Hi! My name is Anna Spysz and I used to just write, edit, and translate things for a living - now I also code them (feature upgrade!). I also help startups present themselves to the world, and am working a few of my own startups on the side. Sometimes I also take pictures, and other times I make music. Mostly, though, I just want to keep reading, learning, and traveling.
After spending 11 years living in gorgeous Krakow, Poland, where I earned my MA, I now live in Portland, Oregon, where I recently completed a full-stack developer bootcamp. When I'm not writing or coding, I can be found kung fu fighting at my local Wing Chun academy. In the past I wrote a book (OK, half) and used to write a lot about tech and startups for publications such as Bitspiration News and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. I also used to play in a post-rock band called New Century Classics, and I’m an original co-founder of Preserved Sound, an ambient and neo-classical record label based in Krakow, though these days I mostly play music at home and with friends.
Front-end web development
Editing & copyediting
Consulting for startups
(1people regularly pay me to do these things)
(2people pay me to do them now and then)
Back-end web development with Django
(3maybe one day people will pay me to do them)
I am the co-author and editor of the book The Essential Guide to Being Polish, released July 2013. I also recently wrote and was the project manager for a workbook for startups titled PowerGuide for InnoEnergy. You can read an excerpt from it here.
I have experience as both a freelance writer and tech journalist and as an editor, with over four years of combined experience as the editor-in-chief of a newspaper and online publication, and am available for freelance commissions. My areas of expertise include tech and startups (particularly cleantech), history, politics, European culture, and literature in emigration, though I am an obsessive reader of physics, astronomy and neuroscience books and love to write on those topics as well. I have been interviewed in a variety of media on the topic of current events in Poland, including the BBC and ABC News in the U.S.
I am interested in writing about technology, current trends in science (particularly astrophysics), and new media. I also have experience as a music journalist, having written for several blogs in the past as well as starting my own music publication.
In addition to writing, I am also a freelance translator, and started my own location-independent translation business in January 2011 called Tłumaczenia Bez Biura (Translations Without an Office). I specialize in Polish to English translation, as well as proofreading or copyediting already translated English text.
A selection of articles and other writing published online.
"[A] carefully researched but reader-friendly peregrination through the story of Poland—a thrilling if sometimes depressing ride you wouldn't believe if you read it in a novel. . . . I can say honestly . . . that The Essential Guide to Being Polish will not disappoint." — Krakow Post
"Do you plan to visit Poland for the first time? Are you contemplating a return trip? Do you enjoy reading about other countries and their cultures? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above then you must read The Essential Guide to Being Polish. . . . Once you start reading, you’ll want to read it all." — Am-Pol Eagle
"I invite you on this journey into the depths of the Polish soul." — from the Foreword by former Polish President Lech Walesa
“The Essential Guide to Being Polish recounts the political and cultural history of Poland—and, if you will, of Polishness—with a reader-friendly, streamlined clarity that is leavened with wit and timely, amusing turns, but that for all its playfulness never loses sight of the essential complexity of its subject.” —Stuart Dybek, award-winning author of The Coast of Chicago and I Sailed with Magellan
I was interviewed about the topic of women in tech and startups in Poland for the ProCEEd Podcast.
If you read Polish, here's an article on my role as editor in chief of the Krakow Post: Nowa krakowska gazeta dla obcokrajowców.
Finally, very rarely and reluctantly I've done TV/web video interviews. Here's one of them: INMA Poll: Anna Spysz, Editor in Chief, Krakow Post.
Founder & DeveloperMore info
Co-author & EditorMore info
I'm the co-author and editor of the book The Essential Guide to Being Polish, a non-fiction work that "recounts the political and cultural history of Poland — and, if you will, of Polishness — with a reader-friendly, streamlined clarity that is leavened with wit and timely, amusing turns, but that for all its playfulness never loses sight of the essential complexity of its subject."
Author & Project ManagerMore info
As the author and the project manager of the PowerGuide workbook (originally titled KICstart Your Business in its first edition) for InnoEnergy, a division of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, I wrote the contents of the workbook and supervised the design, layout, and printing of two editions of the workbook as well as the creation of the accompanying online tool for the entire project, which is currently used in six European city campuses to help foster innovation.
The workbook is only available to InnoEnergy students and encompasses 250 pages of content and exercises to help students turn their ideas into a startup in order to find a successful business model and build a great company around it. It contains the latest theories in Lean Startup and Customer Development, including Business Model Generation and Value Proposition Design. You can read an excerpt here.
Editor in Chief, Co-founderMore info
I co-founded and served as the editor in chief of the Bitspiration News website, covering a wide array of topics concerning technology and startups from Poland, including startup communities, mobile, social media, technology education, and most importantly, the people making an impact not just in Poland but worldwide. Bitspiration was created to fill a gap in the media coverage of technology news: the absence of news about what's happening in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe.
Editor & JournalistMore info
Web.gov.pl is a project of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. Its aim is to provide reliable information on the Polish startup ecosystem and promote Polish innovative companies internationally. On its pages you will find recent information about the most interesting start-ups from Poland, interviews with entrepreneurs and investors, as well as detailed studies on institutions supporting startups in Poland.
