Who is

Catherine Laughlin

 

Let’s Connect:

Phone: 215-880-7912

Email: cathilaughlin@comcast.net

 
Cathi Laughlin is by far one of the most seasoned and polished journalists I've had the pleasure of working with. Her stories are engaging, accurate and compelling. My clients are always extremely pleased by the way she shares their stories and sentiments. She's always on the cusp of all topics trending and delivers true "news you can use" in an entertaining, yet informative, fashion.

Mindie Barnett, President & CEO of MB and Associates Public Relations

5.0
2016-03-06T19:37:49+00:00

Mindie Barnett, President & CEO of MB and Associates Public Relations

Cathi Laughlin is by far one of the most seasoned and polished journalists I've had the pleasure of working with. Her stories are engaging, accurate and compelling. My clients are always extremely pleased by the way she shares their stories and sentiments. She's always on the cusp of all topics trending and delivers true "news you can use" in an entertaining, yet informative, fashion.
Cathi Laughlin has worked on numerous stories for me that have appeared in the Burlington County Times, always delivering high-quality work on deadline. She is one of my go-to freelancers, since I know the work will be done in a timely, professional manner that provides an informative lively read.

Martha Esposito, Assistant Managing Editor, Burlington County Times

5.0
2016-03-06T19:40:29+00:00

Martha Esposito, Assistant Managing Editor, Burlington County Times

Cathi Laughlin has worked on numerous stories for me that have appeared in the Burlington County Times, always delivering high-quality work on deadline. She is one of my go-to freelancers, since I know the work will be done in a timely, professional manner that provides an informative lively read.
In her four years as a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Real Estate section, regularly authoring the weekly "Haven" feature, Cathi has helped treat the newspaper's readers to intimate glimpses of how people live, making them feel like welcome guests in houses big and small, grand and not-so-big, artsy and traditional, cozy and cool. Her prose is crisp, her style is brisk, and she delivers her assignments clean and on time. She's a total professional, a true collaborator.

Joanne McLaughlin, Deputy Business Editor/Real Estate Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer

5.0
2016-03-08T17:12:46+00:00

Joanne McLaughlin, Deputy Business Editor/Real Estate Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer

In her four years as a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Real Estate section, regularly authoring the weekly "Haven" feature, Cathi has helped treat the newspaper's readers to intimate glimpses of how people live, making them feel like welcome guests in houses big and small, grand and not-so-big, artsy and traditional, cozy and cool. Her prose is crisp, her style is brisk, and she delivers her assignments clean and on time. She's a total professional, a true collaborator.
Cathi has edited two books for me. I will continue to utilize her services. She has excellent editing skills, is easy to work with, and offers affordable rates. I'm most impressed with her insightfulness, thoughtfulness, and her inspirational motivation that shines within her content editing. I would have to fill the pages of another book to include all the positive comments that I could say about my experience in working with Cathi.

Cathy Reimers, Ph.D., child and adult psychologist and author of The Perfect Family Storm: Tips to Restore Mental Health and Strengthen Family Relationships in Today's World

5.0
2016-03-19T14:37:09+00:00

Cathy Reimers, Ph.D., child and adult psychologist and author of The Perfect Family Storm: Tips to Restore Mental Health and Strengthen Family Relationships in Today's World

Cathi has edited two books for me. I will continue to utilize her services. She has excellent editing skills, is easy to work with, and offers affordable rates. I'm most impressed with her insightfulness, thoughtfulness, and her inspirational motivation that shines within her content editing. I would have to fill the pages of another book to include all the positive comments that I could say about my experience in working with Cathi.
5.0
4

As a young girl, I kept a diary. But at some point, I stopped writing about myself, and instead, I wrote about the world around me.

I’ve been a freelance writer since 2008. I have written about real estate, a dying man, prom dates, vodka drinks, tap dance, a Jewish youth group, social media, traveling with grandparents, a boy band, dog volunteers, French pastries, and much more.

Since 2010, I’ve helped others by editing and/or writing content for websites, white pages for high-level companies, press releases, newsletters, and two self-help books.

