Amy’s journalistic dreams

A member of The Senior Section shares her experience of working alongside the editorial team on guiding magazine

Amy
8 Nov 2017

When I was younger, I tried to start a magazine with my friend

It didn’t go anywhere (it was made by two seven-year-olds in Microsoft Paint) but since then I’ve always wanted to write for magazines, with the hopes of starting my own one day.

I’m now in my third year at Staffordshire University, studying Music Journalism and Broadcasting, and recently I jumped at the chance to spend a week working for guiding magazine. I approached the editorial team because I’ve been a member of Girlguiding since I was five-years-old (I started in 1st Hopwas Rainbows) and I’m proud to represent such a remarkable organisation.

The magazine helps leaders to encourage girls and young women from all backgrounds to take on more opportunities, giving them access to articles about what other units have done and events they might like to get involved with.

Getting stuck in

I was thrilled to be invited to see the creation of the magazine as well as work on it myself. Right from the start, I got to jump in and get writing. One of my tasks was to research different festivals around the world to find themed activities that girls from all sections might like to do. Some of these festivals were religious, which meant that the activities I found needed to be respectful of each religion but also good fun to the girls to try for themselves.

Later in the week, I got to add my input on page, flowing the articles I had researched and written into the layouts. This gave me a great amount of insight into how the magazine comes together and how much effort it takes to make all of the different elements work together on the page.

Deadlines!

I’ve learnt a lot about deadlines and word limits. For my degree, my tutors tend to set term-long deadlines and 1,000 words per article. For guiding magazine, deadlines are a lot shorter, to match with Girlguiding’s needs, and the word counts for different features vary a lot. This has given me an insight into how things will be different when I start my career after university. The process itself, however, is almost identical to how we created magazines at uni, using an Adobe program called InDesign to create the layout and print our own magazines.

The best bit was being able to work onto the final layouts. Seeing them come together, including the sections I had written, was amazing.

The entire experience has been amazingly informative and a lot of fun. The team was incredible: they got so much done in such a short space of time while juggling different tasks and deadlines.

The entire experience definitely solidified my aspiration to go into magazine creation and PR, and has helped to consolidate my theoretical knowledge with practical experiences. I can’t thank the team enough for letting me see the inner workings of the magazine during such a busy time. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them.