- Johannesburg, ZA
- $16 /hr
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THOMAS LEARMONT: CURRICULUM VITAE
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
I am a rewriter and editor, the author of books, film scripts, columns and magazine features. Skillsmore...THOMAS LEARMONT: CURRICULUM VITAE
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
I am a rewriter and editor, the author of books, film scripts, columns and magazine features. Skills include proofreading, headlines, ghost writing, aggregation and photography. My strong points are a creative imagination, visual and verbal, with the skills and experience to exploit it. I am also a communicator with taste and a sense of humour, a widely-read generalist with an excellent memory. For many years I have worked for multicultural publications, and have a deep appreciation of black South African cultures, beliefs, traditions and attitudes.
2004 – present. Media 24: firstly at DRUM (rewriter, writing coach), and the short-lived Nova (senior writer) – then from 2005 at Daily Sun and City Vision as rewriter. I shifted to Sunday Sun in 2009. I attend editorial and cartoon conferences, sub leaders, write headlines and rewrite lead stories, including the front page. I also correct laser proofs, mentor young reporters and write fillers. As “resident fiction writer”, I am currently working on the graphic serial Umlilwana – the story of a Racehorse, which has been running for 100 weeks. I have been working for Media 24 on a freelance basis for 12 years, five days a week, without a contract. But with cost-cutting and transformation, my contribution to Media 24 will shrink drastically in 2018. Forewarned, I have responded by marketing my services to new clients.
ADDITIONAL WORK THIS YEAR
Since registering myself as a freelancer on the website of the Publishers' Association of South Africa (PASA) in July 2017, I have completed the following assignments on top of my Sunday Sun work: A Patterson-type thriller (Cut from 150k wds to 80k, structural edit and polish); a motivational book by an academic (45k wds edit, proofread); a dissertation for a diploma in Accountancy (25k wds, edit, proofread). The edit of another blockbuster thriller (156k wds) was complete in November, and I went straight into a “litfic” novel of 92k wds. There are a further 80k words (fiction and memoir) scheduled for January 2018.
Fiction: the interactive Umashaya (2015) for Sunday Sun, and seven Sporo the Striker serials in Daily Sun (2006-2013). After leaving DRUM in 2005, I edited the fiction as a freelancer until September 2016, when these pages were discontinued. I worked with political analyst Ralph Matshekga on When Zuma Goes (Tafelberg 2016), and sold short stories to The Singularity, World SF Blog, Prufrock and Jungle Jim. I began publishing on Kindle in 2016, with my Rogue Male, adapted for the New York market.
Weekends Away (Struik 1989). With Peter and Ashley Joyce, the second edition.
Cycling in South Africa (Media House 1990). “Wit and considerable literary skill,” said the Mail&Guardian.
After the Eclipse (Discobolus 2004) Sanlam Literary Award. “A compulsive read. Mature and accomplished, creating a sensory illusion that is almost cinematic,” said the judges.
The X-Crystals (Discobolus 2007) This was also a popular online serial on iafrica.com.
Rogue Male (Two Dogs 2008) Sex and survival for the newly single man, with evolutionary psychology, social satire and scabrous sexual anecdotes.
Light Across Time (Kwela Books 2011). Volume 1 of the Brief Music SF sequence. “A wonderful piece of work,” said SA novelist Christopher Hope in the Sunday Times.
Novels under submission: War Across Time (Vol 2 of Brief Music) and Radium Nights.
1994 – 2004. I returned to freelance journalism when the TV language dubbing industry vanished along with the former regime. Customers included: Fair Lady, Noseweek, International Gaming and Wagering Business (USA), The National Enquirer (USA), Conway Maritime Press (UK), Focus, The Taverner, Tri-Cycling, PACE, Personality, the Sunday Times, the Mail&Guardian.
