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Freelance Journalist Focus: Sasa Jankovic

“Pen for hire” Sasa Jankovic explains her freelance work, the skills needed for job searching, and the extent of her love of Vivienne Westwood in today’s focus interview…

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
I’m basically a pen for hire. I write about health, beauty, pharmacy and lifestyle topics for the national and trade press, pharmaceutical journals, and consumer blogs and websites; I work as a copywriter for creative agencies and businesses; and I do big stacks of proofreading for government agencies and also for Phd and other students.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
At the moment it’s the relief of just having completed my first book, called ‘Applying for a job – the essential guide’ (ISBN 9781861440990) which is published by Need2Know books in July. It was a bit of a shock having to produce tens of thousands of words instead of a short feature, but you’ve got to challenge yourself from time to time, right?

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’d love to be a fly on Vivienne Westwood’s studio wall. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was old enough to dress myself, and I (literally) eBayed off most of my wardrobe four years ago to raise the money to have my wedding dress made to measure at Vivienne Westwood. Best clothing purchase I ever made.

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Ideas come from all over the place – snippets of conversations overheard; wider news stories; things I don’t fully understand but want to know more about; interesting press releases that are telling me something new. Inspiration can strike at any time.

How can PRs be useful to you?
The most useful thing is when PRs can get you exactly the right person to talk to.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
If I put a shout out then that’s a great time to get in touch, but if I’m on your list for press releases then just keep emailing me. If your area is not my area I’ll soon tell you, and I do read pretty much everything that hits my inbox because you never know where the next story is hiding.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I know PRs are all extremely busy, but my one request would be this: if I put a shout out on the wires then I’m usually very specific about exactly what sort of information I’m looking for, and what questions I want answered. If you just send me your latest generic press release in return, without addressing any of my questions, then it’s not really any use. Harsh, but true.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
My only transferrable skills are that I’m a fast typist and very nosey, so what does that qualify me for?

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
If I am being sensible then it’d have to go on new kit for my office. If I’m not then it would go on more books and magazine subscriptions, and more shelves to put them all on.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I know it sounds like a cop out but there are too many to mention. I’m currently finishing Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ trilogy, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed; plus I’m reading blogs and other sites about fitting out campervans, because I’ve just bought one and want to convert it myself; and then there are all the fashion books – Scott Schuman’s ‘The Sartorialist’ is also a favourite so I’m hoping he’s working on another one.

[img|jpg|Sasa Jankovic]

[lnk||_blank|Sasa Jankovic on the Freelance Journalist Directory]