Freelance Journalist Interview with Rachel Ragg

“Ideas are everywhere” according to Rachel Ragg, freelance journalist. A regular contributor at Junior magazine, Rachel has also written for Early Years, The Ecologist, The Independent and many more. Where will her next idea come from? And is it possible to go a whole week without lying? Get an idea of the answers by reading on…

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Everything from blow-up bras to chemical coshes. But parenting is my particular

Where are we likely to see your work?
I am a regular at Junior magazine and write for a variety of national newspapers and magazines (Times 2, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Early Years, The Ecologist and many more).

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Going for a week without lying was pretty memorable. My husband still hasn’t forgiven me for telling him the truth about his saggy-bottomed cords.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d love to do a big feature about Gina Ford. I interviewed her some years ago, and she was clever, articulate and funny – every interviewer’s dream!

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Playgroups, parks, forthcoming titles lists, research snippets, funny little news items that don’t make the headlines, eavesdropping in cafes … ideas are everywhere.

How can PRs be useful to you?
By sending me research and snippets that are aimed specifically at my interests. And, of course, by responding quickly to requests.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
I often catch up in odd spare minutes or once the children are in bed, so email is ideal.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I’m always actively looking for interruptions, so all invitations are gladly received!

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
My experience of PRs has been so good that it seems churlish to make any criticisms. But if I could change one thing, I would ask them not to start every email with a mechanical ‘I hope you’re well’.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I’d do a Sarah Beeny and renovate a vast money-pit of a country house. Though that would probably generate more bills than it paid…

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
On school photos, to judge by the cost of our most recent batch. If not, I’d buy something beautiful and frivolous that I could pass off as useful, such as an iPhone.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I love children’s fiction (because I want to write it!), and always have several children’s books on the go. All for research purposes, naturally. However, I’m about to start the last book in the ’44 Scotland Street’ series. Irene Pollock is always a salutory warning to me if I feel my inner pushy parent trying to come out.

I’m a magazine hoarder (on the bathroom floor). They’re a mixed bag: Junior, Yorkshire Life, Psychologies, Oxford Today and the Beano are all waiting to trip me up at the moment.

I don’t read specific blogs, even though I write one. I like to cart words around with me, and my mobile is so old that it was probably made before the dawn of the internet.

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