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Writing and Scuba Diving with Content Team Member Chiara

Writing and Scuba Diving with Content Team Member Chiara

Though she comes from a small island country, Daily News Writer Chiara has a global way of thinking, which helps her at work and influences her hobbies. In this interview, we'll learn about her background, why her role on the Content Team is a great fit for her, and some of her favorite Daily News articles.

By the way, if you haven't yet, you should also check out our article on the whole Content Team as well as our interview with another writer, haiku enthusiast Michael.

Tell us about yourself!

So...I'm Chiara! I'm from Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean, but I spent seven years living in Ireland where I got my master's in literature and publishing. I taught English as a foreign language on and off for about eight years, in Malta, Ireland and Australia, and I also worked as a freelance writer and editor before I started working for Engoo. I moved back to Malta about two years ago.

Many of our readers may be unfamiliar with Malta. Can you tell us a bit about it?

It's actually one of the smallest countries in the world, so that's understandable. Malta is made up of a few small islands with an area of about 300 square kilometers — but a population of half a million people, so it's very densely populated. We have two official languages: English and Maltese, which is a bit like Arabic with a lot of European influence. It's not easy to spot on a map because it's so small, but it's about 100 km south of Sicily.

We'll be sure to look closely! So when did you join Engoo and what’s your role on the Content Team?

I joined Engoo in November 2021. I never thought I'd find a job that would comfortably combine my two main areas of work experience — teaching and writing — so I jumped at the opportunity when I saw the position advertised. I mostly work on the Daily News — as a writer, occasional editor, and more recently as a lesson developer.

What’s your process for writing a Daily News article?

To be honest, it changes depending on what the article is. I did a lot of creative writing work in the past, so sometimes my approach for Daily News is to just get everything out onto the page, even if it doesn't all make sense, and then pare it back to suit the needs of the article — like I would if I were writing a story.

Other articles require more precise planning, in terms of both structure and content, so I would usually list the most important points and write the article based on that.

Is there a particular topic you most enjoy writing about or that you find more challenging than others?

I enjoy writing about topics to do with sustainability, human rights and most things ocean-related! They tie into some of my interests outside of work, so I guess that's why I enjoy them. But I also enjoy writing about the history or origins of things, people, businesses, etc.

I do a lot of literature content too and they're probably the ones I'm most proud of because they tend to be a bit trickier than others.

Is there an article you’ve written that you’re especially happy with?

Maybe one of the literature ones, like this [article on To Kill a Mockingbird] or the profile I wrote about Zelenskyy shortly after the invasion. And this was just really cute.

Daily News Writer Chiara scuba diving in Cirkewwa, Malta

Chiara scuba diving in Cirkewwa, Malta

So you mentioned that you’ve recently started developing lessons. What’s that been like?

There's a lot to get used to, but I've been enjoying it! It's quite different to anything I've done in the past, but at the same time, it's also a bit familiar — at times, I'll be writing a discussion question and thinking of a similar discussion I might have had with a student in the past. As a former teacher, it's interesting to be working on lessons from the other side!

It’s nice to move into new areas while still being able to use past experience. So when you’re not writing articles or developing lessons, how do you like to spend your free time?

Perhaps it's not surprising since I'm from a small island, but I spend a lot of time in the water. I go to swim training before work three times a week and I'm very lucky to live less than a five-minute drive from the nearest beach. I also enjoy surfing and freediving, and I recently started scuba diving too!

When I'm not in the water, you might find me reading or cooking, and I also love traveling.

It sounds like you have a very active lifestyle. Before we finish, do you have any advice you’d like to share with our students?

First of all, well done for taking the initiative to learn English. Learning a new language can be tough, but keep at it and don't give up. It can open up a lot of doors and take you to new places — maybe even Malta!