The Fiction Team’s Ideal Jobs

Valeriy Kachaev © ideal jobs

We love to read and be creative on the Fiction team – but what are our ideal jobs?

Is there a vocation we once dreamed of achieving and that can still become reality?

Here are the team’s answers.


As a child, I had a very well-thought-out life plan. I wanted to be a prima-ballerina and, realising that professional ballerinas reach their peak early in life, I decided I would retire gracefully at around 30 and then write books about ballerinas for children.

I think I was influenced by my love of “Ballet Shoes” by Noel Streatfeild and the “Dancing Shoes” series of books by Antonia Barber.

Nowadays, while I love being a Fiction editor, I daydream of being a detective or private investigator on the side!


Despite being not very good at maths and having the worst eyesight in the whole “PF” team, I would love to be an astronaut. Six months on the ISS – yes, please!

But if I could, I would choose to go into deep space. If I’m going to do all that training, then I want to walk on the Moon or Mars!


My favourite job is pretty much the one I am doing now.

To be able to be creative every day and illustrate for a living is amazing. The fact that I don’t solely work on illustrations keeps me more imaginative.

I think a balance of creative and non-creative moments is essential in that regard.

If money wasn’t an issue, I’d love to be an artist and a writer, spending time working on my books and illustrating them.


I love working with “Friend” writers on their stories, and writing fiction is something I would like to do in the future. Maybe fulltime; maybe as a hobbyist. It’s still the light that burns brightest inside me.

I also wanted to be a National Hunt jockey when I was a teenager – but my height and weight put paid to that. Also, my love for confectionary!


My dream job is . . . the job I’m doing now – Fiction Editor of the “Friend”. I really enjoy working with our contributors and, in normal times, meeting our readers. And all the reading and proofreading is bliss for me.

It’s a great privilege to work on a magazine with such an amazing heritage, too. I’m thankful every day!

For more from the “Friend” team, click here to read our blog.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.