Whether it’s a Royal event, a movie anniversary or an author interview, every feature goes in the “Friend” for a reason. And they only make it to the issue after getting the go-ahead at our weekly Features team meeting.
In the Features team, we all look after different “regulars” — the Manse Window, the Cookery and the Health, amongst others, are managed by either myself, Yvonne, Marion or Lisa. But if any of the rest of us have any good ideas for those pages, the team meeting is the time to chip in!
In addition to those “every issue” features, we have a half-dozen other slots in the weekly (and more in the Specials) that we fill up with our own brand-new ideas. We get these from freelancers pitching us ideas, from our own sources, and sometimes from press releases.
At 2pm on Tuesday afternoons, we bring them all together and run them past Editor Angela. If we’re all agreed on something, then we go away and commission it to be written by a freelancer — or write it ourselves. Then it’s brought back to a future meeting to schedule it for an issue.
Thank Goodness For Freelancers
Time constraints mean that we have to farm much out to freelancers, and we’d be nowhere without our talented writers. Knowing you can think up a story and trust them to take it through to completion is enormously helpful.
PRs — or Public Relations staff — are also invaluable. They give us opportunities to interview people, and work with us to get us books for the book page, recipes for the cookery, and even just general ideas for features.
They can work on everything from filling a square on the “This Week We’re Loving” page to a full spread!
Unsurprisingly, this job sees you signed up to a lot of mailing lists. We get a lot of emails!
It’s not uncommon for us to receive between 50 and 100 each day. So do bear with us if we sometimes take a little while to respond.
Get In Touch
This last meeting saw me run through a rough plan of what we’ll be doing this Christmas. I’d show you the plan, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise! We’ve got some great stuff coming up.
It’s such a varied and interesting job working on Features, and we just want you to know that — like the Fiction team — we really do our best to make every single thing that goes in to the magazine the best it can be for you, the readers.
We always love it when you get in touch to let us know what you think, as well. So please do!