Yashica Dutt

Yashica Dutt

Freelance Journalist/Author/Consulting Associate Creative Director at Aleph Publishing House/Admerasia
Greater New York City Area, United States

About me

I am a New-York-based journalist and a copywriter, curious about how culture, identity, and commerce mold the world around us. Since graduating from Columbia Journalism School, I've been busy blending that extensive understanding of art, music, theater, television, and social justice with over ten years of deadline-driven print and online writing.

As a copywriter, I have created major seasonal campaigns, written crisp copy, crafted headlines, produced gripping website content, generated social media strategy, and when all is done, successfully pitched it to clients like Nissan, Citibank, Honda, Humana, and Sling TV.

I'm a storyteller. I write to connect brands with people. After ten years and well over 10,000 hours of writing — I just wrote a highly anticipated nonfiction book that’s out in June — I choose words that are razor-sharp and exciting but at the same time steered by strategy and a clear brand voice. So all the consumer reads is a brand that speaks to them on almost singular, individual level.

I've written for fashion fiends and beauty addicts, tech junkies, healthcare CEOS, an audience that needs to understand the gravity of discrimination, elderly insurance consumers, people who like cars -- and those who don't. Most seemed convinced I was one of them.

I know more than a thing or two about social media. I not only launched social media for India’s most-read Sunday magazine but also turned it into an online influencer within months. More recently, I wrote an article on growing up ‘lower’ caste in India, which, like I had anticipated, went massively viral. During that time, I discerningly ran all my social media accounts and turned a window of opportunity into a windfall of articles, television and online interviews, and a major book deal.

I am a freelance writer, strategist, and a client whisperer and I’m always looking for a new problem to solve. So if you’ve got a doozy you need a hand with, feel free to contact me at dutt.yashica@gmail.com.


Aleph Publishing House
United States
February 2016 - Present (7 years 4 months)
I am currently working on a nonfiction part memoir, part contemporary history book which will be published by Aleph Publishing House, Delhi in 2017.
Consulting Associate Creative Director
New York, United States
July 2015 - Present (7 years 11 months)
I am currently working on projects with Nissan, Xoom Money Transfer, Sling TV, Dish, Humana, and Citibank, writing TVCs, radio spots, website copy, social media posts, and generating seasonal campaigns.

