Raymond Fenech, embarked on his writing career aged 17,on and was awarded an apprenticeship with three nation-wide distributed political newspapers , The Democrat, In-Nazzjon and Il-Mument.
Way back in the 70s choosing writing and journalism as a career was considered by his parents as a mad decision that was destined to certain failure. Hardly could anyone blame them for taking this attitude because writing and journalism then were not even considered a profession and no formal academic training or guidance was available in Malta.
Despite a very resistant opposition, Raymond simply would not be deterred from his resolve and despite continuous harassment he continued with great determination to pursue his writing career come what may.
Shortly after the offices of the leading English newspapers, The Times and Sunday Times of Malta were gutted by fire during the infamous night, described in the newspaper’s annals as Black Monday 17th September 1979, Ray was offered the unique opportunity to join the newsroom staff. The political scene in Malta was a very difficult and torrid one as the reigning Labour Party regime led by the notorious Dom Mintoff were doing their best to intimidate any media that dared to criticise the government or worse uncover its true colours. Despite the baptism by fire, Raymond in his own words always maintained that: “I have no regrets and would do the exact same thing over again if I were given that choice, …even knowing the prevalent obstacles and rough times ahead”.
After 8 years Fenech left the newspapers because he wanted a change of scene. A new desire to use his writing more creatively had been burning inside him for quite some time to the point that in the end it became irresistible.
From that moment on, he never looked back as he was soon to become part of the busy and fast-paced world of marketing, copywriting, advertising and PR. In fact, the writer worked in this field for over 35 years, gaining first hands-on experience from the several leading advertising agencies, which he worked for since 1990.
More recently, Raymond offered consultation services in this line of work and was assigned to set up two in-house advertising agencies for two major business concerns, Mondial Travel and Golden Gate Co Ltd. For a few years, he was also involved in human resources and staff training and held managerial positions.
In 2000, Fenech was offered an editorial appointment with Living 2000 and later founded and edited, the nation-wide distributed magazine, The Globe Trotter for Mondial Travel.
Unfortunately, he was forced to retirement unexpectedly in 2004 after being diagnosed with HD Lymphoma. Although his battle with cancer became a two-year marathon of pain and fear, he explains that this was a unique opportunity to see life through a different perspective. In his own words: “I had always wanted to do a lot of things, which I couldn’t because of the limited free time available. Suddenly, even though I was looking at death straight in the eye, I had time on my hands I couldn’t have even dreamed off before I fell ill. It was now or never – that is when I decided to undertake a degree in creative writing”.
Besides having journalistic qualifications, Ray has a diploma in copywriting from the Institute of Copywriters, UK, and is listed on their web site as an approved copywriter. Throughout his writing career, he also completed various courses in journalism, fiction poetry writing and poetry therapy at various educational institutions, including The Writing School, the Open College of the Arts & Thames Valley University, Stonebridge Associated Colleges, UK and the Creative Righting Center, USA.
The author has published poems, essays, articles and short stories in various newspapers, magazines, anthologies and journals in 12 countries. Some of his works have also earned him several poetry awards from small press publications in the UK, Canada and the USA.
Ray is also a qualified paranormal investigator and has a diploma in paranormal studies from Flamel College, USA and a certificate in parapsychology from the University of Edinburgh. In 2000, Penguin Books, USA published some of his research on ghosts of Malta in THE INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES.
The author graduated with BA/MA in creative writing (first class honours) in November 2009. Recently he was appointed Visiting Professor of Poetry and Paranormal Studies with a UK based online University. He is reading for a doctorate in creative writing with a research thesis.
During the same year, Raymond was awarded a full scholarship in poetry therapy by the Creative “Righting” Center, Touro College, Hofstra University USA. He was under the mentorship of Professor Sherry Reiter, director of the centre and former president of the National Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy in the United States of America.
Ray conducts writing courses privately in several disciplines of writing for both adults and children. He also designs specialised courses, which are custom-made for particular needs.