Elissa Cottle

Writer / Editor / Project Manager

   Artful Business Writing

    Creative Writing Classes, Editing & Consulting



love to promote achievements and stories of conscientious businesses, nonprofits and professionals. 

 My writing expertise has benefited entrepreneurs, builders, artists, planners, designers, health care   

 providers, government, nonprofits and others.


    The talent I have for putting art in business and organization writing comes from lifelong creative   writing. I am a published poet and teach and edit creative writing for adults.



Master of Fine Arts in Writing -  Hamline University, Minnesota

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with honors - University of Iowa

   - Semester in London analyzing media coverage of British steel industry during historic labor strike

   - Semester in Washington, D.C., as Washington Star  transit writer


Professional Experience

Writer and editor for businesses, nonprofits, academics, creatives and media - since 1977

           Specializing in marketing and strategy, community building, health, government


Staff marketer, strategist and project manager - 11 years

          for the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program

          - Creating newsletters, web content, white papers, grant applications

          - Leading strategy groups; managing multi-million-dollar budgets 

          - Focusing on business rehab, housing, schools, the arts, community building


Creative writing teacher - since 2004

         - Teaching "Creating a Writing Life" for adults to write poetry, fiction and  memoir  

Founder and curator of When Writing Meets Art, literary reading series - since 2010

Founder and editor of Valley Muses, quarterly literary page in Stillwater Gazette - since 2015


Youth journalism teacher - 5 years 

         - Teaching after-school newspaper making and creative writing in Minneapolis 


Poet published in the following literary journals

         Between The Lakes, Main Channel Voices, Minnesota Poetry Calendar,

         rock, paper, scissors,  Southwest Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal,

         and the Nodin Poetry Anthology of Minnesota poets  


Business Clients 

Allina Health - medical records proofing

Dewdrop Massage - blog writing  

Diamond Cut Homes, remodeling contractor - website content 

Elm Grove Enterprises - grant writing 

Heightened Performance, workplace wellness consultant - web design and content
Hope Center Adult Daycare - website design and content (hopecenteradc.com)

Innovative Court Reporters - deposition transcripts proofing

Love That Pillow, home accessories - website content and business coaching

Mindscapes Unlimited, business/life coaching - media releases and website content

Nine Cloud Healing - website content

Ostrowski Insurance Agency - brochure content

River Market Community Co-op - newsletter articles (pro bono)

Solution Enhance, radon mitigation - website content

Studio St. Croix, coaching services - marketing writing and business coaching

Target Corporation - editing engineers' reports on store reconstruction

United Media Group  digital advertising devices - newsletter and marketing writing


Nonprofit Clients

ETR (Education, Training & Research) - data collection for teen-pregnancy prevention curriculum

Harweyn, nonprofit for Somalia relief and reconstruction  - website design and content 

Our Community Food Projects, food garden management - newsletters

Red Sea Shares: The Djibouti American Connection - website design and content

University of Minnesota - newsletters for academic advising center

Creative Writing Clients

Editor and co-writer of book manuscripts, including memoir, poetry, and investment strategy

 - The Victory Daughter, 2019 memoir, co-writer and editor for author Laura Scott

  - Always Birds, poetry collection, editor for author Elizabeth Paxon

   Published in 2019, available from redbirdchapbooks.com for $12

 - A Prayer for Ducks, poetry collection, editor for author Ethan Joella

   Published in 2019, available from redbirdchapbooks.com for $12


Coach and editor for numerous creative writers

Media Clients

Stillwater Gazette, MN - business columnist and current literary page curator and editor

Minnesota Monthly - business-environment partnership articles

Minnesota Parent - family articles 

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine - editing, writing, research on the hospitality industry

Peterborough Evening Telegraph, England - articles on the steel making industry

Southwest Journal, Minneapolis - articles on education, community planning and the arts

Twin Cities Business Monthly - articles on various business issues


Media Employers

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, greater Los Angeles - staff writer, 5 years

   Covering criminal courts, local government, education, feature articles

LA Parent - staff assistant editor and writer, 1 year

The Star News, greater San Diego - staff writer covering city planning, 2 years

Duluth News-Tribune, MN - intern staff writer covering business and community

Warwick Beacon, RI - intern staff writer covering real estate industry

Volunteer Experience

The Zephyr Theatre - Literary Arts Coordinator since 2017; Grant Writer since 2018

   Board of Trustees - 2017-2019 (stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org)

Neighborhood Block Leader (Minneapolis and Stillwater) - event planning, newsletters since 1995

Past volunteer positions:

River Market Community Co-op Board of Directors - 2012-2017

Family Tree Clinic - editor and patient counselor 

FamilyMeans - newsletter writing, creative writing tutor for teens

St. Croix Valley Athletic Association - assistant coach

Global Volunteers - housing construction

The Family Partnership - research, creative writing group facilitator



  • Society of Professional Journalists

  • Press Club of Southern California

         First Place in news writing

  • Harte-Hanks Newspapers

         for articles on business, legal affairs, and in-depth and investigative writing

  • Outstanding Young Woman of America

         nominated by Congressional representative

Conducted the Minnesota Orchestra

at age 13

As a student in a youth conducting class

I conducted the first movements of 

Schubert's “Symphony No. 8 in B Minor" and

Mozart's “Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.”



   Give back your heart / to itself, to the stranger / who has loved you / all your life

   - Derek Walcott, poet



Image 3_ _Conducting at 13_ photo by Ken