1989 –1993. During a stint at People, I wrote press releases for Sun International and articles for that company's gambling publications. But my main effort went into dozens of English lipsynch dialogue translations of German, Spanish, French and Afrikaans TV dramas. In Arende (Cape Rebel), my “effective use of figures of speech and the transference of subtext” was analysed in a D. Litt thesis: Ekwivalensieevalueeringsmodel vir Taaloorklanking. L. Calitz, Rand Afrikaans University 1993.
1978 – 1988. I began a new career in TV language dubbing. My credit as producer, translator and director appears on numerous short films and series. Highlights include Cheval Mon Ami (Oupa se perdestories). I recut and rewrote an Austrian film which became Alburria – Koningryk van Knoffel, as a national hoax for April Fools Day 1982. The biggest hit was a Spanish cartoon series which became Brakanjan, with audience figures to rival Dallas. I made the 13-part series Fietsryflitse (1989) for SABC1, and was scriptwriter and assistant director on Trauma Unit (1988) shot at Groote Schuur Hospital for a UK medical malpractice insurance company.
1977. My first year in South Africa, as principal of the Athol Desmond Study Centre in Johannesburg – a remedial reading lab for children and adults.
1974 – 1976. I cut my freelance teeth in Rhodesia, mainly for Illustrated Life, which paid one cent per word. I wrote everything from the Financial Mail market page to horoscopes, and produced annual architectural supplements single-handed.
1962 – 1973. I taught French in government schools, travelled and learned photography. In January 1974 I resigned, to start living by my wits under the name Freelance Features.
1953 – 1961. My first earnings came as a child radio actor in Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation dramas. Later, I served as a bouncer at the Mashonaland Turf Club, and as Father Christmas in the Greatermans toy department.
Digitus Impudicus was a noble Roman who fingered the high and mighty in Focus, the Helen Suzman Foundation magazine. “Alas, the 2002 IDC report revealed that Wendy and the Lost Boys were outdoing Captain Hook.”
Henri W. Burger in Gaming Gazette was a jaded sybarite whose gastronomic set-pieces involved younger women. "She invited me to dip into her succulent hors d'oeuvre; under the seafood aroma, I sensed the warmth of black pepper and a decadent squirt of Pernod."
Rodney Radium of Lekker Videos was a safari-suited semi-literate film critic who spoke white gutter-vernacular. "Catch The Piano if you smaak a schtom tjerrie who can never tune you grief, ek se – it's a lekker mud-wrestling musical from New Zealand."
Cambridge School Certificate (Ordinary Level) 1954. English, French, History, Geography, Science, Art, Latin.
Cambridge School Certificate (Higher Level) 1957. French, English.
B.A. (London) 1960. English, French, Social Anthropology.
Dip.Ed (Edinburgh) 1962.
Computer Literacy: InDesign, Eidos Méthode, MS Word, Excel, Scrivener, Lightroom.
French – understand, speak, read (and write with no guarantees!).
Spanish, Afrikaans – understand, speak, read.
PERSONAL DETAILS: I was born in Ayr, Scotland, on 20th May 1939. In 1952 my parents emigrated to Rhodesia, where I was educated at Prince Edward School and the University College. I married Sally McNeill in 1964 and was widowed in 1972; our daughter Sonia Jacobson (1971) is a social worker in New York, with two sons. I married Jill Brigden in 1975 and divorced in 1990. Our son Thomas (1978) lives in London, with two more grandsons.
Community service: I have served on the committees of CHOC (Children's Haematology and Oncology Clinic) and SANFA (South African Neurofibromatosis Association).
Obsessions: books, cinema, blues, cycling, historic sailing ship models.
Normal habitat: The Radium Beer Hall in Orange Grove.
Men I admire: Samuel Pepys, Robert Burns, Robert Graves, Vladimir Nabokov, Lightnin’ Hopkins, my brother Alex, Bob Lightley and Manny Cabeleira.
Women I admire: nearly all of them.
Party trick: Paella Valenciana for 12 on an open fire.
PO Box 887
Cell: 082 5797480