60 seconds with… journalist Laura Jane MacBeth
By Dana Fowles
Hi Laura Jane. First thing first, is the world of women’s magazine journalism really as glamorous as it’s made out to be?
Ha! I don’t think it’s quite as glamorous as the movies suggest; I don’t have access to a wardrobe of designer clothes and it is hard work. It’s also an exciting, fun and rewarding career, however. Plus I’ve been to some amazing events like the MTV Awards, Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Awards and Elle Style Awards. Perks of the job!
You write for a mix of monthly and weekly women’s magazines, from ELLE and COSMO to Women’s Health. How do you think these publications influence women’s lives?
Although each of the magazines I write for have different focuses and content, they are all very positive. They aim to make women feel good about themselves and achieve what they want to in life. It’s nice feeling like you might help someone with your writing or what you share.
Journalism is a notoriously difficult field to break into, how did you do it?
I started out by writing free film and club reviews for independent magazines, then got some freelance work with The Independent and The List. I actually started out subbing, but always wrote freelance, and eventually got my first writing job at the now defunct Sugar magazine (RIP!)
How should aspiring journalists go about finding work experience?
I would obviously advise applying to the national magazines, newspapers and websites you want to work for, but also to smaller local magazines or newspapers which might be more likely to give you writing work. Make sure you tailor your application to each magazine and don’t be afraid to do something different to stand out. I read about a guy in America who put his CV on the wrapper of a chocolate bar and I thought that was a brilliant idea!
Thanks for chatting to Lifestyle Laura!
Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauraJaneCosmo