Ever fancied yourself as a magazine journo, y'know, getting a review in Empire or Total Film, or writing for Heat or Dr Who mag, summink like that? Well, over in his latest post, Monsieur Jason Arnopp* tells you how. All sound advice from the freelance journalist who's written for Every Magazine and Publication Known to Man.
I tried to get a gig on Empire when I first arrived in the UK, and had positive correspondence/phone calls with the editor and various sub-editors. They told me that they like to hire reviewers who have done something else for them on their mag - for example, interviewed a star or written an article, and work up a relationship so that they trust them to review the films. They liked my sample reviews and allowed me to pitch a few articles but ultimately, they didn't bite... Still, I was encouraged by their receptive reaction to my initial correspondence. Like Jason points out, a brief and to-the-point e-mail/letter, casually asking if they are looking for new writers (possibly followed up by a polite phone call) can go a long way.
In other news, Tim Clague has been busy with his new online venture, Mr Vista. Entirely self-funded through the advertising on his blog, Tim has taken a beautifully simple and comic idea, and plonked it on the net for everyone to enjoy. It's playing over at Daily Motion and is now even on iTunes. Way to go, Timmy boy.
And in a similar on-line fashion, a new interactive drama starts on Bebo called Sofia's Diary, for which, um, I have written the "webisodes" (web episodes, see what they did there?) for the first couple of weeks, and then more later in the run. It's been very exciting to be part of the team, so fingers crossed it goes down well! I think it has a preview launch tomorrow, Friday, and it starts proper on Monday 17th (St Patrick's Day, sláinte).
Oh, and my refurbished Macbook arrived in the post, two weeks ahead of schedule. Here it is, having just been turned on:-
I love it! I have even discovered I can do a podcast through the GarageBand software (steady now...) Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, links and advice. Special mention to James, Robert and Phillip for going above and beyond the call of duty. I certainly felt the love of the Mac community in my slight hesitancy and confusion over whether to buy or not. I'm still using a PC for my main 'desk work' but y'never know, I might fully convert to Mac if all continues to go well...
Thanks, too, to everyone who has sponsored me for the Bournemouth Bay Run (taking place Sunday 30th March). If you fancied throwing a few more quid my way on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, then follow the instructions on my fundraising page. Anything at all, £2-£5 (or more!) is very much appreciated. I'm off for a swim. Essential cross-training, y'know.
* He's not really French.