Portfolio: http://cargocollective.com/yashicadutt
United States
June 2015 - April 2016 (10 months)
I write for Broadly, the feminist channel of Vice, covering gender, identity and culture.
Principal Correspondent/Online Head
Hindustan Times
March 2011 - July 2014 (3 years 4 months)
- Wrote, researched and reported 3,000-word, full-length cover stories every month, simultaneously wrote two 800-word feature length stories every week with an expertise on fashion, LGBT issues and culture. Several cover stories, including a 3,000-word intensive, research on its origins, became seminal reference pieces for India’s fledgling fashion industry.- Conducted multiple, exclusive interviews with globally established designers like Christian Louboutin, Paul Smith and Sabyasachi Mukherjee for in-depth, character profles, cumulating 100+ bylines at the leading national daily.- Travelled to countries like Turkey, Bhutan and Nepal, covering the LGBT scenario in the wake of India’s ban on homosexuality.- Initiated social media presence as the Online Head for the magazine, managing five juniors as a part of an internal team.- Increased Twitter following from a few thousand to current 47,000, managed the magazine's Facebook page, initiated accounts on platforms like Youtube, Tumblr and Pinterest. From 2011, strategized and successfully led the magazine to become one of the most active and widely followed culture brands online, when Indian magazines barely had a presence on Twitter.- Curated editorial content, introduced and developed story ideas, and delegated stories to freelancers as the Issue Editor.
Deputy Chief Copy Editor
Hindustan Times
April 2011 - May 2012 (1 year 1 month)
- Oversaw magazine layouts, headlines, captions and subheads. - Edited, proofread and fact-checked stories.- Set up, managed the Brunch social media strategy, including website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube accounts.- Devised plans like inviting stand-up comics to write for the site, which created a lot of buzz and hits.- Organized contests on social media; regularly engaged with the readers to develop a unique voice of brand online.
Senior Sub-Editor
Asian Age
March 2010 - May 2011 (1 year 2 months)
Working in the capacity of a Senior Sub Editor, I am responsible for handling pages, commissioning stories and generating ideas on a daily basis. With a functional knowledge of the software Quark, I also design pages in an elementary capacity. With a keen interest in fashion, I cover stories related to the industry along with general feature stories. I have cover almost all fashion weeks held in Delhi and my network in the fraternity is quite strong. Besides, I am very active in the social networking and online fashion circuit and update myself with instant information about the ongoings in fashion and pop culture all over the world. Have also handled the official Facebook and Twitter pages of the newspaper, which gave me an edge in social marketing.
Features Writer
MaXposure Media
January 2009 - February 2010 (1 year 1 month)
I worked for several lifestyle magazines which were published by the group, namely luxury lifestyle AND Persand, City Based magazine Beat, Interior Design/Architectural Magazine Forms and high end hair fashion magazine Estetica. Starting out as a features writer, went on to handle Beat as a de-facto while commissioning stories, generating ideas, editing copy and being responsible for the magazine in general under the Editor-in-chief and then did the same for hair mag Estetcia. Wrote on fashion, food, beauty and features and networked extensively in Delhi's social circuit, getting in touch with the fashion fraternity frequently.
Freelance Voice Overs
June 2007 - February 2010 (2 years 8 months)
Owing to my experience in advertising and knowledge of radio scripts, I have worked on several radio ads as a voice over artiste.
Junior Copywriter
New Delhi, India
July 2007 - December 2008 (1 year 5 months)
I worked on several ad campaigns for brands like Usha, Whirlpool, Hero Honda, AllOut in the capacity of a bilingual copywriter, ie well-versed in Hindi and English. Wrote several radio ad scripts many of which went on air along with working on the print ads for the mentioned brands. Learnt how to be precise using minimum words and sell the product effectively.
Freelance Writer
Times of India Supplements
February 2006 - May 2007 (1 year 3 months)
Starting out while in College, I worked as a ghost writer speaking to Delhi socialities regarding various stories. I interviewed them in person, via the telephone and produced theme based stories (Independence Day, Diwali, Christmas et, al) for the various region based supplements of Delhi Times.
Customer Care Executive
Delhi Call Centre
May 2005 - July 2005 (2 months)
One of the first jobs during the summer break in college, I was responsible for one of the toughest jobs in the industry, selling. required to make two sales per day out of the 400 calls that were dialled in, I learnt a deep understanding of human behaviour and how to effectively communicate via telephone. Clarifying points, explaining positives, fielding questions, it was my first experience in a professional environment, something that taught me a lot about the behaviour needed later in life, along with the management of one's time.


Master's Degree - Graduate School of Journalism

2014 - 2015 (1 year)
I am pursuing a Masters degree with Arts and Culture concentration from the Journalism School at Columbia University. Here I am writing several stories on art and culture festivals while simultaneously working on a 3000 words profile of an MFA student, along with developing a 10-12,000 words thesis on creating a memory project for the survivors of the India-Pakistan partition in 1947. The course work includes social and cultural issues, including sexuality, gender, sociology, and ethnography, elective course on television as dramatic medium at the Dodge Centre for Arts; additional coursework in digital video, data and investigative reporting skills


2004 - 2007 (3 years)
Was the class representative in the first and the second year of college and acted as a mediator between the faculty and the junior members of college. Was a part of the B Sc General Society in college and participated in activities and discussions to make college a more enjoyable experience for class mates.


2005 - 2006 (1 year)
Worked on a documentary film in Hindi about students of the Blind School and their lives, where I scripted the narration and participated in the voice overs. Understood the basic techniques of working the video camera and also dabbled in photography for a short period of time.

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