Freelance Journalist Interview with Hannah Wallis
Let’s raise our glasses to Hannah Wallis, a well-travelled and “nosy” freelance journalist! As well as contributing to TimeOut and Live London magazine, Hannah has also held writing workshops in Accra and would love to distill her passion for tequila into future features…
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
Food, wine & spirits, travel – Africa in particular – and women’s issues.
Where are we likely to see your work?
I’ve had my work published in lifestyle publications including TimeOut Magazine and Live London magazine, and also in overseas publications – the Statesman newspaper in Ghana, and the Cape Argus in South Africa.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
The time I spent as a reporter in Accra, Ghana covering issues ranging from domestic abuse to football. I was also part of a volunteer group in Accra that held weekly writing workshops for Liberian refugees living in the city. So far the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
A feature on the top highland tequila producers in Mexico. Tequila is a passion of mine and I can’t think of anything better than a few weeks in Mexico, tasting some excellent tequila, eating a lot, and meeting the legendary master distillers.
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
Everywhere. Through people I meet, places I go, all the food and travel sections of newspapers and magazines, by subscribing to lots of newsletters and by being nosy.
How can PRs be useful to you?
By being efficient and by only sending me info or press releases that are relevant to the areas I cover.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
By email and whenever they have something interesting to send me.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
As I love to travel and meet people and am always looking to network more, they are always welcome. I have very itchy feet so relish any opportunity to get on a plane, train or bus!
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
To be more genuine and not to hassle journalists when they are working to a deadline.
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I’d either open an ice cream shop or write children’s books.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
Dinner at Noma (if I could get a table), some expensive tequila and perhaps a ticket to Cape Town (which is where I’m from originally, so I could see my parents), to get some sun, and visit the penguins at Boulders beach.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
‘On Writing Well’ by William Zinsser (a book all writers should read at least once a year), Imbibe magazine, which keeps me up to date on happenings in the drinks trade, and a copy of Finch’s Quarterly Review, which has some great writing, and has also retained a bit of old-fashioned glamour.