As a journalist, I report unbiased and engaging stories. I have become a “nickel expert” on many subjects, whether it’s about geothermal digging or the latest in red carpet gowns.

For me, freelancing is liberating and never lonely. I think at my best when I’m alone, although most days, “the girls,” my two dogs, are at my feet.

I have an easy, yet direct voice, and when needed, a casual use of language, along with robust editing skills.

I graduated from Temple University with a bachelor of arts in journalism and a concentration in photography. I hold two writing certificates (nonfiction and fiction) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Every stage of my professional life has involved writing, editing and communication. Before dedicating my time to words, I had diverse backgrounds in the insurance, marketing, food and hospitality industries, which, fortunately, I am able to apply to my passion of words.

Since 1995, my husband and I have lived in Riverton, New Jersey, a tiny Quaker hamlet across the river from Philadelphia.

Now that my four kids are more self-sufficient and beginning to leave the nest, distractions from my work are less common, not counting the times “the girls” need duty time.

Services

  • writing and rewriting
  • manuscript consultation and evaluation
  • developmental editing
  • stylistic editing
  • copyediting
  • proofreading
  • fact-checking/reference-checking
 
Rates

Rates are determined by several factors: subject of your work, word count and topic complexity and the level of editing you require.

Just like most freelance writers and editors, I charge by the hour for most projects, which is $50/hour. This fee includes writing or editing. Estimates for your project are determined to the best of my ability by the word count (a standard page has about 250 words). Typically, editing speeds range from one to twenty pages an hour.

Writing projects are negotiated separately, taking into consideration the topics, the project’s complexity, and the amount of research and legwork needed.

Contracts

If we agree to work together, I request a simple contract to be completed before I begin. I accept payment through Paypal or checks.

Writing

I’m a versatile and accomplished writer who has written more than 300 articles in national and local magazines and newspapers, in print and online.

If you have a writing or editing project, I am dedicated to preserving your ideas and turning your concepts into concise content for a business website, a newsletter, magazine, or newspaper. Perhaps you have an idea for a book but need assistance. I can ghostwrite for you. Or, if you have written your own manuscript and think it might have problems with logic, clarity or style, I’ll revise or create a new one for you.

Editing

I cherish the written word, whether I’m writing or editing. Having your writing edited professionally is not a frivolous option. Every writer needs an editor (and editors need editors) to “see” mistakes in narratives that might be overlooked. Whether you are a writing intern or seasoned novelist, your goal should be to provide clean copy.

Not all editing is alike. There are different levels of the editing process. Editing levels include substantive editing, structured editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, and manuscript evaluations.

Proofreading

Proofreading is done after editing. Content is important but if the appearance of the written word is haphazard, the message might be negatively judged. During proofreading, more word and grammar errors might be found, but a proofreader looks for accuracy in page breaks, cross references, word breaks and page numbering.

A manuscript often needs to be fact-checked/reference-checked, which are important editorial tasks, sometimes overlooked in today’s fast-paced, “get-it-out-there-now” environment. Any written work bearing your name or your company’s name should be meticulously examined for errors.

Samples from my

Portfolio

Click the greater-than icon “>” to view full project details.

  • + >

    A HELPING PAW Mount Laurel rehab center employs four-legged therapist

    Burlington County Times, Oct. 1, 2016

  • + >

    Haven: Modern living, with perks

    Philadelphia Inquirer, March 14, 2016

  • + >

    Essay: On Mother’s Day, a sense of loss

    Philadelphia Inquirer, May 7, 2015

  • + >

    What to keep, what to donate from the home of a missed mother

    Philadelphia Inquirer, December 31, 2015

  • + >

    A genealogy search to define her mother – and herself

    Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2016

  • + >

    Haven: On G Street, an architectural gem

    Philadelphia Inquirer, November 30, 2015

A HELPING PAW

Mount Laurel rehab center employs four-legged therapist

Published By:

Burlington County Times

Date

Oct. 1, 2016

Excerpt:

Inside the therapy gym of Bancroft NeuroRehab Resnick Center in Mount Laurel, Kyle Derrick, 26, of North Wildwood, held two fingers to his head, thinking hard, trying to jog his memory — the same memory that became impaired two years ago when he crashed the car he was driving into a tree, after he fell into a diabetic coma.

