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Chris Hallam, Exeter
Welcome to my blog!
I am lucky enough to have been published in many magazines, websites and books. Most of the things on this website are just reviews and other things I have written in my spare time. Hopefully, they will give you some idea of my writing. There are some links to my actual published work below.
I am a professional freelance writer. I was born in Peterborough and moved to Exeter in 2005.
If you would like to contact me about anything at all, I would be happy to hear from you.
I can also be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Moviebore
I wrote A-Z of Exeter: People, Places, History. It’s basically a history of the city presented in alphabetical rather than chronological order and is an enjoyable and informative read (at least, I thought so). It was published by Amberley in 2019. The cover looks like this and you can find it in the usual bookshops (e.g. the ones which begin with “W”) and the usual online retail outlets (such as the one beginning with “A”).
The cover looks like this:
There are extracts from it here:
I co-wrote the local history book, Secret Exeter with my colleague, Tim Isaac. This was published in 2018 and is also available from Amberley in the usual places. It’s full of insights into the less well-known aspects of Exeter’s history and very readable.
If you opened it up, shrank it a bit and laid it on it’s front, it would look like this:
Since July 2015, I have been working on a freelance daily basis as the Head of Media Monitoring for Apollo Strategic Communications. https://bit.ly/2NJPY4b
Just to be clear: I am not the same Chris Hallam who writes reviews for Video Gamer.
Magazine and other freelance work
I have been a regular contributor to this excellent nostalgia-themed magazine since its third issue in 2016. Topics I have covered have included the Carry On films and the lives and careers of the Two Ronnies, Michael Caine, Norman Wisdom, David Niven, the Mitford family, the Gabor sisters, the comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the reclusive tycoon Howard Hughes, author Roald Dahl and many others. I have written over a hundred features in the regular monthly magazine. I have also had three features appear in the long running Yours magazine itself.
in 2019, I wrote most of the popular and well received Yours Retro Souvenir Issue 100 Greatest Movie Icons special. These included pieces on John Wayne, Laurence Olivier, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Fred Astaire and Cary Grant.
Sharon Reid, editor of Yours and Yours Retro wrote in 2018: “Chris has been writing features for Yours Retro since it began in 2016. He’s got a great feel for the subject matter and I always feel very confident when commissioning him. Without exception his work has been consistently entertaining, accurate and informative, delivered to brief and on (or more likely ahead of) deadline. He has also produced a smaller number of excellent features for Yours magazine. I would recommend Chris as a writer to any editor or potential client, without hesitation.”
Best of British
I write regularly for this long running national monthly magazine. Over 80 features by me have appeared in it since 2017. These have covered the life and career of Floella Benjamin, the politician Tony Benn, the history of The Eagle and The Beano comics, the TV series Grange Hill and many other topics.
Peter Hampson (the son of Dan Dare artist Frank Hampson) wrote: “I really enjoyed reading the article (and also several of the other ones) and thought it was a very good potted history of Dan Dare and The Eagle itself. So congrats to Chris Hallam!”
I have contributed over twenty features to this local magazine since 2017. Most have been about various aspects of the city’s history e.g. Exeter in the 1970s, The Man They Couldn’t Hang, the life of General Buller, The Great Exeter Theatre Inferno of 1887 and Exeter’s Secret 17th century Princess. I also write for Devon Life.
Delving into the past weekly local history column
Since October 2020, I have produced a weekly local history column for the Midweek Herald, Exmouth Journal and Sidmouth Journal (see the links below). In 2020, as a direct result, I was interviewed on Exmouth Air Radio about local history.
In 2021, I started writing long form articles on TV science fiction for this subscription website:
Comic Scene/History of Comics 1930-2030
I have written a number of features, for example, on the comics legend Stan Lee and the Marvel UK character, Death’s Head, for this magazine since its launch in 2018. In 2020, the magazine was relaunched as The History of Comics, 1930-2030. Features I have written for that covered Watchmen, Dan Dare, The Eagle, Transformers, the launch of 2000AD and the 2000AD stories, Judge Dredd and Metalzoic.
Features on the film director John Carpenter, authors John Wyndham and Iain Banks, the Stainless Steel Rat saga, the Tripods trilogy and comic writer Alan Moore for this science fiction and fantasy-themed magazine.
In 2020, I decided I no longer wished to be associated with the magazine. Here’s why:
In 2019, I wrote a short piece for this.
During 2018, I wrote around 200 mini-biographies of famous figures for this website.
In 2016, I wrote press releases and other promotional material on a freelance basis for the well-established Exeter-based hospice charity. Sarah Raynor of Hospiscare said in August 2016:
“Chris is a brilliant writer and a real pleasure to work with. Whenever I send Chris a request to write a press release, he always grasps exactly what is required and turns it around very quickly. Chris works with Hospiscare on a freelance basis, but he is like part of the team, always so helpful and reliable.
I would highly recommend Chris to anyone who is looking for a writer/proof reader.”
All About History
In 2017, I contributed two features to this popular monthly history magazine.
I was one of the most prolific feature writers for this national science fiction themed magazine title. My work included major features on Doctor Who, the authors John Wyndham, H.G Wells, Philip K. Dick and Michael Crichton and the film directors Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton. I also wrote a few film/TV/game previews and other sections of the magazine before it ceased publication in 2017.
