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Journalist Portfolio

As a writer, I don’t just use words to describe what I see; I create stories and scenes that take the reader to somewhere new and unexpected. To get a better sense of my work, please feel free to explore my Journalist Portfolio below or check out my blog -

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The following is a collection of my latest and most meaningful writing projects. Each piece is unique in style and content and represents a distinct moment in my career. I hope you enjoy my work and I invite you to contact me with any questions.


July, 2019

Anacortes artists are coming together to raise awareness about gun violence in the United States and to honor victims through art and video in the “Say Their Names: the Regeneration Project.”

The project, which will be displayed at the Anacortes Arts Festival next month, is an artist-driven response to the growing number of mass shootings in America.

More than 30 artists created 800-plus individual ceramic memorial stones, each displaying the name, event, date and age of an individual killed in 84 mass shootings throughout the U.S., according to a press release.


April 2018

As opioid overdoses are on the rise in Bellingham and across the Pacific Northwest, solutions have been proposed to combat deaths. 

State legislators are pushing for more approaches to treat opioid addiction, including providing a place for users to reduce health risks in the form of safe-injection sites.

Whatcom County does not currently have safe-injection sites, but the Whatcom County Health Department does have a pilot program that can aid opioid users. Their program, Syringe Services, offers the confidential exchange of used hypodermic needles for new, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment. While the rate of opioid-related deaths in Whatcom County is slightly lower than the statewide average, according to Whatcom County Health Department’s 2016 Opioid Overdose Report, it’s still rising.

The report found that, after showing survey participants from Whatcom County data on opiate use, 66 percent of respondents said they thought prescription opiate abuse was a moderate to serious problem.

“Not only have opioid overdoses increased dramatically in recent years, we are seeing a massive increase of overdoses in Whatcom County,” said Charles Watras, manager of the medication-assisted treatment program at Sea Mar, a local community health center.

Watras said need for their services has been increasing as deaths from opioid overdoses are on the rise. He said thousands of people died last year in the United States due to opioids.

According to Jessica McAllister, Syringe Services program coordinator, currently about 80 people per week use this program, however, these numbers fluctuate depending on the time of year.

“Clients hear about our program mostly through word of mouth from their friends,” McAllister said. “But it is becoming more common for us to receive referrals from community medical providers as they become more aware of and accepting of our program.”

According to McAllister, the individuals who work or volunteer at Syringe Services, as well as the staff at Sea Mar’s medication-assisted treatment program, have the same goal: to help those struggling with opioid addiction beat their addictions and begin to lead happy and healthy lives.

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June, 2023

This is a great place to showcase a sample of your written work or write a short description about your project. Did you collaborate on a print or multimedia project? If so, dazzle your visitors with images and video. Make sure to include a link to the full live project or document so readers can enjoy the entire piece.

"All you have to write is one true sentence. The truest sentence that you know."


Ernest Hemingway



Learning the skill of improvisation, and how it can help teach positive socialization skills.

Most of the moments in our life are improvised. We spend our lives making calculations in a nanosecond about what to do next. For some, it’s easy. we’ve all had long nights, laid awake playing conversations over and over again in our heads. For others, it’s a game.

Improv is what keeps Kent Loomer sane. It’s his stress relief. By allowing himself to focus on being creative, he can lose himself in the moment rather than mulling over the worries and stress from his day.

I got into improv because a friend told me that I was the only person who didn’t know that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing,” Loomer said. “They strongly encouraged me to take a self-improvement course.”

Loomer did just that. He took a personal development class that had him set a goal at the end of the course and achieve it within a week. Loomer chose to try improv at the newly opened Upfront Theatre. After the first class, he came home and told his wife that he was hooked. He’d never stop doing improv, he said.
“It is incredibly challenging, fun,” he said. “It’s like being a little kid in the backyard with one army man action figure and a poker chip, and you can play for hours and hours because there is no wrong, everything is right.”

