Ellie Fitzpatrick: writing wizard


photo by Lori Mortland

Delaney Jones and Ellie Fitzpatrick work on a spread during a visit from Mike Taylor. Jones is the 2021 business manager and Fitzpatrick is the copy writer.

Since starting high school, Ellie Fitzpatrick has been a part of drama, soccer, journalism, and joined the Meridian Moments yearbook staff. Since she joined in February, she has designed spreads, and has been named Copy Manager for the 2021 yearbook staff.

“I’ve always liked writing so I kind of just wanted to try it out,” Fitzpatrick said.

Not knowing what she was in for, Fitzpatrick not only kept with it but succeeded.

“I ended up taking it [journalism] my sophomore year and I loved it, I thought it was just the coolest thing and it was so much fun,” Fitzpatrick said.

Initially, she was only in Journalism until February when MM yearbook had lost some members and wanted to grow their staff again.

“When Mrs. Moore asked me to come back on staff, I wasn’t sure about it at first, but now that I’m on it again, it’s so much fun. I think it [yearbook] is really helping my writing,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick was supposed to attend the 2020 sectional competition in April at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“I knew the judges would love reading her writing as much as I do,” Sheila Moore, journalism and yearbook advisor, said.

The team was preparing for the sectionals trip when it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was definitely… bummed about it; I was pretty excited to see what this was all about and more curiosity than anything. I really wanted to know how I could do against other people, it was pretty disappointing to learn that it had been canceled,” Fitzpatrick said.

With her journalistic writing skills, Fitzpatrick was chosen to be the 2021 copy manger for the yearbook.

“Ellie has been able to take her writing style and apply it to journalism. I truly enjoy reading all of her work,” Moore said.

Fitzpatrick will have to take ideas, stories told, and comments from people and create it to fit into the story of the yearbook.

“It’s kind of challenging to try and take what somebody said and formulate it into a story,” Fitzpatrick said.

It’s a process to be perfected.

“It’s not as hard as it is time-consuming,” Fitzpatrick said.

She has already started her duties and written the 2021 opening.

“Being the copy person is a little scary because you’re a part of a team; you don’t want to let the team down,” Fitzpatrick said.

This can lead to some scary feelings, but her team believes in her abilities. 

“Ellie’s writing has helped grow and will ultimately help with some consistency in our book,” Gabby Bingaman, co-editor-in-chief, said. “I feel like in the past there has always been different styles, and some people don’t have the extent of journalistic writing training as others do, especially in the beginning, and just having somebody focusing solely on copy instead of having 18 different people writing is going to help so much.”

Fitzpatrick hopes to ultimately become an author in the future.

“I do think that it is helping [become an author]…I think that it helps me understand people m0re and I think that is really good for books because you can put that understanding in and it helps you write it and have a deeper understanding of the characters because you know the people,” Fitzpatrick said.