The Doctor is IN

Keen Observations on Life … Whether You Need Them or Not



Award-winning essayist, author, and freelance writer with more than twenty years of diversified creative experience—including executive management and leadership roles in publishing, advertising, international marketing, community relations, non-profit business development and consulting, traditional and new media—within fast-paced, results-oriented environments. Demonstrated expertise in copywriting, editing, research, graphic design, grantwriting, vendor management, program development, strategic planning, project management, corporate identity/branding, photography, travel writing, and public/community relations. Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills, effectively demonstrated on a global basis.


Freelance Writer and Dilettante :
drs_wordsmithDolly Sickles Wordsmith

If you can imagine it, I can craft a story for it. My wordsmithing skills apply to work as a copywriter, photographer, strategic planner, grant writer, book reviewer, graphic artist, program manager, editor, resume fixer, brainstormer, journalist, adjunct instructor, researcher, public relations, and program developer. I wordsmith for any industry, from gardening and literature, to pharmaceuticals and cutting-edge medical technology. In 2022, I was awarded the Randall Kenan Prize for my interview essay, “Examining ‘Otherness’ on the Page and in the Classroom with Michele Tracy Berger,” in the North Carolina Literary Review.

Reviewer :
BookPage : 2018 – present

Part-Time Instructor :
4c-colors-aCentral Carolina Community College: 2017 – present
Central Carolina Community College is a public two-year college serving residents of Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties. It is a member of the North Carolina Community College System and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Students can earn Associate degrees in Arts, Engineering, Science, and Fine Arts. Central Carolina also offers non-credit courses in a variety of subjects. I teach three continuing education courses in the Creative Writing Program: The Business of Writing for Children, The Business of Writing Romance, and Introduction to Grantwriting. Introduction to Grantwriting is also offered as a one-day workshop.

Part-Time Instructor :
waketech-logo-tagline-3c-RGB-300dpi-220x165Wake Technical Community College : 2014 – present
Wake Technical Community College is North Carolina’s largest community college, serving nearly 70,000 students annually with five campuses, two training centers, multiple community sites, and a comprehensive array of online learning options. Wake Tech is fully accredited and offers more than 180 associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates that prepare students for university transfer or immediate employment. I teach two non-credit continuing education courses in the Career Development and Personal Enrichment Department: The Business of Writing for Children, and Introduction to Grantwriting.

Fiction Author : 2010 – present
+ Becky Moore, contemporary romance and romantic suspense
+ Dolly Dozier, children’s author

Contributor :
Frolic : 2019 – 2021

Freelance Columnist : The Chatham News & Record : 2020
During the spring and summer of 2020, I reprised my beloved column from The Apex Herald (2003 – 2007), The Optimistic Gardener, for our local paper. It offers advice I’ve gathered while cultivating my green thumb over the last 25 years. I’m an avid practitioner of practical gardening learned through trial and error, and best practices as learned from folks I meet in the community.

Contributor :
USA Today’s Happy Ever After : 2018 – 2019

H&HFreelance Blogger :
MacMillan Publishing’s Heroes & Heartbreakers : 2010 – 2017


Director of Public Affairs and Grants Administration :
The Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina : 2008–2010

My work focused on three key areas: grants administration, media/marketing/PR, and sponsorships. My three years with the Alliance yielded an extremely high number of deliverables. I raised the grant revenue from $609,000 (FY08-09) to $659,000 (FY09-10) and $2,720,493 (FY09-10); worked with the agency-wide program directors to develop programs for grants; produced all agency reports for federal, state, local, and foundation grants; and lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly for increased HIV education and prevention funding. I helped to manage monthly Drag Bingo, annual AIDSWALK+RIDE, and annual Works of Heart special event fundraisers; created fliers, logos, T-shirts, banners, advertisements, and other promotional materials for agency fundraisers and events; managed print vendors for agency fundraisers; wrote press releases and secured interviews with local media outlets; developed social media presence with Twitter and WordPress, and launched Google Mail for the agency; and served as an all-around advocate and ambassador for the agency, our clients, and my colleagues. I also set up and managed electronic ticketing capabilities for Works of Heart and annual giving campaigns; sold and managed sponsorships for special events; and managed volunteers through a variety of tasks in the administrative offices, at fundraisers and during evening volunteer hours.

Notable accomplishments: receiving the first annual GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT award (along with $40,000) in November 2009, and being awarded $1.9M to build the North Carolina Access Network of Care, which introduced an 11-county, regional approach to healthcare for individuals living with HIV.

wral_logoCommunity Marketing Manager : Capital Broadcast Corp.
New Media Group |, GOLO
:  2007–2008
As a Jill of All Trades, I worked in three major areas within CBC’s New Media Group: building and establishing’s new social media community; Web producer and creative conceptor for New Product Development Team; and daily blogger and gardening expert.

TheatreInTheParkMarketing Director : Theatre In The Park : 2003–2006
As a Department of One in NC’s largest non-profit performing arts theatre, I managed all things creative in relation to business operations. Relying on my skills and experience as a writer, graphic artist, editor, media buyer and planner, PR expert, financial manager, I promoted seven shows and two gala event fundraisers a season to an annual audience of 50,000.

