The editorial director for Scotland at news agency, the Press Association, is next week to step down, after 12 years with the organisation.
Clare Johnston, who is also editorial director for Ireland, leaves on Thursday, ahead of the publication, next year, of her debut novel, Polls Apart, and to take up freelance and consultancy opportunities.
She joined the Press Association in 1997 as a production journalist in Glasgow, before being appointed production editor, then Scottish editor, in 1999.
The following year, she moved to the agency's headquarters in London and worked as assistant editor (Teletext) before becoming development manager.
Eight years ago, she returned to Scotland, where she edited the agency's first contract publishing magazine, A Plus, and oversaw the launch of the Community Newswire. It was in January five years ago that she took up the post of editorial director, Scotland and Ireland, and was responsible for editorial and commercial development in these markets.