Showcase & Discover Creative Work

Scott Kirkwood

Creative Director, NPCA & Editor in Chief of National Parks Magazine

Washington, DC, USA
Collector of surprising stories, delicious anecdotes, startling details, memorable quotes, stunning photos, delightful illustrations, elegant fonts, and plentiful portions of white space. I'm a writer, editor, and creative director wrapped into one, and I've spent 15 years using words and images to try and make the world a better place.
Work Experience
Washington, DC, USA
Aug 2004Present
Creative Director, NPCA & Editor In Chief, National Parks Magazine
Inherited an underachieving magazine and turned it into one of the premier publications produced by a nonprofit advocacy organization. Brought on a talented graphic designer, a budding writer, a newbie photo editor, and some killer freelancers, and earned awards for writing, photography, design, and illustration. Increased circulation from 290,000 to 330,000 readers, who now write letters that we’re proud to publish while silencing all the cranky, overzealous fact-checkers out there just waiting to pounce.

Launched a wildly successful internal PR campaign to persuade our coworkers to take advantage of our in-house design capabilities for reports, brochures, infographics, postcards, advertisements, even T-shirts and bike jerseys. Wrote it up in HOW Magazine, which led to speaking gigs in Baltimore, Cleveland, DC, Minnesota, and San Francisco.

Generated creative concepts for a communications campaign that helped reverse severe cuts to the National Park Service budget. Produced print ads, web ads, and two videos that capture the essence of the park experience using snapshots provided by NPCA’s own members and supporters. You'll laugh, you'll cry--see portfolio.

Edited a photography book in partnership with Time-Life Books, earning NPCA
$50,000 in revenue.

Created an on-line store to sell branded merchandise to our 1 million members
and supporters — launched November 2014.
Washington, DC, USA
Jun 2002Aug 2004
Managing Editor, Children's Voice Magazine
Wrote and edited articles focused on foster care, poverty, child abuse, and neglect. Learned to always ask hiring managers what sort of budget is set aside for photography and illustration, because sometimes the answer turns out to be $0. Produced an informative, compelling magazine for children’s advocates in spite of severely limited resources.
Washington, DC, USA
Sep 1999Jun 2002
Freelance Writer & Copyeditor
Set out on my own with the naïve belief that freelance writers actually spend most of their time writing. Landed articles in ASPCA's Animals magazine,, and Washington Post and wrote for corporate clients including America Online, Forum for Youth Investment, and Chevy Chase Bank, among others. But more importantly, learned the art of self-promotion, the query letter, invoicing, and accounting software, while acquiring a deeper appreciation for health insurance—lessons I keep in mind every time I assign a piece to a freelance writer, photographer, or illustrator.
Gaithersburg, MD, USA
May 1996Sep 1999
Associate Editor ('96-'97), Editor ('98-'99) Animal Sheltering Magazine
Earned my first real writing gig on the strength of a few record reviews and movie reviews from my college paper and local weeklies, paired with a year of volunteering at the Michigan Humane Society. Tattooed the words of Strunk, White, and Zinsser to the inside of my brain. Endured the gallons of red ink that flowed from my editors’ pens until they slowed to a relatively painless trickle. (Became forever indebted to Geoff Handy and Julie Miller-Dowling for giving me a shot and for showing me how great editors think.)

Implemented a magazine redesign that increased readership from 3,000 animal shelters to 6,000, while engaging the most passionate, enthusiastic readers I will ever know. Learned that there are few things better than spending 40 hours a week pursuing creative work that makes the world a better place.
Alexandria, VA, USA
Apr 1995Apr 1996
EEI Communications
Proofreader + Copyeditor
Took the biggest risk of my life and moved to DC in search of a writing career. Briefly worked as a bike messenger (‘til my bike was stolen), answered phones for a temp agency, and soon landed at EEI, which sent me to dozens of nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations throughout metropolitan DC. Got great reviews from clients, most of whom specifically requested me the next time they needed an editorial pro.
Troy, MI, USA
Jan 1990Oct 1994
Entertainment Publications
Compiled text and images for big fat coupon books sold door-to-door by scouts and church groups, offering two-for-one deals on movies, restaurants, and trapeze classes long before Groupon and Living Social lost millions doing it electronically.
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Sep 1986May 1990
University of Michigan
BA Psychology
Pursued a degree in Psychology because friends and family told me to do whatever interested me the most. Best advice ever. I use it every day. (The advice AND the degree.)
Copywriting, Creative Direction, Editing, Photography, Photoshop, Writing