Minutes earlier on this Tuesday morning, he spread out nine cones on the floor and hid dog treats under three of them. Now, Derrick, whose lime-green mohawk was visible from under a camouflaged baseball cap, had to remember where he’d put them.

It was a game of sorts he was playing with Seamus, a good-humored, tawny 7-year-old Labrador and golden retriever mix, a Canine Assisted Therapy dog who works with the medical team, helping to untangle the roadblocks that obstruct Derrick’s memory.

“I think he saw where I put them and is going to cheat,” said Derrick, swaying lightly. But Seamus, who’s trained in 40 commands, just waited patiently. After a few attempts, Derrick, who worked as a car mechanic before his accident, found the treats and fed them to an overjoyed Seamus.

As the morning progressed, Seamus worked further with Derrick. Seamus opened and closed a drawer when Derrick instructed. The two played tug of war to help with Derrick's equilibrium and balance. And later, after Derrick instructed him to fetch his lease, the pair went for a walk around the premises.

In the sunny and airy facility, it didn’t matter so much to those watching if Derrick mastered each task because something else shone brighter on the young man’s face: the big dog, whose encoded DNA is to please humans, made Derrick feel accomplished in whatever he was doing. “It is fun to be with him,” Derrick said with a smile.

Read More:

Oct. 1, 2016

Haven: Modern living, with perks

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

March 14, 2016

Excerpt:

When Dan McElwee decided to buy a condo in Fishtown, his Realtor thought his wish list seemed unrealistic: parking; privacy; city views; outdoor space; and a pet-friendly building.

The sought-after neighborhood, known for brick rowhouses and understated, stylish eateries, has been gentrifying. Yet even McElwee now concedes that all those must-haves wrapped up in one package were a difficult find.

Nevertheless, within a couple weeks, he found his match in a two-bedroom condominium under construction at the Icehouse complex. The gated parking lot and the generous terrace fit his bill, and the building is so pet-friendly that a small dog park is located on the roof - an added asset for Cooper, McElwee's West Highland white terrier.

But the deal was sealed when McElwee viewed the panorama from what would become his secluded fourth-floor walk-up.

"That's what really did it for me," he says of sweeping views that embrace everything from Camden's riverfront to Philadelphia's towering skyscrapers. In July 2014, he purchased the condo and moved in.

 

Read More:

March 14, 2016

Essay: On Mother's Day, a sense of loss

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

May 7, 2015

Excerpt:

Even though I'm the mother of four wonderful kids, this year I will hate Mother's Day.

I will also hate my oldest son's graduation from graduate school later this month, and his brother's birthday in June. I will hate summer barbecues, trips to the beach, and shopping at Macy's, my mother's favorite store.

The mere thought of eventual Thanksgivings and Christmases translate into great gloom, too.

That's because they won't include my mom, Carmela Sarnese Lazarovich, who, on April 20, while I held her hand in the smoky predawn, died at 83.

A few months ago, I told family and friends that my naturally effervescent and bubbly mother seemed "off." She'd become sluggish and lethargic. Usually the life of the party, she'd curtailed socializing, stopped volunteering at Holy Redeemer Hospital, and seemed to sleep more than normal.

One Sunday, she arrived at our home for dinner not wearing her pink lipstick, a no-no for her. Her heart-shaped face had lost its beam. Her pantsuits drooped on her body like flung laundry.

My mother, who could be gentle, yet willful, dismissed any idea that her body might be sick. She'd grown up scrappy, with little medical attention. She'd always prided herself on being "as healthy as a horse." It's a virus, she told me. "All I need is some rest and a few Tylenols."

