Effervescent storytelling

Bring storytelling and clarity together for diamond quality writing with a little bit of extra sparkle.

At Cygnus Extra we help businesses, charities and public sector organisations to be clear in how they present themselves. Alongside lucid thinking and focused messaging, comes the emotional connection of storytelling to engage and inspire.

Our training and consultancy includes

  • Writing Digital Content
  • Business Storytelling
  • Business writing
  • Report writing
  • Tone of voice


Our copywriting strengths lie in web content, articles, case studies, business writing, news, stories, interviews and reports.

Our web development brings together strong content, design and technical knowledge to create sites that are purpose driven and genuinely focused for the audience.

Storytelling is a major theme in marketing at the moment as companies recognise where their customers’ interests really lie.

Hilary was in Berkeley California in May 2019 for a Digital Storytelling Workshop. Read the story ».

Our story so far…

It’s a mash-up of different genres really, including a little bit of…

History: Hilary first launched as a freelance in 1991, and in 2003 Mark decided to throw in his lot and make it a family enterprise.

Romance: As a longstanding husband and wife partnership there’s still a little sparkle in there somewhere. Not every couple has the privilege of a mid-morning coffee chat that doubles as a team meeting.

Self-help: Our new Lead Stories project is about using our writing skills to help young people to step up, develop and grow.

Futuristic: We’re constantly evolving what we do to meet the needs of our clients in the fast-paced digital world. Whether brave new world or distopian future is closer to the mark, we’re there.


Hilary Phillips

Hilary says…

There’s no time like the present. Digital has stolen our lives and defines our connectedness, but it can never take away our writing! More words are written and shared today than ever before. Video is powerful, and it needs a script. Audio can be audacious, and it needs a script. Written content continues to be the backbone of search – thank you Google! Back in the 80s I spent four years at the University of St Andrews, surrounding myself with ancient words. This year I enjoyed a little pilgrimage to Berkeley, California, to the home of digital storytelling. Across decades and centuries the words we use define us and continue to matter.

Hilary cares about…

Enthusing other people about bringing their real selves into their writing, helping young people get better at telling their own stories, grammar and spelling, (but not in a Lynn Truss ‘stickler’ sort of way), nursing achy legs up a mountain to enjoy the view and living life to the full.

Mark says…

Web design means many different things to many people: complex, colourful, creative, clever… But to me it needs to be clear and simple. I always jokingly said that what people really need is just a big button that says “HIT ME!” then get the website to do what they really came to the site to do and what you want them to do. Simple! Well not quite, but you get the point. And it’s WordPress for me. There are many content management systems out there but it’s the most popular, and for a reason: secure, understandable, continuously developed, supported and extended with loads of cool features. What’s not to like?

Mark cares about…

Looking after the little people – I’m a Foster Carer too and there’s nothing more fulfilling or worthwhile. I also care about light pollution – as an astronomer I want us and future generations to be able to see the wonders of the Universe. It’s an amazing place!