Freelance journalist Focus with Richard Hearn

Plumbers in space? Ask freelance journalist Richard Hearn for his advice, along with parenting, art, and immortality. Find out more about his work and how the PR community can help in this Focus.

What do you write about?
Parenting and painting mainly, although I’ve written on a diverse range of topics, including camping, the comedy of Sat Navs, crap holidays, and the difficulties of getting a plumber in space.

Where are we likely to see your work?
I write a weekly column ‘Distracted Dad’ ( ) – for a Brighton listings and property magazine, Latest Homes. I also write for Mumsense, a new parenting magazine distributed in London. Another magazine that regularly features my writing is The Artist; I’ve written practical features on painting in acrylics as well as interviewing other artists.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
The editor of Audi Magazine asked me to write a feature called ‘How to Live Forever’ after reading my work tackling scientific subjects from a layman’s perspective. I got to interview Aubrey De Grey, a controversial gerantologist who believes that the first person to live to be 1000 is alive today. I also got to pontificate – and make jokes – on one of the biggest topics of all: immortality.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
Having enjoyed this commission, I would love to write about other scientific topics from a non-scientist’s point of view. I’d also like to shadow people in unusual jobs as I’ve always liked immersing myself in other people’s shoes.

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Mainly through news sites, the small stories in newspapers.

How can PRs be useful to you?
As a source of factual, up-to-date information.

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I’ve recently got back into computing – I run a writing website called Paragraph Planet ( that invites 75-word submissions – so I’m going to go for web designer.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
Having just booked a holiday in Cornwall for a month’s time, our first holiday with two kids, I’m trying to work out how we have room for any of our clothes. So, needing a hell of a lot more interior space on the five hour trip, I’ll spend the £1000 on a TARDIS; failing that, something from Halfords.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I’m currently reading ‘Leviathan’ by Philip Hoare, a book about his obsession with whales which is lyrical, exciting and beautifully written. Writers News is always nearby, and various blogs on BBC football give me more detail than is really necessary.

[lnk||_blank|Contact Richard Hearn through the Freelance Journalist Directory]
[img|jpg|Freelance journalist Richard Hearn]

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