My story, and I’m sticking to it.
I grew up in Vallejo, California, which I like to call “the house that Sly Stone built.” Soul music was the thing! My parents also loved music, so it's no surprise I spent hours in my bedroom listening to, reading about, and even creating my own music (on guitar, mostly). I also loved to write. So when I faced the tormenting question of what to do with my life, combining those two passions seemed like a no-brainer. I'll become a music journalist! Yeah, why not?
After earning a B.A. in journalism (with a minor in music) at CSU, Sacramento, I became an entertainment reporter for the now-defunct Sacramento Union newspaper, and later moved on to the Sacramento Bee. Next came a big leap to New York City, where I spent a year doing tedious temp jobs before landing a dream gig as editor-in-chief of an educational magazine for middle-and-high schoolers, MUSIC ALIVE! I subsequently served as lead editor on a series of music CDs/books, “Roots of Rhythm.”
I loved New York, but after 13 years I grew tired of shoveling snow. So I hit the road in my trusty black Subaru and returned to my native Northern California, where I continue to work as a freelance writer. Mainly, I write for consumer and trade magazines, but I’ve also written for websites, newsletters, and corporate publications, and have done my fair share of company memos and press releases. My clients (past and present) include Sacramento Magazine, MUSIC ALIVE!, Scholastic, InTune Monthly, GRP Records, Vision Service Plan (VSP), California Schools Magazine, and collegeboard.org. At UC Davis Extension, I taught a class in Research and Interviewing Techniques for Non-Fiction Writers.
For Sacramento Magazine, my main home for the last 16 years, I write regularly about music, arts and culture, and health. I’m proud to have won several national writing awards, including a Writer's Digest award for an essay/feature about grief. Food is also a topic I enjoy writing about (who wouldn’t?). My Sacramento Magazine column of 6 years, “The Dollar-Wise Gourmet,” was a finalist for a Maggie Award by the Western Publishing Association (WPA).
When not chained to the computer meeting deadlines, I can often be found visiting Austin, Texas, where I flit regularly to indulge my love of live music in general, and Texas blues in particular.
I would love to hear from you! Email me at email@example.com, or reach out on social media at:
“Here’s my stress-relief technique: I assign freelance stories to Cathy as often as possible. I have a great deal of confidence in her skills and work ethic. She consistently delivers engaging, well constructed stories that require only the lightest of editing, which makes my job easier. "
- Darlena Belushin McKay,
Managing Editor, Sacramento magazine
"I highly recommend Cathy! She is thorough, creative and captures the essence of who you are. In my case, she wrote the most authentic piece of journalism that I have experienced as an artist. She was (and it still stands today!) the first writer to truly capture who I am as an artist and person. If you are looking for someone to write anything about you, Cathy is the person to call!"
- Casey Lipka,