Meet Your Writers
The Short Story
A regular contributor to Crixeo magazine, A.J. has worked with publications such as the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader, and the Chicago Sun-Times (specifically their defunct blog Centerstage). She's also been published by Chicago Literati and presented her work through The Chicago Center for Literature and Photography. In 2016, she completed Seth Godin's altMBA program (Cohort 6). She's also studied writing & theatre with Chicago Dramatists, The Second City, Improv Olympic, the Annoyance Theatre, Black Box Studios, and The Writer's Loft. She graduated from University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2005 with a degree in Political Science with a focus in philosophy.
A regular contributor to the Chicago music scene, John has performed as a drummer at notable venues such as the Metro, Schubas Tavern, and the Double Door, as well as events such as Milwaukee Summerfest and Taste of Chicago. His ability to listen and collaborate has made him the cornerstone of Words by Sørensen, where he is able to transform ideas & creativity into action. In the past, he's worked with Tribune Publishing as an account manager and digital sales executive. He's since studied with Ash Ambirge and AWAI, and served as a content consultant for startups at Chicago's famed incubator, 1871. He's also A.J.'s editor.
The Long Story
After retiring from the competitive show jumping circuit at the ripe age of 18, A.J. Sørensen went on to study international politics & finance in London before spending a year in Copenhagen to focus on the creative industries. She then traveled around the EU to better understand how the arts, business, and politics are all interconnected before heading back home to Lafayette, Louisiana to complete her B.A. in political science from the University of Louisiana. After a brief stint in Nova Scotia, connecting with her Acadian roots at a French immersion program, she moved to Chicago to immerse herself in the creative industries full-time. Over the course of three years, she worked and trained at The Second City, studied playwriting, performed in a handful of plays, and enjoyed a few brief cameos in a couple of national television programs. Then, determined to learn the ins-and-outs of the theatre world, she wrote a solo play about the life of Marilyn Monroe and produced it herself - twice - to little fanfare but solid reviews. Around the same time she worked for various content outlets as an education writer before landing a job with Tribune Publishing, working on digital and print advertising for seven markets across the country. It was there that she met John.
While A.J. was traveling around Europe and studying French, John was based in Iowa playing in bands as a drummer and thinking of becoming an elementary teacher. Yet, after studying at St. Ambrose in his native Davenport, IA, he decided to follow his band - The Roadless - to the big city of Chicago. He worked in sales all the while as he focused on his music, spanning multiple genres from rock n' roll and blues to psychedelic and good old pop. Over the years he's played in venues as popular as the Metro, The Beat Kitchen, Schubas Tavern, The Empty Bottle, the Double Door, and Reggie's, as well as events such as Milwaukee Summerfest, Taste of Chicago, and Taste of Randolph Street. (It wasn't until he met A.J. that he had a proper groupie to help carry all of the equipment.) But in between making music and hauling a bass drum all over the city, John worked at Tribune Publishing for around three years, first as an account executive for digital advertising, and next as an account manager for the real estate division. Then, as fate would have it, A.J. got hired by the company and was placed in a cubicle very near his. Life would never be the same again.
After about a year of sharing red grapes and sneaking off to grab coffee, the two finally decided to bite the bullet and set out on their own. The result? Words by Sørensen.
Combining A.J.'s skills in website development, basic design, and years of experience writing long-form copy with John's background in sales, quick-witted one liners and a sharp eye for editing, they set out to work for themselves (and avoid 7am meetings with stale bagels). Determined to succeed, they began a two-year intensive study of all things copywriting and web, ranging from a mentorship program with industry maven Ash Ambirge to reading every book on the subject they could find. Then, in 2016, A.J. completed a dream of hers: to study under Seth Godin. She completed his altMBA program with the sixth cohort, and has never looked back.
Since the beginning of our journey, we've worked with a wide range of clients, from startup companies to artist entrepreneurs hoping to make a stable income from their creative endeavors. Together, we've written about the pet industry, wine & beer, UX, CX, voice of customer technology, education, blockchain, Bitcoin, Craigslist, software development, artificial intelligence, real estate, philanthropy, and almost every one of the creative industries. And through website content, sales tools, and blog posts, we've left in our wake some very happy clients, thrilled with our ability to combine elements of journalism and storytelling with our understanding of tech and the arts. You can view a selection of our portfolio here, or check out some testimonials.
So that's our story. What about yours?
John & A.J. Sørensen