Beth LaMontagne Hall

Portsmouth, NH, 603-373-8153

email: website:

Writer and editor with marketing and magazine experience; award-winning journalist with nearly 10 years of experience in New Hampshire daily news; and public relations specialist experienced in writing for both American and international clients.


BLH Writing Solutions, Portsmouth, N.H.,   Founder and Editor-in-Chief   1/13-present

Operator of a freelance writing company serving communications and marketing firms, non-profit organizations and magazines. Specialize in business and travel writing, web content, social media content, inbound marketing content, case studies, email newsletters, and promotional materials for businesses.

Louis Karno & Company, Concord, N.H.,   Public Relations Contributor   2/09-present

Write promotional copy, case studies, web content and other materials for both short and long-term projects. Clients including Covering New Hampshire, Waterville Valley Resort, Bistate Primary Care Association, and the Portuguese wine cooperative Vini Portugal.

New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester, N.H.,   Staff Reporter/Columnist   10/09-12/12

Covered Manchester politics and wrote a behind-the-scenes column about City Hall. Regularly wrote on tight deadline and quickly learned complex government programs and budgets. I strove to translate often-confusing material into interesting and accessible stories.

Freelance Writer, Portsmouth, N.H.,   12/07-10/09                                                                                   

Freelance writer for local and national publications, including local newspapers, the Associated Press, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. Balanced multiple assignments for various clients on a wide range of subjects, from national politics to local farmer markets.

Campaigns and Elections, Washington, D.C.   N.H. Political Correspondent   4/07-12/07

Covered the New Hampshire primary and state politics for this monthly magazine and its website, As sole reporter for the website, I wrote news stories, took photographs, and maintained event listings. Also wrote a daily email newsletter targeted at political insiders.

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, N.H.   Staff Reporter   9/04–4/07

Covered general news in Maine and New Hampshire including personal features, town politics, and local crime. Created and wrote a political news column for the 2008 presidential primary and coordinated an award-winning right-to-know project.


Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, Manchester, N.H.,   Workshop Instructor   2011-present

Created a one-day workshop on freelance writing, stressing the importance of balancing multiple assignments, staying organized, and the ability to write in different styles.


MA, Creative Writing and Publishing   Emerson College, Boston, Mass.,   December 2002

BA, Music; English minor   University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.,   May 1999


2011 New England Newspaper Press Association Award, 1st place in health reporting at the New Hampshire Union Leader for uncovering a bone marrow registry’s questionable billing practices.

2007 New England Newspaper Press Association Award, 1st place in government reporting for leading and writing an investigative news project at the Portsmouth Herald on public access to government records in the seacoast region.

Is it a right or a rite?

2013 09 28_0371_edited-2

No matter how many year’s I’ve been writing, I still find myself tripping into a literary pitfall from time to time. I don’t care how long you’ve been writing, you are occasionally going to fall victim to one, too.

For instance, I often here people refer to “honing in” on something, as in they are pinpointing the cause or truthful nugget. However, “honing” means sharpening and really they mean “homing in” like a homing pigeon.

I got caught in the trap last week when writing my bimonthy post for Stay Work Play NH. The first line talks about how going to the apple orchard to pick your own apples is a “right of passage” for young people, when really I should have used the term “rite of passage.” Ugg. Thank God nothing on the Internet is permanent, right?

Not to let this error ruin a perfectly good blog post, here is the link. I’ve included a few more photos below of our trip, as well as an excerpt from the post.

How many apples can you eat?

Which pumpkin should I choose?

Which pumpkin should I choose?

I grew up down the street from an orchard, so I was exposed to a wide variety of apple dishes at an early age – apple crisp, apple cobbler, apple sauce, baked apples and of course, apple pie. I remember my mother peeling apples for hours for her annual pie bake. When I was old enough, she recruited me to peel some too. Hot apple pie ala mode was my reward.

I am far too busy and not nearly talented enough in the pastry-making department to carrying on this tradition, but I do try to hit an apple orchard every year for a small bag and a little time outdoors. Apple orchards just happen to be some of the most beautiful spots in the state, especially if you catch one on a sunny fall day as the leaves are changing.

2013 09 28_0376_edited-1

The first place we found is Miller Farm in New Durham. This small operation is not easy to find. After pulling off Route 11, the main road in New Durham, you twist and wind your way through ever-narrowing back country roads before finally spotting the small farm on the side of a hill. When my husband and I first arrived, we were the only customers there. A man emerged from the house, gave us a few Market Basket plastic bags and pointed us in the right direction.

“So are there any special varieties out there?” I asked.

“Nope. Just taste a few and pick the ones you like,” he said.

2013 09 28_0377_edited-1 The laid-back attitude didn’t end there. A beautiful black and white dog roamed the farm, occasionally stopping to sniff my shoes. Guinea hens, which kind of resemble partridges, clucked about in the yard, and off the back of the barn was a large corral containing one large horse that became a little friendlier when I fed him some apples.

The orchards were small, but the trees were chock full of apples. There were Red Delicious, Macoun, Cortland, MacIntosh and a few Golden Delicious. We strolled through the trees, snacking on what looked good and every few minutes stopping to throw a few in the bag. We picked 15 pounds. It cost $17. Last year I went to a larger apple orchard which shall remain nameless. I picked less than 5 pounds. That cost me $20. Miller Farm was definitely a bargain.

2013 10 05_0363_edited-1This weekend, we headed to the Monadnock Region to visit my husband’s family and decided to make a trip to Old Ciderpress Farm in Westmoreland. This is less of a hard spot to find, with only a few turns and a short drive down a dirt road to get there. As the name suggests this spot specializes in cider, and this cider is about as fresh as it gets. When we purchased our half gallon, we were told it had been pressed that morning. The press was still sitting outside.

2013 10 05_0364_edited-2Here we found another relaxed operation – a small orchard with nothing but a small stand outside their garage. They didn’t have any bags of picked apples at that time, so they offered to send someone down to pick a variety for us. We opted for pick-your-own. Once we arrived in the selected picking area, we found the selection ample, the apples big and the taste delicious.