Can doing improv apply to life? Loomer has an exercise he does in his advanced improv class that encapsulates the general idea of improv. It goes like this:

All you have to do is say yes.

Do you want to hear a story?

About an astronaut?


Who builds a rocket ship…


Okay, now say no.

Do you want to hear a story?


“So, with improv, the most powerful word you have is yes. Everything is possible with the word yes. Nothing is possible with the word no,” Loomer said.



Summary of Qualifications

I don’t consider myself to be a “traditional” writer, something that is reflected in my resume. However, each role I’ve taken on has contributed to my professional development. Find out more by getting in touch.


 As a recent graduate from Western Washington University, I completed multiple quarters on student publications - The Western Front, the campus newspaper, and Klipsun magazine, an independent student publication. And have collaborated with departmental publications stories featuring individuals of note on campus for - Window, Western’s Alumni magazine and Catalyst, Western’s Center for Business and Economic Research’s new quarterly publication. going in a way that’s easy for readers to scan and absorb quickly.



Sandra Rees-Bowen

Writer/Freelance Journalist, Blogger, Photographer

Ferndale, Washington

LINKS: CV and articles published -; LinkedIn:

Published Photographs:

I am a self-motivated and deadline orientated Writer/Journalist with a passion for telling unique stories of public interest; a professional with the ability to multitask and meet tight deadlines in high-pressure environments; personable, results-focused team player, and a lifelong learner with a passion for writing copy to inform and educate my readers

I am also a professional who is able to skillfully manage multiple tasks, meeting tight deadlines in high-pressure environments.


K E Y  S K I L L S

* Bachelor of Arts Journalism

* Creative writing style and excellent reporting skills.

* Thorough investigator with strong commitment to protecting source.

* Proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment.  Never missed a deadline without compromising accuracy.

* Prepared investigative content for online publication, performed thorough research and secured information sources.

* Collaborated with field reporters, other writers, news producers, assignment editors and managers. regarding publication development, investigation accuracy, research progress

* Edited and reviewed articles of other reporters for accuracy, and clarity.

 * Field reporting, photojournalism

* Effective and efficient in fast paced environment 

* Results focused

* Reliable

* Team Player

* SEO Utilization

* Blogging/Commentary


E X P E R I E N C E - Journalist


Conceptualized and developed story and photographs.

-> Link to my News Photos published in newspaper:

I am a self-motivated and deadline orientated Writer/Journalist with a passion for telling unique stories of public interest; a professional with the ability to multitask and meet tight deadlines in high-pressure environments; personable, results-focused team player; a lifelong learner with a passion for writing copy to inform and educate my readers
Articles Published: 

-  “Ukulele groups jam, socialize for the fun and love of music”

-  “New Salvation Army Captain enjoys slower pace in Anacortes”

-  "Art Installation focuses on Gun Violence”

-  “Availability nears for city’s high-speed internet” (co-author)

Graduated with B.A. in Journalism, News-Ed B.A; Minor in Sociology

Conceptualized content researched and developed story lines for several University publications to aid students and Alumni.
Articles Published: 
-  The Western Front, campus newspaper
“Stressing About Finals, Why Sleep is important.”

-   Klipsun, independent student publication

“Sowing the Seeds of Improvisation”

Window, Alumni magazine             

"Western’s SPJ Club Wins Outstanding Award”

-  Catalyst, magazine for Western’s Center for Business & Economic Research

“The Most Interesting Man” 


E X P E R I E N C E - Blogger

2020 - Present

Sandra ReesBowen@the-rees-commentary - Focus on life and living in the Pacific Northwest.
S.Rees@AspieMimBlog - Living the life of a Boomer with Asperger’s

 2011 - 2012 ithirstnw

A F F I L I A T I O N S 

SPJ - Society of Professional  Journalists 

IRE – Investigative Reporters  and Editors 



P.O. Box 3151, Ferndale, WA


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