David Ritchie

David Ritchie
278 Warren Street
Brookline, MA 02445
Cell phone (617) 734-0608
Email dwrseoul@hotmail.com

OBJECTIVE: To find a position in ESL education, journalism, public relations, or publishing.

SUMMARY: More than 35 years’ experience as editor, writer, teacher, and public relations expert in the United States and South Korea. In journalism, I have specialized in fields such as education, technology, and the physical and biological sciences. Publication credits include 20 books and numerous articles.

STRENGTHS: Expert command of English language; long experience in writing and editing books and articles; knowledge of social media and online research techniques; outstanding success in blogging; fluency in several languages; proven capacity for teamwork; long record of creative and innovative thinking in publishing; knowledge of wide range of subjects, from music to science; reputation for patience and sustained effort; sensitivity to, and respect for, foreign cultures and traditions; ability to adjust to work environments abroad.


“David is a determined researcher and talented writer with a seemingly limitless range. I would recommend him without reservation for any assignment requiring those attributes.” Eric Easton, Journal of Media Law and Ethics


“David came to me with compelling, original ideas for feature-length articles, which I gladly published in New York Press. He was a pleasure to work with — a great writer and a total pro.” Jeff Koyen, Assignment LLC


“During the years that David was a colleague of mine, I found him to be a remarkably thoughtful and thorough journalist who consistently delivered well-written articles and valuable information for his readers.” Phil Zahodiakin, AOL Energy

LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=38472576&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Work history

2012-14: Novice at monastery in United States. My hope now is to return to journalism or publishing.

2011-12: Contributed material to various educational publishers.

2000-2011: Head researcher, Lingua Forum / T·ime Education, Seoul, Korea. Duties included teaching English writing and conversation classes. I accumulated hundreds of classroom hours and developed simple but effective rules to help make English composition easier for Korean students. Work also included researching, writing, and editing text; and proofreading books before publication. I supervised a team of illustrators and supporting writers and contributed to hundreds of books and other publications for Lingua Forum. My duties as copy editor helped make Lingua Forum known for strict quality control. Notable projects:

Insider’s Guide to the TOEFL: The Super Guide (comprehensive one-volume guide to the computer-based iBT TOEFL)

TOEFL Core Topic Guide series

Listening Parade and Reading Parade series

Get It Right! elementary grammar series

RX series (Listening, Reading)

INTO series (Listening, Reading, Writing)



Work at Lingua Forum involved production of materials from elementary to adult learning levels and required knowledge of a wide range of subjects, from art and literature to physical and biological science, and even Chinese history. Elementary materials required writing short, entertaining stories on topics of interest to young learners, such as sports and travel. For elementary learning materials, I integrated illustrations with text, in many cases drafting rough illustrations for staff artists to develop. Also, I developed fresh ways to present material in graphic form, such as depicting verb tenses as branches on a tree. This work required thinking as author, illustrator, and teacher all at once.

1998-2000: Senior consultant, C&A Industrial Companion, Seoul, Korea. I served as copy editor for English-language television scripts and as writer of captions in English for a Korean television production company. Clients included Arirang-TV (international Korean TV channel), KBS-TV (major domestic Korean network), and Incheon International Airport (for promotional materials). My work as editor gave C&A a reputation for doing jobs that no other company could handle, such as specialized captions in English for Korean historical dramas. Work involved close cooperation with other team members to find exact English equivalents for sometimes abstruse Korean vocabulary and sayings.

1997-1998: Consultant for tourism marketing, Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO; now Korean Tourism Organization, or KTO). Duties included editing Korea Travel News (monthly) and writing and editing promotional materials for Korea as a tourism destination.  Work involved writing lively, factually accurate promotional material on topics ranging from Korean history and culture to Korea’s various manufactures and food products.

1995-1996: Instructor, Inha Foreign Language Institute, Incheon, Korea. Conducted classes in advanced English conversation; developed original materials for classroom use; acquired valuable practice in adapting to foreign culture and customs.

1985-1993: Editor, Business Publishers Inc., Silver Spring, MD, USA. As editor of Education Technology News and School Tech News, I covered technology in education and made those publications a rich source of information on funding sources for technology in schools. While editor of SDI Intelligence Report, I covered contracting activity for the Strategic Defense Initiative, America’s anti-missile program.

Publication credits

Major nonfiction books:

Will America Survive? (Cambridge India, 2000), a study of grave challenges facing a declining United States, from decaying infrastructure, mass poverty, and intercultural conflict to educational collapse and widespread illiteracy. The book depicted America as an overextended empire trying to live indefinitely on earlier achievements while neglecting investment in future generations of Americans.  The first chapter was published as a series of articles at the Escape from America website in 2000: http://www.escapeartist.com/efam14/Will_America_Survive.html; http://www.escapeartist.com/efam14/Will_America_Survive_2.html; http://www.escapeartist.com/efam14/Will_America_Survive_3.html; http://www.escapeartist.com/efam14/Will_America_Survive_4.html

The Ring of Fire (Atheneum, 1981), a popular survey of earthquake and volcanic activity around the Pacific Ocean basin: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ring-Fire-David-Ritchie/dp/0451621042/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392896817&sr=8-1&keywords=david+ritchie+ring+of+fire  Library Journal named  The Ring of Fire one of the best sci/tech books of the year. Reviews were excellent. New American Library published a paperback edition, and Germany’s Kabel-Verlag published a German translation, Wann Stürtzt San Franzisko?



