Alice-Azania Jarvis – Features Director, ES Magazine
Alexandra Jones – Commissioning Editor, Stylist
Jenny Stallard – Commissioning Editor, Metro
Alice-Azania Jarvis, Features Director – ES Magazine
ES Magazine is the glossy sister publication of the Evening Standard. It is the first supplement of the weekend appearing on a Thursday and Friday evening and setting the tone for readers’ leisure time
They have 767,000 readers – 72% ABC, 44% male and 56% female, 73% aged 25-54
They have an intimate, interactive relationship with the readers – readers are always feeding back their thoughts, opinions and favourite sections.
They are keen to cover more books – author interviews, author features, serials and trend pieces. Recent examples include:
Author interview: Alexandra Shulman on her memoir, Inside Vogue
Recent author feature: Tim Walker (novelist) on returning to London after many years living in L.A. This was to promote his second novel, Smoke Over Malibu
Trend pieces: London’s new generation cool young poets; the trend for very, very long reads
Everything they run should have a strong London relevance, whether that is because the book’s author is a Londoner, or the books has London as a subject – or it could simply be that the book is going to be read by a lot of Londoners. If an author is American, but their title is this summer’s hot read, they still want to do them.
For interviews, they insist on exclusivity (ie they must run first). If that’s not available, then an author could feature in their famous My London slot, though for that they need to be a household name. They have a strong news sense, so value opinionated, frank interviewees.
They are a young, fun publication and always looking for the next bright young thing. Trends need to be fresh and original.
They would love to do more serials.
They work at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Each issue goes to press the week before, copy deadline is a week before that (so each issue closes two weeks before it appears)
Alice will pass stuff on to other teams.
Pitches: best via email – include all info and send proofs.
Meetings, coffees, launch party invites – all good.
Alexandra Jones, Commissioning Editor, Stylist
Books are a big thing for Stylist, there are lots of opportunities for them within the magazine and they underpin a lot of their content.
1 – Style List – think outside the box for this one. They get sent lots of literary fiction but not enough coffee table books or biogs. Beautiful jackets also good for this section.
2 – Scoop – this is a trends section. 5-6 books of a type/theme/etc. If you spot a theme or trend, please do give them a heads up. For example, 2016 seemed to have been the ‘year of the feminist manifesto’. Each book gets a mini review, round up style. Sometimes they just do one book for this but everything would have to fit what they are looking for – author, topic, etc. Things that work well here are work issues and feminism.
3 – Book Wars – Amy Adams looks after this feature. Please do send hard copies of the books for this as they all get considered. Here they also get sent a lot of literary fiction and are after a broader range. If you are working on a book and notice an obvious comparison, do send an email to Amy.
For book reviews – Amy and Francesca are both up for meeting for coffees to go through catalogues.
Features: they use lots of books/authors for these but they tend to be non-fiction. Work is a big issue and they feature it a lot but are always on the look out for the next big thing or trend. They focussed a recent feature around a book called ‘Drop the Ball’. They are looking for passion and innovation in the books they feature. When pitching, put all information into the body of the email – pitch, book info and please lead with the publication date.
They work roughly 6-8 weeks in advance. They can take later pitches but can be best to include them on the same mailouts, etc as the monthly magazines.
A note from Alex: We do look for authors who want to write for us so feel free to pitch any relevant topics; again this is pretty broad-base – our readership is around the age of 30, working, urban, interested in going out, socialising etc. Probably childless, but probably thinking about having children at some point – so things that feel relevant to that demographic. We often look for newsy hooks (so maybe a big news story that an author feels like they could comment on, a change in the law, that kind of thing). Or we’ve previously commissioned authors to write about toxic friendship, career changes, relationships… (these were all in response to a wider trend, so worth checking for new statistics news stories, new launches, new apps, that kind of thing, so that whatever you’re pitching seems culturally relevant – for instance, the toxic friendships piece, not only was it the topic of the author’s book, but there had also been a recent stat which showed that we’re losing connections on social media faster than we’re making them. The author wrote about her own experiences and about how they might apply to our readers..)
Jenny Stallard, Commissioning Editor – Metro
Book reviews run on a Monday – 3 slots within the travel pages – reviews, ‘On My E-Reader’ and Literary Landscape. (Claire to send notes)
Trends features – Jenny looks after these. They run on a Thursday and are akin to the content on women’s glossy magazines. They cover memoirs, self-help, comic writing and more.
They really like author articles and like to have authors suggest pieces to them writing about something that interests them.
They do run book extracts – recently did an extract and interview for Fearne Cotton, for example. They also do author interviews and have recently spoken to Elizabeth Gilbert and Ruby Wax.
Jenny loves to receive review copies and can’t resist a book with a beautiful jacket!
Lead times – roughly 3-4 weeks ahead but nothing is too early. For example, please send summer titles and pitches now as Jenny can start planning ahead.
She prefers email and tries really hard to reply to everything she receives. Please make sure to include the pub date in a prominent position.
Jenny and Claire Allfree talk regularly and suggest books to each other.
Meetings: Jenny is happy to meet for breakfast or morning coffee – please send either one person to represent your whole department or a couple of you come to the same meeting. Frustrating meeting members of the same department close together.
Jenny does pass stuff on to other departments.
Children’s books – don’t cover but can cover if the author has an interesting story behind the book. True of adult books for features as well – for example with Hurrah For Gin – would cover Katie Kirby but not from the point of view of being a mum but from the view of her rise to fame whilst on maternity leave.
For all features – think short, sweet, something for people to read within tube stops – slightly more snappy in in style than the Sunday papers read at leisure over breakfast or a cup of coffee.