Meet The Team

It’s a great job putting the “Friend” together every week, along with our Specials and Annuals, and we love working on it as much as you enjoy reading the results! Meet the people who make the “Friend” such a great read, and find out what we enjoy most about producing your favourite magazine . . .

ANGELA GILCHRIST

When I'm asked what I do for a living, I'm so proud to say that my job is to make over 400,000 people happy every week.

My working day is very busy, and there are lots of deadlines to meet, but it’s all worthwhile when I receive a letter from someone telling me how much the magazine means to them.

It’s a great privilege to be part of the history of the oldest – and best! – women’s weekly magazine in the world.

ALEX CORLETT

As the Features Editor, I work with the talented team of people putting together (almost) everything that’s not fiction in the magazine! It’s great being able to talk about food and travel every day - two subjects very close to my heart – but it’s the variety of features we read that makes this job really interesting.

We can go from Royal dolls’ houses to volunteering in Ecuador to the first female parachutist all in one afternoon!

JACLYN BRYSON

My job as Design Editor on "The People's Friend" keeps me busy. Producing a weekly magazine, fortnightly pocket novels, 3-weekly Specials and annuals means we design around 10,000 pages per year – around 177 pages per week! I'm also involved in responding to the latest market research, adapting our products to suit readers' likes and dislikes.

There aren't enough hours in the day at times, but I can't imagine doing anything else.

SHIRLEY BLAIR

I’m the Fiction Editor for the "Friend" and as well as enjoying working with the great team here, I think I have the best job in the world.

Imagine spending every day reading the hundreds of terrific stories we receive from our talented writers . . . Bliss! One of the most satisfying parts of my job is telling a new writer for the first time that "The People’s Friend" wants to publish their story. I get all sorts of reactions, from an e-mail filled with smiley faces to a phone call to say they’re dancing round the kitchen. That makes my day, too!

ALAN SPINK

I live in the wonderful world of fiction. As part of the Fiction Team, I work closely with writers, helping them develop their stories with a view to publication.

I still get a kick out of saying to writers that one of their stories has just been bought, whether it’s dealing with a new writer to the “Friend”, or one of our more seasoned scribes. And speaking as someone who also writes fiction for the magazine, I would encourage aspiring storytellers not to give up on their dream. After all, fiction is a wonderful world to be part of.

ALISON COOK

I've worked in the Fiction Team since 2012 and enjoy the challenges of a varied and interesting workload.

No two days are ever the same. Whether reading manuscripts from writers, discussing ideas for serials, reading the weekly magazine and Specials pages before publication, or liaising with artists about the minutiae of short story illustrations, there’s never a dull moment.

It’s especially rewarding when I can tell a writer that their story will appear in a future issue of the "Friend" – that really makes everything worthwhile!

Liz O'Rourke

Knitting and craft, gardening, foreign travel – these are not only some of my favourite things but also my main responsibilities on the “Friend” as part of the Features Team.

You can’t miss my desk, it’s the one usually piled high with knitwear, balls of yarn and gorgeous craft books.

Jacki Littlejohn

I've been a sub-editor here at the "Friend" now for over a decade already! Time flies! I love working on the stories every week, and I couldn't imagine myself in any other job.

I particularly love subbing the "Maddie's World" columns - they're such great fun!

Judey Struth

As Production Editor, my job is to make sure the pages go to Press on the right day and in the right order! The “Friend” office is a great mix of people, there is always a lot of laughter, and no two days are the same.

I’m always really busy but somehow it never feels like work!

Margaret Scott

As a sub-editor within the Production Team my main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that I either have my head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or am out and about giving talks.

I love the finance pages and “how to” features – I always learn something new!

Marion McGivern

There’s so much variety in my day - as editor for cookery and money I can be talking to PRs from the great food companies and bloggers who supply our recipes one minute and discussing copy with one of our expert finance writers the next. Not to mention working on feature ideas from vintage beach huts to Ben Fogle!

There’s never a dull moment!

Tracey Steel

I love reading, so being part of the "Friend" Fiction team is a dream job for me. The days whizz by in a flurry of manuscripts, serials and Pocket Novels.

It’s a genuine thrill when you discover a new writer and their "Friend" journey begins! It’s brilliant being able to engage with readers, writers and artists on Twitter and Facebook, too. We love to hear all your feedback!

Wendy Dempster

It has been a joy to work for the “Friend” for the last few years. I work within a team of four graphic designers. We lay out the pages, take photographs and adjust imagery to fit the purpose.

The team is a close-knit bunch and we always appreciate our readers' thoughts on our beloved magazine.

Nicole Brown

I work as part of the Graphic Design Team on the "Friend". I enjoy my job and love seeing a page come together with all the lovely illustrations and colours.

I particularly enjoy the travel features which give me ideas of new places to explore for my next holiday.

I also enjoy the cookery. Everything always looks so good!

Moira Gaffney

In my role as Graphic Designer for The People’s Friend, I design pages for the magazine. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is working with all the lovely artwork, and choosing colour schemes to compliment them.

I especially enjoy working on the cookery pages, as I like to try different kinds of food, and the recipes always look so tempting.

Yvonne McKenzie

I love being part of the Features Team as each day is different. My job is interesting, challenging and fun. I can be interviewing someone who has trekked through the Amazonian rainforest one minute and the next reading the many letters from our readers sharing their fabulous tales for “Between Friends”.

It’s also great coming up with feature ideas and seeing how an idea evolves through to the finished product on the page. I’m privileged to have a job that I love so much.

Sarah Holliday

As the Commissioning Illustrations Editor I get to spend my days creating illustrations for the magazine as well as commissioning work to external artists.

I really enjoy trying out different styles and using my creativity to create unique illustrations for each story, and it’s always exciting to see the lovely artwork coming in from the other illustrators.