Spacewar (Atheneum, 1982), a history of military space programs:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david%20ritchie%20spacewar; Google Books: http://books.google.com/books/about/Spacewar.html?id=EvZTAAAAMAAJ  An excellent review from the New York Times is at http://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/17/books/what-and-who-is-up-in-space.html. Spacewar included coverage of China’s space program, then rarely mentioned in the Western press. That chapter was excerpted in Technology Review, the journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



The Binary Brain (Little, Brown, 1984), a study of prospects for artificial intelligence: http://www.amazon.com/The-Binary-Brain-Intelligence-Electronics/dp/B000H19E3Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392897083&sr=8-2&keywords=david+ritchie+binary+brain; Google Books: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Binary_Brain.html?id=6TNziozQVJMC The Binary Brain has been cited in both print and online publications as a prescient view of what artificial intelligence and the internet would make possible a few years later (see Sue Halpern, “Mind Control and the Internet,” New York Review of Books, 23 June 2011, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/mind-control-and-internet/?pagination=false ). Foreign editions included Il Doppio Cervello (Italian) and El Cerebro Binario (Spanish).

The Computer Pioneers (Simon & Schuster, 1986), a history of early electronic computers: http://www.amazon.com/The-Computer-Pioneers-Making-Modern/dp/067152397X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392897133&sr=8-1&keywords=david+ritchie+computer+pioneers; Google Books: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Computer_Pioneers.html?id=3MraAAAAMAAJ  This book focused on the transition from mechanical computers to electronic computers between 1935 and 1950, and drew on primary source materials from The Computer Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.

Selected other nonfiction books:

10 Million Tigers (Nulbom, Seoul, 2002), a humorous study of everyday life in Seoul, Korea, where I lived and worked for 16 years. The book appeared on the Yahoo Korea bestseller list.

Encyclopedia of Shipwrecks (Facts on File, 1996), about hundreds of shipwrecks around the world.

Life in America 100 Years Ago: Sports and Recreation (Chelsea House, 1996); Life in America 100 Years Ago: Health and Medicine (Chelsea House, 1995); Life in America 100 Years Ago: Frontier Life (Chelsea House, 1995). These three volumes were part of a series to introduce middle-school readers to selected aspects of American history, and received good reviews.

Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes (with Alexander Gates; Facts on File, 1994), about major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Sleep: Problems and Solutions (with Dr. Quentin Regestein; Consumer Reports Books, 1990), a guide to sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

Superquake (Crown, 1988), about projected effects of the next great earthquake to strike California.

Comets (New American Library, 1985), a popular survey written to capitalize on the return of Halley’s Comet.

Designing Your Own Computer Games (Morrow/Quill, 1984), a manual for devising games for home computers.


Bigfoot and the Hungry Hill and Bigfoot and the Bear Invasion (both Darakwon Press, 2012). Issued in Kindle editions, these were action/adventure stories for young readers, with Bigfoot, the legendary giant ape of North America, as the main character.

Representative articles:

“Seoul Diary,” Escape from America, http://www.escapeartist.com/efam13/Seoul_Diary.html; a guide to life in Seoul, Korea.

“A Volcano’s Fiery Laboratory,” New York Times Magazine, 31 May 1981, http://www.nytimes.com/1981/05/31/magazine/a-volcano-s-fiery-laboratory.html, about research into the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption.

“Laser-Rattling in Outer Space,” Inquiry, 1 September 1980, https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=, about military space programs.

“Taking the Plunge with OTEC,” Inquiry, 26 June 1978, https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=, about ocean thermal energy.

Numerous other articles have appeared in publications including Analog, the Baltimore Sun, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, High Technology, Inquiry, Log In Seoul, the Korea Times, the Korea Herald, Maine Life, Military Business Review, Metro Hampton Roads, the New York Press, Newsday, Omni, PC, Saga, The Star, Technology Illustrated, Technology Review, the Washington Post, The Wild East, and The Writer. Topics have included alternative food sources, renewable energy systems, space technology, health and medicine, computers and software, geophysical sciences, wild animals, ecology, life in Northeast Asia, the business of writing, and literature for children.

Blog: “The Briny Deep,” thebrinydeep.wordpress.com, about the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan. The blog explored many possible effects on the Fukushima meltdowns, including effects on Pacific Ocean ecosystems, human health, and property values both in and outside Japan. “The Briny Deep” also anticipated scenarios such as the “divided Japan” model of a country split into two habitable portions, north and south, with an irradiated zone between. All blog posts are my own editorial work.

Samples of edited texts:

“Absent … or stockpiled?” http://thebrinydeep.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/absent-or-stockpiled/

“Rads in the walls,” http://thebrinydeep.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/rads-in-the-walls/

“The ‘zapping point,’” http://thebrinydeep.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/the-zapping-point/

“Fukushima and the language barrier,” http://thebrinydeep.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/fukushima-and-the-language-barrier-3/

“‘Myth-mining’ for ideas,” http://ggwriter.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/myth-mining-for-ideas/

“The tightrope walk,” http://ggwriter.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-tightrope-walk/

Education: B.A., environmental science, University of Virginia, 1973.

Honors and awards: Echols Scholar, University of Virginia, 1969-1973; Library Journal named The Ring of Fire one of the best sci/tech books of 1981.

References available on request.