Tim Auld – Deputy Editor, Stella Magazine email@example.com
Stella magazine is the weekly colour supplement which accompanies the Sunday Telegraph. The main focus themes are fashion, beauty, arts, theatre, entertainment and books. The magazine has a a very female slant – but not all features are written by women. They are looking for intelligent pieces and features, heavily issues-lead but most especially entertaining and thought-provoking.
From February through to Summer their pages are lighter, between 3 – 6 features run, and they have more space in the autumn months. Editor Anna Murphy is passionate about books, and they form the vast majority of items within the magazine. Recently featured writers include Joyce Carol Oates, Lorrie Moore, Aminatta Forna – all big lead interviews. They ran a career retrospective on Elizabeth Jane Howard. They do commission writers for pieces – Hilary Mantel, Marina Lewycka (sp?) and Nicola Barker all wrote small features on an item which meant a lot to them for example, with a book credit.
They don’t have vast funds for extracts but are very interested in these, especially personal stories – any 20th century strong women, books with photos which are very useful for illustration. They are always seeking images to illustrate features on food and interiors.
The ‘First Person’ slot is often good for writers who are happy to talk about a key relationship or relatable incident in their lives – love, loss, bereavement, separation – do send ideas to Tim.
The ‘Knowledge’ slot is good too for books – four bullet points from self help/diet/fitness books – they did a piece recently on how to get a good night’s sleep.
Tim likes to be approached by phone and email – lead time is at least a month, and longer for extracts/serial.
Paul Kendall – Deputy Editor Seven firstname.lastname@example.org
Although there is no gender bias in Seven, the supplement of the Sunday Telegraph, there are more features by men than in Stella. They are very much looking for features which they might run successfully online, and there is a big focus on driving readers to the ipad app. They will commission brief articles (700 – 3000 words) which tell us something about the world we live in. Topics range from science, health through to new technology. For example, for a recent story on the pandas in Edinburgh zoo, they sent science writer Tom Chivers to cover the story from a different angle. Recent features have included a piece on scientists research into curing fear, the growth in development and usage of drones, the science of memory and popular psychology items.
They like showbiz pieces, and will often run as a cover story, but they tend to be iconic, unusual or well seasoned/more unusual protagonists. For example, they ran a cover interview with William Friedkin, the Director of The Exorcist recently. Quirky books like those from Jon Ronson make good jumping off points for articles and they like features which provoke debate. If in doubt, read the supplement to see the flavour and style.
Paul also likes to be telephoned. He often misses emails! Lead time is four weeks. Reviews are run in Seven and the contact is Horatia Harrod.
Emma Rowley – Acting Deputy Features Editor, Daily Telegraph email@example.com
Emma commissions features and interviews – anything between 800 – 1400 words – and is also charged with driving readers to the online site for further coverage. Their dream interview would be the level of Sheryl Sandberg – a UK based ‘Lean-In’ style person.
There are 3 main features and one short per issue, and major feature interviews (for big recognisable names only) on a Monday and a Saturday.
They like pieces which provoke debate and form foundation for a talking point – anything which can be further picked up online – they might ask a writer to supplement a piece for this format. Lead time is very short indeed – can turn a piece around in hours for the following days paper. There is a slight female-slant to the pages. They are likely to ask for direct and immediate contact with a writer or an author so that they can turn a potential article around very quickly. They have run pieces recently on the author of the new YA sensation, Sally Green, on Half Bad, and a section on Very British Problems, where serial had not been sold but they could run some themed cuts.
They would like to run first with any subject, but will consider following if there is a very different approach to a theme.
Emma likes to be contacted by email, but phone if short notice – she shares a desk with most of the other features editors, its open plan so they all exchange ideas. Don’t call after 4pm to pitch – that’s when they are working on the following days pages. She likes to receive proofs, but they – like printed press releases, often go missing from the desks.
Sameer Rahim, Commissioning Editor, Arts and Books firstname.lastname@example.org
The Daily and Sunday Telegraph don’t double up on reviews any longer because there is no differentiation online and two reviews of the same book don’t make sense there. Gaby Wood is Head of Books and looks after arrangements for Hay Festival. Lorna Bradbury is in charge of commissioning reviews and of children’s books. She has a weekly column on books for children. Horatia Harrod commissions reviews and pieces for Seven. Sameer is responsible for reviews, interviews and short pieces on trends in publishing.
The Review section will run a major interview with a writer on a Saturday. Gaby likes Hollywood and movies, so there is a slant there, but best suggestion is to read the pages and see the sort of books which get covered. Sameer covers poetry reviews. They need a lot of content for online so worth suggesting interviews, lists, short pieces direct for online as print space is limited. For example at Valentine’s Day they ran a list on the words marriages in literature.
They like punchy, opinion pieces- it’s not just all about reviews, they run news stories and a picture gallery – sometimes they run an article online which captures the news editor’s eye and it is run in a different way in print the next day. Recently they have run pieces on how to read Homer, a study of Muriel Spark and they have a series on Proust, so if a writer has a particular specialism for a classic author, worth flagging this.
Sameer is keen to see printed catalogues as it gives a good overview of a list and he can spot trends across publishers. he prefers email approaches rather than phone and is happy to meet over coffee to run through highlights of a list. For serial do be in touch with him or with Gaby who oversees the pages.
Andrew Baker – Deputy Editor Weekend Andrew.email@example.com
Andrew’s section of the paper focuses chiefly on lifestyle/family issues – parenting, education, food and drink, country lifestyle and history are their key focus points.
They have a weekly food slots, but these aren’t up for commission. Instead they are always keen to have recipes which they might features online. New books from chefs family-friendly cooks and easy to make at home recipes are best.
They are keen on practical parenting tips and any educational-related tips, advice and insight. Their Education pages are tied each week to the school calendar and are always keen for content.
The History page is rather World War 1 obsessed at the moment, but the readers like that, so anything along those lines would be helpful.
“My Perfect Weekend” is the regular interview slot. Subjects must be well-known, appropriate for the Telegraph readership, or have particularly distinctive/unusual weekends. This interview is about 1400 words long, features a series of regular questions and is done by phone. Book credit at the foot of the piece.
The Weekend front gets lots of attention, so needs to be a stand-out story. Mostly there is a strong family-slant. It’s about 1800 – 2,000 words and photos are a must. Lead time for this and other slots is about a month – but sometimes they will commission as close to 10 days before on sale. Andrew asks that publicists focus their pitches Don’t get crossed lines and pitch to Features and Weekend – this has happened before. Emails better than phone approaches for him and he urges everyone to persist in their approaches as often emails get missed.