During my internship with OOONY, I’ve had the chance to sit down and chat with writers and editors from some of the top magazines in the world to learn about what they do and how they landed their fab positions. I met with writers from Elle, Women’s Health and Harper’s Bazaar and a market editor from Teen Vogue (pretty freaking cool). I rounded up some of the best insight and advice on what it takes to work in publishing in NYC. Let us know in the comments what your dream NYC job is!
On Working at a Major Magazine:
- You don’t HAVE to major in fashion or journalism to work at a magazine. There are so many positions available including integrated marketing, advertising sales, PR and more
- As a writer, you have a lot of creative freedom on what you can cover. You don’t have to work within a certain category i.e. only writing about fashion or only writing about entertainment… you can mix it up!
- Long-lead (print) and short-lead (digital) are very different. Long-lead print editors work about 4 months ahead, so when I visited this month, most magazines were working on September 2016 issues. It was funny to see all the fall clothes in the sample closets at the beginning of the summer! Short-lead online editors have to constantly be up to the second on trends and news items. One editor told me she checked in on group chat with all her colleagues at 7am every day to figure out what stories they were going to write that day
- If you love fashion and discovering new designers, being a market editor could be the route for you. As a market editor, it’s your responsibility to run around the city to appointments to view all the collections and report back to your team on what the trends are and how those trends can fit into the magazine
- Being a freelancer is great way to maintain a flexible schedule
- Have a good understanding of your publication’s voice. Some outlets are silly or sarcastic while others are more serious. You have to make sure what you’re writing and how you’re writing it aligns with the rest of the content being published
- Know the main point of your article before you start writing it
- Write a blog post like you are writing an email to a friend. I’m talking actually type out your article in gmail
- Grab the readers’ attention in the beginning and wrap it up with a unique ending
- Be careful of cliches
- Don’t be afraid to push people in interviews to get interesting sound bites
- Adding “fun facts” are always a good way to engage readers. Tell your reader something they wouldn’t be able to find out from another source
- Always be on top of current events and trending topics, so you can write about them FIRST
Basically, I have been intrigued with magazines ever since meeting these girls. I have never been particularly confident in my writing, but now I know there are a ton of other jobs in the magazine industry – so there is hope!
A lot of the girls always knew they wanted to work for a magazine – wish my life was that organized! I was surprised by the flexibility of the job and the fact that they can really write about what they love… so amazing.
When I went to Teen Vogue, I saw a completely different side of the magazine industry. Flipping through the trend books inside the Teen Vogue sample closet, I realized… dang… I would TOTALLY love this job. I was staring at all the clothes around me like a little kid in a candy shop – wide eyed and smiling.
The editor I met manages all of the “Ready to Wear” product that comes in the closet for photoshoots… sounds like a little bit of stress and a whole lot of fun to me. Looking at the trend book was my favorite part of the visit because I got to see how the creative process comes to life – items that were in the trend book can end up right in the magazine!
Basically, I gained an entirely new form of respect for these hardworking ladies and gents, and I took a away a ton of great info. Feel free to comment or email with any questions!
Tori (the intern)