceutical drug summaries, clinical protocols and medical education.
Dinethra lives in Sydney with her husband, two active young sons and a cat named Simba. She is a member of AMWA and has completed Medicines Australia’s CEP.
About Health Writer Hub’s mission
There are four main reasons why I created, and am continuing to develop Health Writer Hub.
1. I aim to support you and help you learn, as you navigate your health writing journey.
I recognise your journey is unique. You might be actively looking for health writing advice, or wishing to learn more about consumer health writing.
You could be interested in pursuing freelancing or want to find opportunities for industry-specific networking and career growth. I appreciate your aims and objectives are different to everyone else’s.
2. I also want to help you improve the quality of your writing.
Health writing isn’t easy. It involves making sense of scientific and medical concepts and translating those messages to the right audience in the best way.
As a health writer, you want your readers to be inspired by your words and grow their knowledge base, which ultimately enables and empowers them to make informed choices about their health – or, encourage their patients to do so.
I care about helping you take your writing from good to great so that you can inspire positive change in your readers.
3. I want to help you grow your career.
If you create health and medical content – everything from articles to blogs, marketing content, patient handouts, social media, eBooks, video content and more – your learning is never done.
Whether you’re relatively new or have twenty years of experience under your belt, constant learning is the only way you can stay up-to-date with your profession and give yourself opportunities for career growth.
4. And, finally, I want to help you create better health outcomes.
I believe high-quality health writing has the power to improve health outcomes, motivate people to take control of their health, and change lives.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of health writing is ‘opportunity’.
There is a lot of work in this industry. And, if you’re willing to learn the art of health writing and take a few chances along the way, you’ll do very well in this field.