“Stubbornly independent introverted writer type with dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome, and attention deficit disorder, who is also left-handed. Do these define me or do I define them? You could say male, white, heterosexual, English, British, pagan and so on… all might be true. Thinking about who I am has been an important part of my life – who am I, what do I want to do, and most of all, what can I actually do.”
Mark Wollacott is a deeply thoughtful business owner and freelance writer, magazine publisher, and community activist with a track record of delivering high quality content, great ideas in need of desperate support, and keeping failing associations alive. A solution finder, idea generator, and haikuist with a proven history of working with people of all backgrounds and interests, finding innovative solutions, and developing deep knowledge of local areas, peoples and trends. He is experienced in outreach, website writing, publishing, SEO, community coordination, campaign development, book writing, English teaching, tuition, and store layout. He is also shy, kind – some say too kind, and often takes on more than he can handle. Yearning both for the quiet retired writer life and to be at the forefront of changing urban environments, Mark is a contradiction often wrapped in a misconception.
Currently, Mark is the Managing Director, Founder and Owner of Ironmould Tyning Ltd, a small Bristol-based company specializing in managing advertising and writing revenue for The Nightingale Magazine. He first founded the magazine in 2013 then re-launched it in 2015 in time for the 2015 General Election. Since then he’s gone on to publish the magazine at profit almost monthly, including working with a designer, signing a main sponsor, and distributing 5,000-10,000 copies monthly using a mixture of his own time, paid delivery specialists, and a network of volunteers. He’s worked with numerous community groups to help advertise campaigns such as saving Wick Road Library, forest schools, church groups, the Trefoil Guild, coffee mornings, over 50s and gardening clubs, and to promote participation in elections.
In addition to The Nightingale Magazine, Mark is a freelance writer, starting with small magazines such as Kansai Time Out and Kansai Scene in Japan, before writing for the Austin Post in Texas. He’s built up a freelance career from scratch, learning on the job with poor paying jobs such as WiseGeek and eHow, then moving on to content writing in difficult finance and healthcare niches, ghost writing eBooks, and transcribing novels from audio files. He soon took on higher profile outreach and SEO roles, organizing content, email and phone B2B work, and marketing covering finance, healthcare, rehabilitation, transport, and consumer industries. During this time he’s also written a number of books and stories with more in the pipeline.
He made the decision to go freelance after failing 500 job applications with just 4 interviews and seemingly no hope of getting a ‘real job.’ Instead on relying on the state, he took up freelance work and moved to Budapest and Pecs for short term rents. Prior to coming home and spending a year unemployed, he spent 5 years teaching English to middle schoolers in Japan, some of whom lived in some of the most deprived areas of Osaka and Japan as a whole including areas with high proportions of single mothers During this time he helped improve the English scores of hundreds of children by ignoring the Japanese curriculum, and founded an after school cram school for poor students.
He began his career as a £2 an hour shelf stacker and grocery assistant with Somerfield before going to University to study Ancient History and Archaeology – being the first person in his family to get to uni. After university he spent 8 months unemployed which included teaching CV coaches how to make better CVs, and successfully applying to Bristol University for an MA in Librarianship (later withdrawing due to poverty). He went on to be Supervisor then Assistant Manager and twice Cover Manager of Millets stores in Cirencester and Bristol. At University he was elected to Clubs, Societies, and Associations Officer with the Student Union in Lampeter, where he re-structured finances and founded the Chinese Society. Outside of his studies he also wrote and directed his first play, Witch Trial, as part of his work with the Drovers Arts Festival.