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Focus with Ed Vaughan, editor of Rotten Apples magazine

This week, editor Ed Vaughan tells us all about the super-fresh launch of Rotten Apples, a culturey, arty, coffee-tabley food magazine. Sounds juicy? Get stuck in…

About the publication:

Tell us a bit about the launch of Rotten Apples…
Rotten Apples has only just dropped from the tree. Received the first issue from the printers this week and have been working hard to tell as many food fans as I can about it. We are going to be having a proper knees up to “wet the baby’s head” so to speak very soon.

What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering?
Rotten Apples principle activities involve discovering, tasting, experiencing, researching, understanding and writing about food culture. We will see that around food there exists art and design, film, literature, history, science and philosophy and we aim to present these findings in a unique and colourful coffee table magazine. Its a bit edgy and a bit provocative and probably won’t jump start your appetite like watching Rick Stein on the telly does. It will however make you think about the way you think about food. We are also very keen on strengthening the link between food and art and are inviting artists to submit food related work.

What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
We have a dog standing on some cheeseburgers on the cover and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Wait till you see what’s going on inside.

How do you decide the content, front covers and headlines?
Massive amounts of research and a healthy obsession with food and art/design. My ethos is “has it been done before?” if the answer is no then I will go with it. Originality is the key to Rotten Apples’ success.

Do you produce a features list? Why? Why not?
No – I haven’t got a clue what a features list is. You see I’m a rookie in this publishing game but if anyone has one I will take two in both colours.

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
Rotten Apples magazine is compiled from contributions from writers and artists from all over the globe.

About you and freelance journalists:

Do you like freelance journalists to get in touch with you directly to pitch ideas? And if so,how? (What should the pitch include and any specifics about how they should send that information to you)
Yes sure – I’m a very approachable person and if someone has a great idea I would love to hear about it. Absolutely no restaurant reviews or recipes and no
I wont pay for you to go on holiday to write about some obscure cheese you have found in Gran Canaria.

Name the three most important attributes that make a freelance journalist stand out for you and would make you use them again?
Originality, left-field thinking and the ability to write well.

If you can, tell us about the best approach you’ve seen from a freelance…and the worst…
Worst – Can’t think beyond restaurant reviews when it comes to writing about food. I don’t care what the lasagne was like!! Best – digging below the surface to find the best stuff – be political, have an opinion, get angry, be creative (not with the facts though).

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs (e.g. for supplements, round tables, events) or do you keep them at arm’s length?
Not as yet.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
The best way to a mans wallet is through his stomach.

How should a PR approach you about their client?
Give me a bell.

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
How much is it going to cost? Whatever it is.

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
Any time during office hours.

About you:

Describe a typical day at work:
Usually start work quite early due to being a bit of a swat. At the moment its mostly emailing and speaking to people on the phone promoting the magazine. Thinking about content ideas and rallying artists and writers. Stuffing envelopes with Rotten Apples, developing the retail / wholesale side of the business. Selling advertising, pretty much everything really. Then lunch in front of the food channel – Rick Stein, Man V Food, Iron Chef. Then more of the same till my sweetheart comes home at about 7pm.

What interests you most about your job?
I’m doing something new and exciting, pushing myself to come up with something that is very cool and original. Speaking to people about it and finding some amazing stuff across the globe that I know people will love to see.

Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
I have been self employed all my adult life and am now completely unemployable. What haven’t I done?

Do you Twitter? Why, why not?
I do Twitter but I feel a twatter doing it. Don’t really know what the point is but when I say that to someone under the age of about 23 it’s like I have just said the “N” word. Get with the programme Grandpa is what I’m trying to tell myself at the moment.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Life is a beautiful struggle, if it isn’t you are doing it wrong.

What media do you seek out 1st thing in the morning?

Internet independent news channels, food blogs etc.

If you could time travel what time would you go to?
About 3 weeks ago when I was proof reading issue 1 of Rotten Apples. I didn’t do it as well as I should have and now there is a mysterious missing line of text on one of the last pages. Lesson learnt – get someone else to proof read the magazine. Although when Rotten Apples magazine is a global phenomenon the first issue with the line of text missing will be a limited edition and people will pay thousands for it. Then who will be laughing eh?

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[img|jpg|Ed Vaughan & Rotten Apples cover]