Writer / Editor / Creative Artist

John Breneman is a skilled freelance writer who draws on decades of experience as a newspaper reporter, editor, page designer and columnist. A wordsmith with an eye for visual design, his approach emphasizes the vital role that listening with all of one's senses plays in the art of effectively and elegantly communicating the message.


John Breneman / Writer

My career as a journalist has afforded me countless opportunities to interview business and nonprofit executives, academic leaders, politicians, entertainment and sports figures, influence shapers and everyday people from all walks of life.

As a copywriter, my understanding of how to listen closely to clients and select words that capture and amplify the essence of their message has been honed writing and editing in newsrooms and reporting in the field.

My work in newspapers (distinguished by industry honors for editorials, features, news and more) equips me with the versatility to produce sharp, compelling copy on virtually any topic. 

Let's talk: To discuss freelance writing projects, rates and other services (professional editing, speechwriting, marketing, content strategy and more), please contact me at

If a race of advanced celestial beings ever sought to develop a deeper understanding of humankind's capacity for self-discovery, their journey might begin near the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For here, some of the brightest people on Planet Earth have converged to unravel its secrets.

News Office covers world of ideas at MIT  ...   READ MORE


One of my favorite spots on Planet Earth is right here – on a worn Portsmouth pier that pokes out over the swift-flowing Piscataqua River. Here in Prescott Park, next to the centuries-old Sheafe Warehouse and the nearby Gundalow sailing vessel, life moves at wharf speed – offering visitors a 360-degree perspective on the wonders of our historic city by the sea.

Words from the heart about my hometown of Portsmouth, N.H.  ...   READ MORE


Making history has never felt more rewarding than my work editing the 150th anniversary edition of the venerable Cambridge Chronicle. I researched, assigned and supervised the project, which earned substantial revenue and was honored as the year's Best Special Section. I even gave the roll-out speech at City Hall and welcomed readers to the special publication with these words.

Editor/project manager for Cambridge Chronicle 150th anniversary magazine.  ...  READ MORE


Meet Rafael Hernandez Brito – hero to anyone who’s ever imitated a TV sports announcer knowing he could do it better, passionate ambassador for the idea that sports is an international language.

My freelance copywriting experience includes penning professional biographies  ...   READ MORE


Diamond rings the size of a baby’s fist. Fighter jets tearing across the sky and soldiers in wheelchairs rolling across the Fenway grass. A Red Sox championship banner billowing from the Green Monster. All of a sudden, 1918 doesn’t seem so long ago.

Hub fans bid curse adieu  ...   READ MORE


Miss Ruth Jones, proud grand niece of Frederick Douglass, turned 100 years old on Friday, treating folks who came to visit her to a century’s worth of stories. She spread laughter through the North Cambridge house she has lived in since 1913 and shared words of wisdom through her smiling, dark blue eyes and clear telephone operator voice.

Keeping up with Miss Ruth Jones, age 100  ...   READ MORE


Long, long ago, in a galaxy that now seems very far away, I got a chance to interview a future astronaut. ... 27 years later he sent me an email from the International Space Station.



I was not scheduled to be in the Portsmouth Herald newsroom on September 11, 2001, but when I got to my desk the city editor asked me to write this essay to lead the next day’s front page.

A Nation Mourns ... (Sept. 11, 2001)  ...   READ MORE


Ozzie Sweet

Legendary photographer Ozzie Sweet has shared private moments with Eisenhower, Hemingway and DiMaggio in the six decades since his wartime images first appeared on the cover of Newsweek. He has squinted through his lens at Grace Kelly and Ingrid Bergman, Jackie Gleason and John Wayne. But everybody wants to know about Sweet's encounter with the rumpled, wild-haired genius named Einstein.   READ MORE

See more of my writing, visual design work and humor