Jan 23, 2020
2019 was a big year for us at GBH. We published more stories than ever before, our writers took home dozens of awards, and we broke our own record for the number of visits to our site. It was truly a banner year.
One of the reasons for that is Claire Bullen, our editor-in-chief. Perhaps we didn’t give this occasion enough fanfare—I know I certainly would have participated in a ticker-tape parade to celebrate, but this is our time to do so.
Claire took over the role of editor in June, but has been on the editorial team since mid-2018. Claire is responsible for two of our 10 most popular stories of the year; she published a book in March; and shone like the beer beacon she is at this year’s North American Guild of Beer Writers Awards and British Guild of Beer Writers Awards, winning nods including Best Book, Best Technical Writing, and Best Travel Writing. It’s an understatement to say that we’re lucky to have her on the team.
One of the pleasures of my job is seeing Claire at work. Articles come in from our writers, and I get to watch Claire work with folks to produce some of the best beer writing on the internet. Every editor has a different approach to how they coach and guide writers, making small edits and suggestions as to how to really punch up an article. I saw this at work especially in a recent House Culture article we published by Helena Fitzgerald. Helena is a freelance writer who shared a beautiful story about stepping back from drinking while maintaining her love of bars, and it was lovely to see the touch points in the piece—the moments I knew Claire helped shape. I get to know Helena in this piece, but I also see Claire in there as well.
It’s funny writing this (and now saying it out loud), because I know Claire has to edit it—and I can imagine her brain working through this introduction that’s about her. It’s kind of a mind trip, but Claire makes us all better. I benefit so much from having her as editorial teammate, and I hope you see the flashes of her on our website like I do. They’re quiet and subtle, but when you find them, they shine brilliantly.