Focus Interview with Paula Gardner, editor of Chicklit.co.uk
The week FeaturesExec caught up with Paula Gardner, editor in chief of Chicklit.co.uk.
Chicklit.co.uk is a women’s lifestyle magazine, based purely online and features women’s literature, pampering products, travel, family fun, food and restaurants, money and fitness.
Paula tells us how she started Chicklit.co.uk while on maternity leave, how it has grown, and what her ideal day off is.
About the publication:
What makes you different from the other publications in your sector?
Chicklit has evolved from being a straight forward chicklit appreciation website to a women’s website that covers not only books, but food, travel, kids stuff etc.
What stories are you most interested about covering in the magazine?
Anything pertinent to women’s lives – apart from diet aids – we’re more into fitness than dieting. We’re actively looking for good travel locations, pampering goodies, events and, of course, books, films, music theatre etc. Our lads and kids sections are very popular so also interested in stories for them.
Your website launched in 2002, how has it developed since then and do you see it developing in years to come?
It’s become much more rounded and about women’s whole lives, rather than just books. We aim to take this further as we progress. We really think that this is the secret of its success.
How does the editorial process run? Do you have specific days when you focus on different aspects of the magazine, or is the planning on a much more ad-hoc basis?
It’s quite ad-hoc really. We have a monthly schedule and articles tend to go up as they come in.
Do you work closely with PRs?
We have a few very close contacts but welcome more.
What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Samples, press releases, surveys relevant to women.
What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
Email first (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do you have a PR pet hate?
No, not really. My background is PR so I know what it’s like!
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & when is your deadline for contributions?
Always prefer emails so contact whenever they have a story is best.
What are your editorial duties/responsibilities at the magazine?
I’m the editor with a small team of freelance writers.
What do you love about your work?
There’s always something new! Also interviewing and meeting authors is always very inspiring.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
Started off in PR, then had my own PR company (and still do www.doyourownpr.com). Started chicklit in 2002 when I was off on maternity leave and it’s been growing ever since.
What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning?
Usually catch up on my news in with Metro and BBC breakfast.
What has been the highlight of your day today?
Popping down to a new café that’s opened down the road for a mocha and almond croissant while we have next month’s planning meeting!
What’s your idea of a relaxing day off?
Day at The Sanctuary.