Development Director : Glory to Glory House of Refuge : 2002–2003
Coordinated operational and program funding through grantwriting, fundraising and partnering with other non-profit orgs. Enhanced community knowledge of the program, promoted prevention education programs within the surrounding community, managed community and media relations, hosted events, and fostered visual identity.

nortel_logo_largeSenior Writer, Marketing Communications and Media Relations :
Nortel Networks : 1997–2002
Marketed technology development, enhancements and services for the global Information Services organization. Managed international creative teams as Marketing Project Manager.  Reduced operating costs in excess of $100,000 over five years by properly managing multi-million dollar project budgets (writer, editor, graphic designer, vendor manager, global distributor). Created service- and product-specific collateral for print, electronic campaigns, white papers, NPSI rollouts, executive conferences, and internal employee global communications. Worked with employee communications to develop best practices methodology for international IT organization, and served as the internal corporate branding expert. Received over a dozen personal and team awards for creation and management of marketing campaigns. 

Copy Stylist : Sandler & Recht Communications : 1996–1997
Supported creative and editorial staff with pharmaceutical agency advertising by formatting copy and slide presentations.

McGraw-Hill_logoEditorial Assistant : McGraw-Hill, Inc. : 1995–1996
Edited and prepared manuscripts and flap copy; communicated with
published and prospective authors; managed printers and copyright permissions; calculated and managed royalty fees, school grants and permission payments. Implemented new page layout and design technologies and online editorial practices, and manuscript electronic scanning capabilities that increased inter-office productivity.


  • Chatham Magazine (some examples are here, here, here, and here)
  • Midtown + Cary Living
  • Chatham News & Record (some examples are here, here, here, and here)
  • Secular Wedding Minister
  • Resume Fixer
  • Editor :: Peak City Publishing
  • Grant Consultant :: AAS-C
  • Writer and Photographer  ::  (Ask Fifi, Gardening Gloves)
  • Writer and Photographer  ::  Our State Magazine
  • Writer and Photographer  ::  The Raleigh Digest;  The Apex Herald
  • Writer  ::  The Cary News; Q-Notes;
  • Graphic Artist  ::  Vision Share; Theatre In The Park; NARAL-NC; Straight Way Golf; NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM); Durham Public Schools
  • Photographer ::; Apex Herald; Our State Magazine; Chatham Magazine; Chatham News & Record
  • Field/Grant Reviewer  ::  Mission Tree Compassion Capital Campaign, Bush Administration
  • Graphic Artist, Editor  ::  Talent Identification Program (TIP), Duke University


  • Chatham Cares Community Pharmacy Board of Directors, Vice President, 2022 – present
  • Central Carolina Community College Creative Writing Program Committee, 2018 – present
  • Special Exhibition Community Marketing Committees,
    North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC
    (Monet in Normandy, 2006; Crosscurrents: Art, Craft and Design in North Carolina, 2005; In Focus: Contemporary Photography from the Allen G. Thomas Jr. Collection, 2005; Picasso to Matisse and  The School of Paris, 2004)
  • Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau Extension Marketing Team
    2004–2006, Raleigh CVB, Raleigh, NC
  • Works of Heart Art Auction Against AIDS, 2008 & 2009, Raleigh NC
  • Drag Bingo, 2008 – 2009, Durham NC
  • Town of Apex Appearance Commission, 2001 – 2002, appointed by Apex Mayor, Keith Weatherly


  • Chatham Outreach Alliance (CORA) Food Bank, 2017 – present
  • Habitat for Humanity, 2014 – present
  • Apex High School | AOIT Web Mentor, 2014 – 2016
  • Apex High School | Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) Advisory Board, 2012 – 2016
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill | Alumni Advisor Network (AAN), 2013 – present
  • Docent Board of Directors 2005-06: North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
  • Olive Chapel Elementary School: Reading, Writing and Art Room Parent, 2003–2007
  • North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, 2003–2008: Senior Touring Docent
  • NARAL-North Carolina: Graphic Artist and Writer (invitations, press releases)


North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC
Bachelor of Arts, English—Writing and Editing, 1996

University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington NC
studying Marine Biology, 1991 – 1994



+   North Carolina Literary Review | Randall Kenan Prize
+   Chatham Arts Council | 2021 JumpstART grant recipient, announced June 11, 2021
+   Chatham Magazine | Meet the Artists series teaser, June 2021 issue
+   Chatham Magazine | New Releases – Mine by Design by Becky Moore, April/May 2021 issue
+   Chatham News & Record | Chatham author’s new novel takes on a corrupt politician, Jan 12, 2021
+   Chatham Arts Council |
Meet the Artists: Author Dolly Sickles and her son, Peyton, a photographer
+   Chatham News & Record | First time chicken farmers share ups, downs of a backyard flock, Sept 8, 2020
+   Chatham News & Record | Chatham writers carry on, make creative use of time in quarantine, May 14, 2020
+   Chatham News & Record | Despite initial resistance to the genre, romance books shape local writer’s world, Oct 11, 2019
+   Chatham News & Record | NaNoWriMo could help nudge a novel, November 1, 2019
+   Red Ribbon Winner, 2013 NC State Fair
+   Time Magazine Person of the Year, 2006









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