About The Word Factory
Giving you your words' worth since 1993.
We're seasoned journalists & communicators.
For three decades, we made our bones producing quality writing that engages, informs and doing it on deadline.
We understand business.
Our founder grew up in a family business and our team has worked for Fortune Global 500 companies and start-ups, so we understand the enterprise and how contents supports operations and drives revenues. We're a certified woman-owned business and a SAM-certified federal contractor.
We're domain experts.
Meet Our Team
Margot Carmichael Lester
Founder, Strategist, Editor-in-Chief
I've been working in journalism since high school and in content marketing since we called it custom publishing. When I’m not slinging words, I run our newsroom, manage client relationships and coach professionals who want to boost their communications chops. My work also includes consulting with start-ups and Fortune 100 companies on communications and content strategy, workflow optimization and talent management/development. I've got three books to my name, including the multiple award-winning Be a Better Writer, a guide for young writers. And I'm Hubspot Content Marketing Certified. In my off-hours, I love to cook (and eat), listen to music and watch sports -- especially when the UNC Tar Heels are playing basketball -- and follow local, state and national politics.
Lead Editor, Writer & Trainer/Coach
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. In my professional life I’ve worked as a journalist, writing teacher, newspaper editor, freelancer, and technical writer. I spent 20 crazy years at Microsoft writing and producing software manuals in English and dozens of other languages. These days I focus on creating brand journalism, novels and screenplays. At The Word Factory: Pete covers technology, cybersecurity, parenting and sandwich-generation issues; edits projects; and provides coaching and training. Fun fact: Margot, Pete and two other friends once took an epic trip to Cuba.
Ben Hippen, MD
Healthcare & Health Sciences Editor
My career includes professional experience as a composer, songwriter, software developer, and emergency physician. Along the way I’ve had experience writing long- and short-form fiction, nonfiction, blogs, poetry, lyrics and software. I’ve lived in the rural heartland, the urban coasts and the Horn of Africa. Since retiring from medicine I’ve been devoting my time to writing and editing (both prose and music). At The Word Factory: Ben reviews all our health, wellness and medical content for accuracy and voice. He's also our resident expert on all things social, holding certificates in Social Media Marketing and Advanced Social Advertising from the HootSuite Academy. Fun fact: Ben's favorite backpack has been with him to six continents; they still haven't gotten to Antarctica.
Art Director, Designer, Style Guru
I've been working in the design industry for quite a long time, designing everything from logos and corporate branding to product and package design. From 2d to 3d, large to small, corporate to funky, I've created them all. My goal is to make the world a more attractive place, one design at a time. Learn more about my approach to design and see my work. At The Word Factory: Marc designs everything from meaty ebooks to beautiful infographics. He also designed the icon set based on our logo. Fun fact: Marc and Margot met in Hollywood and volunteered together at ArtShare L.A.
Writer & Editor
I'm a feature and enterprise writer who enjoys hearing and retelling people’s stories. I've interviewed ecologists, economists, undersea explorers, teenage philanthropists, sabermetricians, Shark Tank winners, hostage takers, Final Four champions, United Nations officials, radical priests, NASCAR legends, sexual-advise columnists, presidential candidates and death-row inmates. These experiences have informed my understanding of the interview process in particular and journalism in general. At The Word Factory: Taylor is a true general assignment reporter, but he's our go-to on all aspects of health and healthcare (including policy), and for personality and customer profiles.
Skillfully straddling the worlds of traditional and social media, I specialize in crafting compelling stories that connect with diverse audiences. Before launching my own consulting practice in 2012, I was communications manager at HOK and communications leader at MasterCard Worldwide. Learn more about me at my website. At The Word Factory: Mike's covered all aspects of small business, plus architecture, design and development. Fun fact: Mike's eclectic hobbies include fitness, dogs and cats, essential oils and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Retail & Gracious Living Specialist
A self-proclaimed product maven, I consider every shopping trip to be a research expedition. I split my time between social media marketing for small companies and writing about the business and product sides of the retail industry for Staples, Hanley Wood Business Media and the Carrboro Citizen. I've also developed marketing campaigns for Southern Lure, Lawrence & Lillian and Design Design, Inc. At The Word Factory: Carolyn is our retail and lifestyle guru and specializes in small business, education and parenting topics. Fun fact: Carolyn was our very first intern from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media & Journalism. We're so glad she never really left.
Jillian Lee Gray
I began working with The Word Factory in the summer of 2018, advising on social media marketing to teens, writing an article on summer recipes for one of our healthcare marketing clients, and supporting our social justice pro bono work. I want to pursue a career in medicine after graduation. Fun Fact: Jillian is Margot's niece and an avid equestrian.
We're so white.
Despite all the white faces on this page, we really are committed to diversity, inclusion and racial justice. Some of these folks are gay, some are veterans. But, obviously, none is non-white.
Get to know us!
Like what you see? Want to learn more? Got a question? Reach out!