Carolyn McMurray left college at 17 to begin a career as a copywriter. Yet she insists not enough young people know about copywriting as a career—or have enough support once they pursue it.
McMurray, now 22, set out to change that last year when she launched Word Tonic. What began as a colorful weekly newsletter—mixing GIFs, quips, her own musings about career and craft, and practical advice from guest writers—has grown into a burgeoning online community she believes is the first catering specifically to Gen Z copywriters.
“You know when you’re little, you make fake magazines and stuff? I did that with blogs and social media captions, but I didn’t think it could be a career,” said McMurray, who was born in South Africa, raised in the U.K. and currently calls Portugal home. “At school, nobody really told me about copywriting. It was either ‘Become a teacher’ or ‘Write a best-selling novel.’ That wasn’t very helpful.”
McMurray discovered copywriting at Queen Mary University of London, and was so enamored by the idea of making a living at it that she left college after three months, spent a month building a portfolio, and jumped into the job market. Five years later, with a solid freelance career writing mostly tech and B2B copy, she wanted to share what she’d learned—and make connections with like-minded Gen Z creatives, many of whom, like her, are somewhat isolated by work from home life.