The best stories come from actual experiences, not telephone interviews.

Spending time with Taraji P. Henson as she glammed up for a magazine cover shoot and then hanging out with her at a high-end helipad on Chicago’s West Side gave me the color and background needed to tell a story that even her oldest fans enjoyed. That’s also how I got to know Leonard Nimoy. We hung out near the old Boston slums of his childhood. I had no idea he went barefoot as a teen, so I was eager to tell his story too.

I ask questions. I observe. I take notes. I go home. I write. I fact check. I edit. I meet deadline.

That’s how good writing works. That’s how I work. That’s me.

I’ve penned over 5,000 stories since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism. (Will someone tell Gladwell that I’ve surpassed my 10,000 hours?) I’ve interviewed everyone from Ice Cube to Meryl Streep to Dr. Oz to Chance the Rapper. I’ve hosted red carpets and celebrity movie screenings, created social media campaigns and tech gift guides, managed the nation’s largest African-American consumer magazine, and I’m an eagle-eyed developmental editor.

But that’s not all I do. I’m an experienced media executive and digital native. I specialize in running remote teams and media production. I’ve produced magazine cover shoots plus I ghostwrite for a few folks that you probably know.  I’m a seasoned feature writer who enjoys working on stories about credit, diversity and health. I also offer developmental editing services for authors.

I work with GOOD, NBC News, Pitchfork, Essence, Vice, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Takepart, Chicagoist, NewCity and the National Council of Teachers of English. I’ve worked at Ebony magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, The St. Petersburg Times and the San Francisco Examiner. I also worked with Ebony as the special managing editor of three commemorative editions. (See Obama special issue and women’s special issue.) And brand content? Yep. I do that too.

As always, I’m available for speaking engagements. (I had a bunch of fun as a recent keynote speaker for Habitat for Humanity Chicago, the iCanCollective and for U.S. Bank.)

Follow me on Twitter @adriennewrites or email me at

Let’s work together.

– Adrienne Samuels Gibbs