Scott Kirkwood

Copywriter + Creative Director

Denver, CO, USA
I'm a writer, editor, and creative director wrapped into one, and I've spent the last 20 years using words and images to make the world a better place.

Work Experience


Copywriter + Creative Director

July 2016 - Present Denver, Colorado, United States

Vermilion Design

Creative Director

Oversaw the work of six killer graphic designers, focusing on nonprofit clients, civic organizations, and "green" companies like the Museum of Boulder, the city of Boulder, the town of Vail, the University of Colorado, Rudi's Organic Bakery, and Door to Door Organics. Teamed up with brilliant developers and savvy social-media folks to advance causes like civil rights, clean energy, literacy, safe sex, and many more.
June 2015 - July 2016 Boulder, Colorado, United States

National Parks Conservation Association

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 a dozen FOLIO awards for writing, photography, design, and illustration. Increased circulation from 290,000 to 330,000 readers, who soon wrote letters we were 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, which won an In-House award from HOW Magazine.
August 2004 - June 2015 Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Child Welfare League Of America

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.
June 2002 - August 2004 Washington, District of Columbia, United States


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.
September 1999 - June 2002 Washington, District of Columbia, United States

Humane Society Of The United States

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.
May 1996 - September 1999 Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States

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.
April 1995 - April 1996 Alexandria, Virginia, United States

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.
January 1990 - October 1994 Troy, Michigan, United States


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.)
September 1986 - May 1990 Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States


Copywriting, Creative Direction, Editing, Photography, Photoshop,