Focus interview with freelance journalist Judy Darley
Judy Darley is a freelance writer and editor, specialising in travel and well-being as well as editing creative and journalistic website EssentialWriters.com.
This week, FeaturesExec caught up with Darley to learn more about her work, who she’d love to interview and what she’d like to hear about from PRs.
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
I’m the founder and editor of EssentialWriters.com, which covers all aspects of creative and journalistic writing. I also write freelance features on travel, wellbeing and anything that catches my attention.
Where are we likely to see your work?
EssentialWriters.com, Simonseeks.com, Folio and Venue Magazines, Women’s Health, and a broad range of travel publications.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I’ve had some fantastic trips through my work as a travel writer – a recent commission involved taking a balloon ride over Colorado at sunrise. I’ve also been interviewing some fantastic writers recently, including the children’s author David Almond, whose novel Skellig has been turned into a film with Tim Roth in the title role.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I would love to interview Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi and Paulo Coelho, preferably all at once – they each inspire me hugely!
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
Anywhere and everywhere! I receive a huge amount of press releases each day, and look out for anything interesting. I also visit sites such as Guardian Media and Gawker.com for media news.
How can PRs be useful to you?
By sending press releases about authors, songwriters, poets and playwrights, as well as anything about travel or about events happening in the South West of England, where I live.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Press releases and emails are best.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I love networking events and anything that gets me out of the office, especially if it means a trip to somewhere beautiful.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I get too many un-targeted press releases, which largely get deleted without being read.
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I would love to live off my novel-writing. If words weren’t an option, I’m probably do something else creative – perhaps become a potter in a remote Mexican village.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I would give myself a month off from freelance work and head deep into the countryside to focus on creative writing.
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – the latter is still a challenge for me!
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
As the moment I’m reading masses of books for reviews – ranging from Agent Provocateur’s steamy Soixante Neuf to Elisabeth Russell Taylor’s Pillion Riders.
I’m deep into Brand Literary Magazine’s latest publication at the moment, as well as dipping into glossy women’s mags. EssentialWriters.com has several bloggers who keep me intrigued, and Stephen Fry’s prolific updates on Twitter have become a daily distraction.
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