Editor in ChiefMore info
The Krakow Post is Krakow’s only magazine for local news, culture, events, history, opinion, expat resources, and more in English.
As the editor from 2008 to 2010, I oversaw the publication of the monthly print edition, found and guided freelance writers and subeditors and ran the online version of the paper.
Blogger & Social MediaMore info
TEDxKraków is a group of volunteers acting to share “ideas worth spreading”. We believe that to be innovative, you have to think critically and out of the box. We connect people from different backgrounds and of different stories, who together want to make Kraków a better place and to inspire one another. To achieve this, since 2010 we have organized numerous meetings and events.
I was a member of the organizing team for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 editions of the conference, during which time I ran the English section of the blog and social media accounts, and helped in numerous organizational aspects.
Copywriter & Social MediaMore info
Razrfly helps shape your business, solve your problems and develops solutions that you love.
As an Online Media Guru for the company, I oversaw the social accounts of several clients, including Nanna Kay's line of healthy meals for kids and Question One, a quizzing company based in the UK.
Copywriter & TranslatorMore info
NoName Agency is a marketing agency that helps tech brands grow, providing marketing strategy, public relations, social media and branding.
As a consulting copywriter, proofreader and translator, I help startups present themselves to the world.
Content StrategyMore info
Tagvenue is the UK's fastest growing venue marketplace. They want to make it easier for people to get together, whether it's to celebrate a birthday or wedding or to educate and inspire with a conference or team building event. That's why they've built a powerful, advanced search engine that makes finding and hiring the perfect venue quicker and easier than it's ever been.
As a content strategist, I conducted a comprehensive audit of Tagvenue's existing onsite and offsite content, created new content for the company as well as a Content Strategy Guide to refer to in the future.
Press release writingMore info
Seed Labs/Silvair's team of world class software developers, hardware engineers, UX designers, product managers and testers is building a growing network of products that are truly smart and user friendly. It's all about delivering comfort, safety and outstanding performance.
Consulting, copyeditingMore info
Eventory is all that you need to go mobile. It is a cutting-edge app that connects organizers with attendees, lets you manage your event in real time, keeps your guests up-to-date with your event’s news, and increases attendee satisfaction.
As a copywriter and consultant, I helped create and edit content for the app's website and the App Store, as well as the application itself.
Event PhotographerMore info
The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery.
I served as a Photo Crew Member for the Music section of the festival for two years, and as a press photographer for the Interactive section for one year. Several of my photographs have been featured in SXSWorld Magazine.
Official PhotographerMore info
Unsound is an amorphous music festival based in Kraków, with events in New York, London, Adelaide. We deal with vibrant electronic, experimental, independent and club music scenes from all around the world. We often commission new work and collaborations, and like taking risks.
As the Festival's official (and sometimes only) photographer since 2010 (and unofficial photographer since the second edition in 2008), I've been with the festival almost from the start and have seen it grow from a tiny underground event to an international sensation in the world of electronic music. As such, my photographs have been featured in such publications as Resident Advisor and SPIN.
Recording Session PhotographerMore info
In December 2014 I had the great pleasure of photographing Craig Leon with the Sinfonietta Cracovia for Sony Music at the weird, trippy earth-bound spaceship that is Alvernia Studios. I've driven by the strange buildings countless times but have never been inside... until now. It was, needless to say, a trip out of this world.
Founder, TranslatorMore info
Tłumaczenia Bez Biura (Translations without an Office) is the translation and proofreading firm I founded in Poland. At Tłumaczenia Bez Biura, we believe that it's better to do one thing really well than offer a lot of services with varying quality. That's why we only specialize in written translations from Polish to English - and we're really good at it!
Translation & ProofreadingMore info
Ikropka is a publishing house that specializes in publishing on demand. Over the years of being a contract translator and copyeditor for the publishing house, I have translated and proofread numerous magazines, such as Airgate and Hi Fly, as well as internal magazines for such corporations as PMI.
Translation & ProofreadingMore info
The University of Agriculture in Krakow (UAK) is one of the leading universities in the area of life sciences in Poland. As a proofreader and translator for the institution, I have translated and edited numerous scientific articles for publication in scientific journals throughout the world.
Language EditorMore info
Folia Horticulturae is an international, scientific journal published in English. It covers a broad research spectrum of aspects related to horticultural science that are of interest to a wide scientific community and have an impact on progress in both basic and applied research carried out with the use of horticultural crops and their products. The journal’s aim is to disseminate recent findings and serve as a forum for presenting views as well as for discussing important problems and prospects of modern horticulture, particularly in relation to sustainable production of high yield and quality of horticultural products, including their impact on human health.
As the language editor, I am responsible for the quality of the publication's language and assuring the published articles meet the standards of international scientific research.
Polish Radio (Polskie Radio) is s Poland's national publicly funded radio broadcasting organization. I've worked with them in the past on several copywriting and translation projects, the lastest of which involved the translation of their location-based history application of iOS and Android called Voices of the Past.