On Feb. 26, when the ER doctor quietly explained they'd discovered a mass behind my mother's abdomen, the tiled floor floated like a tartan blanket. I composed myself by leaning against the wall. Outside my mom's room, I wept quietly, overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty.

 

Read More:

May 7, 2015

What to keep, what to donate from the home of a missed mother

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

December 31, 2015

Excerpt:

The day I'd been dreading arrived. The best I could hope for was that it wouldn't rain.

It was seven months since my mother died of cancer. When her sturdy, yet worn, two-bedroom rowhouse in Mayfair sold in the fall, I was thrust into the inescapable and forlorn duty of cleaning out her house. An only child, I've been responsible for settling her affairs.

Even though my name was on the deed, I always considered it my mom's home. After I bought the house, I lived in it only a few years before I married. My mom had always loved the house. Twenty years ago, she and my father moved into it when his Parkinson's disease progressed. The one-story structure seemed like an affordable and safe spot for them to age in place, although my dad lived there for only three years before moving to a nursing home.

Over the summer, I made weekly trips to her house to collect mail, keep it temperate, and make sure the front lawn was cut. Opening the door, I still smelled her essence, a fusion of Dove .soap and a dollar-store hand cream. Once inside, I'd again see her collection of spoons, the countless framed faces of my kids ("a shrine," my husband once mused), and her pink-and-white robe, still stuffed with her tissues in the pockets, hanging on her bedroom door. My mother in life had been adrenalized, with a twitchy verve, and she could talk the legs off a horse. Standing there, it was the clamoring silence that got to me each time.

 

Read More:

December 31, 2015

A genealogy search to define her mother - and herself

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

May 26, 2015

Excerpt:

As a young girl, I never knew where my mother came from. I'd ask her where her mother was, and she'd tell me she died. When I'd ask her where her father was, she'd tell me he got sick and died, too. If I prodded too much, her engaging disposition and wide, crooked smile would vanish. "Why do you want to know so much?" she'd snap. "What does it matter?"

My father, a quiet man, whose green eyes hardly missed a thing, never knew either and never really cared or questioned her. But others could be more critical. When my parents were newly engaged, his cousin asked, "Why are you marrying someone who doesn't know who she is?"

Mom was by her own definition "made by God," a statement I initially adopted as fact given my Catholic upbringing. But as I got older, the urge to know her family was always with me, like a constant tickle in my throat that needed relief. I wanted to know someone who possessed my mother's slender wrists, shared her peculiar love for horse racing, or danced in her snapping-fingers-sort-of-boogie, a cross between a hip-hop hustle and the Mummers Strut. I wanted to know her legacy, her roots - something more to not only define her, but to define me.

 

Read More:

May 26, 2015

Haven: On G Street, an architectural gem

Published By:

Philadelphia Inquirer

Date

November 30, 2015

Excerpt:

Old-timers who grew up near the legendary intersection of Kensington and Allegheny still refer to the architectural gem on G Street as "the Mansion."

Indeed, the splendid fieldstone structure, which towers above red-brick rowhouses, was the grandest private home in Philadelphia's Kensington section when it was built more than a century ago.

For the last 40 years, it's been the residence of Betty Ann Guckin, as well as the epicenter of Guckin Funeral Mansion, the family business she maintains.

"I can't imagine living anywhere else," says Guckin, 45, partly about her home, and partly about the surrounding neighborhood, where she has spent her entire life.

During its heyday, K&A was a bustling blue-collar district, where generations of breadwinners toiled in textile mills and meat-distribution centers. Over time, industries pulled out, leaving Kensington a gritty facsimile of its earlier self. Today, abandoned factories, shuttered churches, and hollowed-out houses wait patiently, hoping that gentrification will save them.

In 1907, Irish immigrant Michael O'Rourke, who was a municipal contractor, spent $106,000 to build the 15-room mansion and three outbuildings. After his death, businessman Conrad Campbell owned it from 1914 until 1970. Ascension of Our Lord parish owned it for four years afterward.

 

Read More:

Nov. 30, 2015

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