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Whether she’s making jokes on Slack or wrapping up another 90,000-word novel, nobody wrangles the English language quite like Anne “The Wordsmith” Riley. Her fascination with the power of stories began sometime in toddlerhood and only gained steam throughout her school years, leading straight into a second career as an author. To date, she has four published books, one work in progress, and a whole stash of half-finished manuscripts on her hard drive that will never see the light of day.

We said she wrangles the English language, but Anne is pretty good with Spanish, too. Her fascination with other cultures developed almost as early as her reading addiction, and thanks to her dad’s collection of Julio Iglesias tapes back in the 80s, Anne started learning Spanish vocabulary through music. She double-majored in Advertising/Public Relations and Spanish at the University of Alabama and spent a semester at La Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, Spain. After graduation, she taught high school Spanish for ten years, and although she misses the students, she doesn’t miss explaining the present perfect tense.

You might think none of this has anything to do with marketing, but—surprise!—it actually has everything to do with marketing. Communicating a business’s message requires great skill in storytelling, and that’s how Anne began her role at Uptick: as a blogger and social media writer. Now, she oversees all of Production, which consists of four separate teams (copywriting, design, SEO, and advertising). She’s even had the opportunity to work with a handful of clients on Spanish language content alongside Uptick’s other Spanish speakers.

Anne’s expertise in the fields of fiction writing and content marketing have led her to many speaking engagements, including talks at Jacksonville State University, Auburn University, UAB, Samford University, Alabama Ag Communicators, TEDx SamfordU, Decatur Book Festival, the Alabama Reading Association Conference, Birmingham Local Authors Expo, Batten Disease Support & Research Association Family Conference, and multiple schools around the Birmingham area.

And in case that’s not enough, she’s been named among the Top Women in Alabama Media by Business Alabama and among the 100 People to Know in Shelby County by the Shelby County Reporter. You can find some of her non-Uptick related work in Shelby Living, Hoover’s Magazine, and EPIC Media, and she also works as a freelance editor and consultant for aspiring authors.

Her published books include Shadows of the Hidden and Pull, both young adult novels; Voyage to the Star Kingdom, a children’s picture book; and Off With Their Heads, the first in a new mystery series written under the name Annie McKay. Voyage to the Star Kingdom debuted as the #1 Amazon Bestseller for Children’s Christian Fiction and was recently contracted for Chinese translation rights by The Gospel Coalition. Anne is also the owner and founder of Wordsmith Books, LLC, a local publishing company.

When she’s not working for Uptick or making progress on her own writing, Anne is probably reading. She enjoys mysteries, contemporary fantasy, and psychological thrillers (but only during the daytime; otherwise, she won’t sleep), and names A Wrinkle in Time and The Count of Monte Cristo as her favorite books. She loves spending time with her husband, Rob, and their three daughters, Maggie, Jenna, and Kellan—but she also loves taking long walks by herself while listening to Taylor Swift’s Reputation album. It’s no Julio Iglesias, but it’ll do.

Patronus:
Wolverine. Not the actual animal, though. The Hugh Jackman version.
Ultimate Dream:
To be a NYT bestselling author (move over, JK Rowling)
Least Favorite Adventure in Europe:
Almost being arrested in Portugal. “I don’t want to talk about it.”