Freelance Journalist Focus: Lauren Holden
Lauren Holden is a freelance journalist writing on fashion, beauty and music. Her work has appeared in Chat, NME and SimonSeeks.com.
This week, FeaturesExec caught up with Lauren to discuss her work, how she’d like to hear from PRs and rubber ducks!
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
Mainly music, beauty and fashion, but I’ve also been known to write the odd travel piece, real life feature and celeb interview.
Where are we likely to see your work?
NME magazine, Morecambe’s The Visitor newspaper and its sister titles, travel site SimonSeeks.com, Barry M Cosmetics and on my personal beauty, fashion and music blog at www.laurenholden.co.uk.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Just recently, I contributed a piece to Chat magazine about a local lady who had a huge collection of rubber ducks. She’d pack them off with friends on global ‘holidays’ and get them to take photos. To date, they’ve been to San Francisco, the Antarctic, The Great Wall of China and even centre court at Wimbledon!
It was a refreshing change to write something completely silly and fun – and it’s great to be able to inject a little personality into a piece.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d really love the opportunity to get my teeth into a big feature for a magazine – especially one that’s geared towards women. I’ve always enjoyed reading the ‘Cosmo Reports’ section of Cosmopolitan, for example, and it’d be a real pleasure to contribute a lengthy feature on careers, real-life, or my current obsessions music and make-up. And if I can mix the two, bonus!
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
Everywhere! Something I’ve overheard while out and about may spark a story idea, or something in the paper or on the radio. However, being kept up to date with releases from PRs helps a great deal.
How can PRs be useful to you?
Email me constantly with releases, providing up to date images and even following one or two releases up with a phone call. It always helps if I know who I’m dealing with. Plus, it’s nice to chat with someone new.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Any time, day or night, as I’m often by my computer. Email is best but I’m free for a chat if you’d like to get in touch.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
If it’s something that’s beneficial for my work, events like this are very helpful and can be great source of information. Plus, it’s great to meet people face-to-face and get a good impression of what you’re writing about.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I’d say more contact! I like to get to know PRs and those that have been helpful tend to stick in my mind.
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
Tricky one! Since the age of 13 I’ve wanted to be a writer and I’ve always struggled to think of a job I’d prefer more. I’d say a home carer – it’d be lovely knowing you’d made a difference, however tiny, to someone’s day. I used to work in a bar next door to Huddersfield football stadium, which was great fun on a match day and it helped pay the bills at university. I’d love to work there again.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
Well, my laptop’s on the blink so some of the money would go towards a new one. I’d probably spend the rest on my brand new baby nephew, George. I’m already spoiling him rotten but he’s the only nephew I’ve got! And well, he’s just lovely!
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
My news editor at The Visitor told me to never give up on my dream of being a writer, despite being told by a careers advisor at school that I was “setting my sights too far”. That was when I was 15 and I spent a week’s work experience at the newspaper. Six years later I was offered a job there (after telling them at the interview that I’d ‘hound them until they gave me the job’) and I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’d love to see that careers advisor now!
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
The last good book I read was Awaydays by Kevin Sampson. Despite not being much of a fan of the ‘big game’ this was one book I found hard to put down. I love typically English books and films, particularly Kes and most of Shane Meadows’ films. Somers Town is amazing!
I love a good flick through Cosmopolitan and Company and as for blogs; well I’d have to say my own – www.laurenholden.co.uk. Apologies for the shameless plug!
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