The “Friend” Production team is back up to full strength now, thanks to the arrival of Kirsty!
Here, she answers some of our questions . . .
Welcome to the team, Kirsty! Can you tell us a little about what you’ve been doing up to this point?
I’ve spent the last few years at Edinburgh University.
My undergraduate degree was in History and English, and I finished up and graduated with my Masters in Creative Writing last November.
When I was studying, I also moonlighted as a cleaner at the university. For the last 18 months, I’ve been a housekeeper for a pretty famous hotel back in Fife. I was starting to think I had a bright future with a mop!
Last May I was involved in writing for and editing the fourth edition of the literary anthology “From Arthur’s Seat”. I have also done some writing on the side for the Scottish Book Trust’s “Blether” anthology for Scottish Book Week. That was really exciting.
This February I actually taught some creative writing workshops with a bunch of eight-year-olds. It was amazing what they came out with.
I think they’re maybe a few years off submitting to the “Friend”, but I’m sure there’s some wonderful authors waiting to happen there.
What made you decide to apply to the “Friend”?
I knew I wanted to work in publishing, so getting any job at DC Thomson would have been amazing.
But the fact that there’s such a heavy focus on fiction in the “Friend” really sets it apart from other magazines to me.
So, when I saw the sub-editor job advertised I (almost literally) jumped at the chance to apply. I think I actually only saw it two days before it closed, so I’m definitely quite lucky to be here!
What will your new job involve?
I’m joining the Production team as a sub-editor, which means I’m going to be kept very busy.
I’m still getting into the swing of things, but I’ll be taking on my share of fiction and features, and making sure that they’re in good condition to go in the magazine.
Production is the first line of defence — checking each piece for any spelling mistakes, making sure they fit the house style, and watching out for any errant punctuation marks hiding where they shouldn’t be.
I’ll be the first to admit to being a stickler for grammar. So it’s kind of the perfect job for me.
Also, I love an Oxford comma. So I’ll be trying to sneak them in everywhere when no one is looking.
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m excited to start a job where I get to sit down for a change!
But that aside, I think I’m going to enjoy the initial sub-editing part of the production process the most, particularly for the fiction side of things.
It’s incredibly satisfying to read through a story, and give it the proofreading equivalent of a good polish. Sometimes just having someone there to put commas in the right places is enough to see a piece of work really start to shine.
Lastly, I’m commuting into Dundee on public transport at the moment, which gives me a half an hour each way to get stuck in to a good book!
I don’t think I could narrow it down to just one sort! I have a bad habit of buying far too many (usually from charity shops) based purely on their covers. There’s almost nothing I won’t read, because you never know what you’ll discover.
I do tend towards fiction though. I particularly enjoy historical fiction, because it feels like a satisfying way to blend all of my interests at once.
My favourite read of last year might have been Stacey Halls’ “The Familiars”. If I was only allowed to read a single book for the rest of my life, though, it’d be “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens.
Do you have any connections to the “Friend”?
I think everyone I know has a grandmother or great-grandmother who always had a copy lying around.
In fact, when I told my granny I got the job, she said, “Oh, that’s a good magazine! I always used to read that when I was younger!”
She’s moved on to grisly crime thrillers exclusively these days, though.