Subject: Meet Lauren, Showbiz Journalist and Freelance Writer
Now, i’ll let you in on a little secret. I actually know Lauren very well, she is an intern pal from when we were interning at Drapers together. She is one of the few intern friends that have stuck around and it’s been incredible to see her work-life change and blossom. What draws me to Lauren is her work ethic, she doesn’t bitch, complain or moan about her work hours or how stressful her job is, she turns it into motivation to be a better writer. The girl has written for some of coolest sites on the web, so get your note book out and get ready to learn.
Take is away Lauren and don’t embarrass me.
Name: Lauren Clark
Job Title: Showbiz Reporter at The Sun Online
Main job responsibilities: Cover breaking celebrity and entertainment news, conduct exclusive interviews and attend showbiz events.
Did you intern? if so where, if not, what was your first job?
I interned at Vogue, Tatler, Harper's Bazaar, The Sunday Times' Style, Grazia, Look, The Debrief, Drapers, Healthy, Mother & Baby.
First job was Editorial Assistant at Women's Health
What advice would you give to someone who doesn't know what they want to do?
Give multiple fields/ job roles areas a go to find out what you really like. Two weeks here and there isn't long (meaning it's usually affordable) but it is enough time to help you find out if you really enjoy and are good at something in particular. In the context of journalism, doing work experience at different publications (newspapers, websites and magazines) in different departments (beauty, fashion, features) can be super useful.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into journalism?
Email the features editor (or beauty or fashion editor for those areas, or perhaps sometimes the Editorial Assistant or PA) of your dream publications to work for and ask for work experience (obviously with a beautifully-written cover letter and CV where you address them specifically and explain exactly why you want to intern there). If you don't hear back keep trying. Work experience allows you to directly impress those with the power to hire and meet fellow likeminded interns who may become your future colleagues/ best contacts. Don't worry too much about academic qualifications or spending loads of time writing a blog.
How did you get into freelance writing? Any advice for anyone wanting to write freelance?
I started to pitch to publications I knew commissioned. I looked at the sort of articles they tended to feature so my story idea was super relevant to them, and then emailed them with a proposed headline, sell and bullet points of how I would execute it/ what I would cover/ who I would speak to. Keep trying - often you won't hear back, but if you give it a week and then chase, before systemically going through other publications. If it's an idea you truly believe in you never know who might say yes.
You are very good at promoting articles you have written? Any advice on personal branding and not being shy to promote your work?
I tend to keep self-promotion of my pieces to Instagram and Twitter if online. Usually saying how much you enjoyed writing something/ thanking those who commissioned you is a non-arrogant way of saying look I wrote this piece for this place. If people don't like you sharing your achievements, then you don't want them among your followers anyway. Dolly Alderton gave a great piece of advice about personal branding on the Nobody Panic podcast - share an interesting/ funny image so you're giving your followers content they will enjoy regardless, and then shoehorn in your plug/ self-promotion in the caption. That way people won't become bored.
Favourite outfit to wear to work?
Some kind of statement skirt and T-shirt, or a printed dress you can throw on with a leather jacket and ankle boots.
Where can people find you?