“What an informative and entertaining article! I shall encourage other members of the Wells Society to get a copy.” – Michael Sherborne, author of H.G Wells: Another Kind Of Life on my piece on the famous author (August 2016).
“Just to let you know I bought Geeky Monkey and really enjoyed your article. Now that’s what I call Wyndham-rich writing. Very satisfying.” Simon Clark, author of Night of the Triffids (April 2016) on my feature on John Wyndham, the author of Day of the Triffids.
In 2016, I wrote for this short-lived TV streaming magazine. I ran the Drama section and wrote features on House of Cards, Poldark, The Crown, The West Wing, The Man In The High Castle and other shows.
My other career highlights (so far) include:
Writing several 2014 annuals (Smurfs, Star Wars Clone Wars, South Park, Furbys, Temple Run) for Pedigree Books. In 2014, I also wrote the 2015 Transformers annual.
In 2019, I was interviewed on a Dublin radio station about the history of the Beano comic.
I wrote speeches for a parliamentary candidate (later an MP) in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.
I have had ideas used on BBC Radio Scotland show Comedy Cafe (2013) and twice on the Radio 4 Extra show NewsJack (2015 and 2017). Another joke by me was used in Viz comic in 2014 and reproduced in their annual.
In 2021, a Judge Dredd comic story scripted by me was used in the 2000AD fanzine, Zarjaz.
I wrote a 3,000 word booklet on the history of Exeter charity Hospiscare entitled Across A Calm Sea (2012).
PTC Magazine Journalism diploma (2005). I am fully trained and qualified in Media Law.
In 2013 and 2014, I completed several pieces of copywriting work for Apollo (who I now work for regularly) and proof reading for the Scouts Association. In 2015, I edited the newsletter for Willoughby School, Bourne.
I also wrote occasionally for the British Comedy Guide, Movie Muser and Chortle websites. I had a short piece published in Nene Living magazine in September 2016 and wrote occasionally for Micro Mart. I one had a piece used in the official magazine for the Vue cinema chain and a short film review published in SFX magazine.
Alex Leamon of Pedigree said in 2013:
“I enjoyed working with Chris on the Smurfs 2 Annual. The editorial he supplied was of a high quality, but also fun and witty which suited the brand perfectly. It’s a credit to him that the approval process with the brand owner went smoothly, without any comments. Chris grasped the structure of an annual quickly and delivered copy well before the deadline. I hope to work with Chris again in the future on more titles and highly recommend his services.
“It was a pleasure to work with Chris again on the Clone Wars and Furby 2014 annuals. Chris works very quickly and precisely and hits every deadline”.
I also wrote for:
I have also written for (among others):
The British Comedy Guide
During 2013, I produced the entire written content for the 2014:
Smurfs, Star Wars Clone Wars and Furby annuals.
I also wrote sections of the South Park annual and have since written the Temple Run Interactive Sticker album and Transformers annual 2015.
I have wrote a number of pieces about comedy for the Chortle and British Comedy Guide sites.
I wrote comedy reviews for the Exeter Express and Echo and The Exeter Daily website.
I have an excellent knowledge of films. I was the film reviewer for Peterborough-based magazine ESP from 2004 until 2005 and a Sub for the Radio Times Films Unit in 2005. I was a Staff Writer for DVD Monthly from 2005 until 2007 and wrote regular film reviews for Movie Muser from 2009 until 2016.
I was a part-time Writer/Proof Reader for Hospiscare (an Exeter-based hospice charity) between 2011 and 2012 and wrote/proofed/edited their internal and external newsletters, websites and press releases for them.
Glynis Atherton, Chief Executive of Hospiscare said in 2012:
“Chris has excellent writing and editing skills which he used to produce articles for our staff and volunteer newsletters. He has researched and written a 4,000 word history of Hospiscare for our 30th anniversary this year. This history is entitled Across a Calm Sea; the story of Hospiscare and celebrates 30 years of care. Producing this history required Chris to liaise with volunteers and staff in a diplomatic way to check facts and ensure accuracy.
“Working alongside Hospiscare’s Communications Officer and PR Officer, Chris has written for and edited ‘Headline’ our in-house newsletter. He has also contributed articles to ‘Together’ which is our external magazine that goes to our supporters. He has drafted competent press releases when required. Chris is conscientious, hard working and efficient”.
More recently, I have provided editing for the Scouts’ Association (2013), Yahoo News (2012) and in the past while working for the Exeter Express and Echo and as a sub-editor for the Radio Times.
I have interviewed Stephen Fry, Natalie Portman, Sir Ridley Scott, Jimmy Carr, Whoopi Goldberg and many others mostly while at DVD Monthly magazine.
COMMERCIAL FEATURE WRITERS
I was Commercial Feature Writer for the Exeter Express and Echo and wrote numerous advertising features on restaurants, golf courses, schools, takeaways and more.
I have a PTC Magazine Journalism diploma from Highbury College which includes full Media Law training.
From Yours Retro:
From my book, A-Z of Exeter: People, Places, History:
British Comedy Guide