Olivia Cole, GQ – firstname.lastname@example.org
Helena Lee, Harper’s Bazaar – email@example.com
Olivia Marks, Vogue – firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Williamson, Woman & Home – email@example.com
Olivia Cole – GQ
Olivia is the freelance Literary Editor for GQ. She writes for the Drop Section.
GQ covers a lot of books as Dylan Jones (editor) is a big reader.
For the Drop Section she is interested in literary fiction, memoir, autobiographies – no novelty books, sport psychology please. (sport psychology can fit into other parts of the magazine but won’t be reviewed)
They primarily cover literary titles – Martin Amis, Richard Ford, Jay McInerney. They do however also cover female authors, there’s no male bias!
Lead time – 3-4 months but as far in advance as possible where you can.
For something really big she can slot in at proof stage but this isn’t ideal. Can use GQ Online if pub date is missed.
Please pitch by email and feel free to follow up by phone.
She shares books and information with other departments wherever possible.
She works from home so best contact is by mobile for follow up – 07779 038080
Breakfast meetings – good to meet to go through catalogues. Likes coming to launches.
As a freelancer she also chairs events and is keen to do more reviewing and interviewing. Please send pitches!
Helena Lee – Harpers’ Bazaar
Helena is the Features Editor of HB.
They have a strong literary tradition and have recently celebrated their 150th anniversary. To celebrate they commissioned short stories and pieces from writers such as John Banville, Ali Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Colm Toibin and Margaret Atwood.
Their editor is very booky/literary so this is reflected in the magazine.
Erica Wagner is a contributing literary editor. She also does author interviews. She also writes a fortnightly column for the website.
HB like to run first – before other glossies and also before supplements.
They primarily look at pieces from women but will also consider literary male writers – see above for Banville, Toibin, etc
The pieces they commission must have passion behind them. They have recently run pieces by Kamila Shamsie and Susie Boyt. Whether the piece is of interest to them depends on the author – they’re looking for the right author talking about the right topic. It can be niche if HB really want the author to write for them!
Visuals are also key for them – art, cookery, coffee table books. It’s great if these books can be set into a wider cultural context – for example, they have a piece around the book/exhibition All About Yves – the book ties into the recent exhibition about the life of Yves Saint Laurent.
They will cover paperbacks if there is more to say or a new angle on a story. It must be unique to HB though.
Please do send hard copies of catalogues and proofs. She likes to meet publicists to go through the catalogues for titles for the rest of the year. She collates all titles she’s interested in into a list to refer to. Really successful features tend to come from knowing about titles far in advance so there’s time to work them up.
Lead time – 4 months. They are now working on February onwards.
Pitches – via email but she can’t always get around to replying. Really try to make your email stand out. Happy to meet for breakfast and coffee to discuss the catalogues and ideas.
Olivia Marks – Vogue
Olivia is the Commissioning Editor for Vogue. She looks after arts, culture and books.
Giles Hattersley is their new Features Director. Hayley Maitland is the new Features Assistant.
Recent profile interviews have been with Emma Cline, Jessie Burton, Arundhati Roy. Interviewees must be present and take part in a photo shoot. They don’t do tend to do phone interviews, all are in person. For really big names they will travel to interview. For example, Arundhati Roy was interviewed in London when she was here but her photo shoot was carried out in Delhi.
Vogue loves fiction – they interview well-known authors as well as big debuts. Debuts especially must have an interesting background and plenty to talk about.
They also cover memoir, essays, diaries. For example, they recently interviewed Sigrid Rausing for her book.
Olivia wants to know about all books from high profile literary, and non literary, women.
As well as interview they also commission exclusive original pieces. She is looking for stories that are, generally speaking, about women-focused issues/themes, from male voices as well as female. She is always looking for authors to contribute features and can talk ideas through with authors if the original idea isn’t quite.
Competition – the Saturday Guardian is as much competition for them as the likes of Elle, Harpers’ Bazaar and other glossies. It is all about the story so if it’s covered somewhere else it’s no longer exclusive.
Online – Katie Berrington, Arts and Lifestyle Editor looks after arts online. If a pub date doesn’t work out they could look at doing something online instead.
Please do email pitch interesting author ideas for pieces.
Vogue do not review, but have traditionally done twice-yearly book round ups. For books that fit into a wider cultural context they’ll need a minimum of 3 (to form a trend piece).
They compile a huge books list for upcoming publishing so do let them know about everything relevant.
Lead time – 3 months in advance but no such thing as too early.
Catalogue and review copies – great, please send.
Please send pitches by email but if something is really special then please do call.
Olivia does share information with other departments – beauty etc.
Breakfast meetings are useful – have specific pitches ready though.
Charlotte Williamson – Woman & Home
Charlotte is the Features Editor
They have a readership of roughly 320,000 and the age is 35-40+.
They are looking for stories about women in their 40s through to their 70s.
Fanny Blake looks after their fiction reviews.
Charlotte looks after non-fiction, memoir, first person pieces. Fiction authors with first person pieces still send to Charlotte rather than Fanny as Fanny only deals with reviews.
They have a new Editor – Kath Brown. Her first edition is the December issue. She is well known within the industry and has launched both Red and Sugar in her career. She is younger than the previous editor so will naturally be looking for fresher pieces – girls holidays, different takes on modern life.
They have a slot called Life Edit – has a Psychologies feel about it, self help books can go here.
The rest of the pieces centre around first person, memoir, families, health, relationships.
W&H does really well on the newsstands – competitive with other newsy titles.
They also have a slot called Amazing Women – the people for this don’t have to be well-known. Recently spoke to Jude Drake from the Southbank Centre for example.
Money – they are always on the lookout for interesting angles on personal finance.
Please send catalogues and pitches via email or hard copy of cats. Charlotte is always up for a breakfast meeting to go through upcoming titles or new catalogues.
They do cover the odd children’s book – more often those of a celebrity nature. For example, they’ve recently spoken to Clare Balding.