Evan Elliot WriterslashEvan Elliot WriterslashEvan Elliot EditorslashEvan Elliot TeacherslashAbout Evan Elliot



Meet Evan

When Evan Elliot was eight years old, he started reading the L.L. Bean catalog with the same attention he devoted to books on baseball. Eighteen years later, he landed his first copywriting job at the Smith & Hawken catalog. Since then, Evan has directed the copy departments at Smith & Hawken, J. Crew, and Haggin Marketing/SolutionSet, and has freelanced for the likes of J. Peterman, Restoration Hardware, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Sunset Books—and L.L. Bean.

These days, Evan’s main work is copy strategy, copywriting, and copy coaching for clients large and small—for everything from item descriptions to big-picture branding concepts. He writes and edits for agencies, companies, books, magazines, and nonprofit organizations. He also teaches business writing at U.C. Berkeley and at the University of San Francisco, plus a summer creative nonfiction workshop at U.C. Extension.

Evan holds a master’s degree in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa; lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter; loves nouns and verbs; rides vintage bicycles; and drives a car that runs on vegetable oil.

To get a sense of Evan’s style, see his copy sampler.
To see Evan’s resume, click here.
To see Evan’s writing samples, click here.
For a big list of clients past and present, see Evan’s big list of clients past and present.

Nice Words About Evan

“Holy sh*t! I love it. Your copy is awesome. It’s hilarious. I will go to bat for this 100%.”
— Brendan McKenna, Creative Director, SolutionSet

“Evan is the best copywriter I’ve met. He uses words the way a fine cabinetmaker uses wood: with reverence and mastery and an abhorrence of shortcuts. Evan made me care about sentences I put together to sell chambray shirts and clunky gardening shoes. If one can be inspired to write prose about gardening products, then Evan inspired me.”
— Mary Roach, former part-time copywriter, now full-time author of, among other bestselling books, Packing for Mars

“Outstanding! Inspiring. Bravo! Really good! Everything!!”
— Paul Hawken, CEO, Smith & Hawken

“Evan Elliot creates marketing copy that sings and that sells. At J. Crew, he took a brand with no voice and created a consistent, strong and clear brand identity—and he led his team to maintain that identity while driving sales. I've followed Evan’s work at Smith & Hawken, J. Peterman and Restoration Hardware, to name a few. His talent is huge; his ego is microscopic. I highly recommend Evan Elliot.”
— Rena DeLevie, COO, Dress for Success, and former Director of Brand Creative Operations at J. Crew

“You distilled this complex thing down very fast. I am impressed.”
— Andrew Hoerner, Director of Product Marketing at McAfee

“Evan acquired many admirers during his time at Smith & Hawken. Merchandisers trusted him to bathe their products in lyrical and persuasive prose. Designers loved the way his words fit—and complemented—their layouts. Freelance copywriters who worked with him learned to prune and tune their copy until it rang true—in the Smith & Hawken voice that Evan helped to define and refine. Oh, and Evan was just plain nice to everyone. He met deadlines, too.”
— Alice Rogers, former Vice President, Art Department, Smith & Hawken

“Evan not only encouraged all of us, but also opened up new ways to think about good nonfiction writing. He brought in varied writing samples that forced us to approach our essays more creatively. He balanced the class well between reading samples, partner work, skill-building exercises, group discussions, and lecture. (I am a teacher myself, so I appreciated his use of varied instructional strategies.) I also appreciated how hard Evan worked; he took teaching us seriously, which made all of us take the work seriously. He prepared so thoroughly for each class that we simply could not let him down if we could help it.”
— Susannah Wood, student, Writing Skills Workshop, U.C. Berkeley Extension

“Although I am a business major, I have learned more from your class than all other classes combined.”
— Jill Maiolfi, student, Persuasive Writing, University of San Francisco

“Evan is a brilliant writer who shuns all nonessential words to create copy that persuades, entertains, educates and, well, sings. I worked with him on several projects and soon came to trust his judgment implicitly, and felt great comfort in having someone so dang competent on the team (great writers are hard to find, after all). And all that talent is contained in a humble and kind soul who remains calm, cool, and collected in the face of even the most unrealistic demands. Yes, I definitely recommend Evan Elliot.”
— Charlene Gervais, President, Avenue Marketing & Communications, Chicago

“Evan is inspired and inspiring, very receptive and gentle on fragile writers’ egos. His knowledge of the form and its examples is far-reaching and effective. He fostered a positive and friendly classroom community that lingers beyond the final class.”
— Student, anonymous end-of-term survey, Writing the First-Person Essay, U.C. Berkeley Extension

“Evan is a gifted teacher. His class had a kind of quiet reverence to it, almost like being in a church (but in a really good way). At the end of the six-week class, no one wanted to leave.”
— Student, anonymous end-of-term survey, Writing the First-Person Essay, U.C. Berkeley Extension