Freelance Journalist Interview with Sarah Clark
“All things girly” is what freelance journalist, editor and blogger Sarah Clark focuses on in her writing, and some of those ‘girly things’ are spas, beauty and fashion. Editing Inspired Magazine, writing for Spaseekers.com and blogging at Queen Simply Be and Relentlessly Positive keeps Sarah busy, so get busy reading all about it…
About your journalism:
What do you write about?
Anything and everything! I cover pretty much all lifestyle topics, especially spas, beauty, fashion and all things girly.
Where are we likely to see your work?
Probably in Inspired Magazine, a glossy Essex-based local lifestyle magazine that I write and edit. It takes up rather a lot of my time, and I’m always after inspiration (see what I did there?) I’m also a bit of a spa queen, and write about spas and all things beauty for SpaSeekers.com. They force me go to spas and do reviews, which is a terrible thing to do, obviously. I also blog a lot on the Relentlessly Positive blog, and Queen Simply Be.
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
I’m a massive Marilyn Monroe fan, and one of my first ever freelance commissions was to write a mini-bio of Marilyn to go with a DVD in 2007. I am ridiculously proud of this. I’m also really proud of the work I’ve done on Inspired. The magazine has been going for a year, and it’s proving really popular. Ever since I was full-time features ed for Spa Plus and Salon Plus back in 2001, I’ve wanted to take on a magazine and influence its direction, and my role as editorial manager gives me a huge amount of leeway.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d love to go back in time and interview Marilyn Monroe. Cheesy, I know, but she really is a heroine of mine. I’d also love to write something like The Beauty Pages blog, and write about high-end beauty products all day. I’m such a girl.
About you and PRs:
Where do you source ideas for articles?
It depends – for Inspired we have a basic forward features list that I use to guide me. I’ll do research online and then try and get some input from PRs I know, or sometimes put a shout out on ResponseSource. I do like getting press releases and emails from PRs, sometimes they’ll help inspire me for an angle or I’ll get excited about a brand new product that fits perfectly with my plan!
How can PRs be useful to you?
Keep sending me information – but also I’d love to talk to you and find out how we can help each other. I’d love to make more time to get to know PRs and their clients, it would save me a lot of time trying to rack my brains for a contact who can actually add something useful to one of my features…
I’m always after information on new products, and experts for comments.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Email is best for me. If you’ve got some news or information, a great bit of celeb news or something you think would work well in a feature, just send it across. The worst I can do is delete it. I often file emails for future use if I know I’ve got something coming up, so you might not hear back straight away.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I’m always up for an invite, although I rely on trains so early morning and late night events aren’t really that helpful to me.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Realising that I get hundreds of press releases and emails every week and if I replied to every single one I would never get anything written!
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I’d love to train either in complementary therapies (I have a Reiki qualification but that’s as far as it goes) or as an NLP or CBT practitioner. The mind fascinates me…
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
Sensible answer: Paying off credit cards.
In reality: Plane ticket to Australia to stay with my brother, and some Swarovski sparklies.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I have a Kindle! And I am addicted to it, despite saying I never would be. I’ve got everything from Philippa Gregory to Dawn French, and NLP training books on there and I love a bit of ‘chick lit’ too. The last book I read was ‘Pear Shaped’ by Stella Newman. I have magazines everywhere – Professional Beauty and Spa Secrets, Grazia and Psychologies. And Inspired, of course!