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L'invit | 051

Email sent: May 4, 2021 9:30am
L'invité with Hannah Keegan, features writer at Stylist magazine & 5 things we loved this week
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L'Invité

VOLUME 051

04 MAY 2021

L'Invité

VOLUME 051

04 MAY 2021

THIS WEEK WE'VE BEEN CHATTING TO

THIS WEEK WE'VE BEEN CHATTING TO

Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan

Hannah Keegan is the Features writer at Stylist magazine, meaning every week she is covering the most timely stories and meeting the people we’re watching on tv, aspiring to be and reading about in the news from Kamala Harris, to Rosamund Pike, to the women fighting fake news. We spoke to Hannah about journalism, getting your foot in the door and what to do when faced with good old fashioned writer’s block

DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A JOURNALIST?

 

I did oddly, which I’m thankful for. In some ways, I think life is probably a little easier when you know what you want to do with it from the start. I was into reading as a kid and wrote a lot, too, so once I discovered you could make money from those things - no one in my family was in the industry, so that happened when I started reading magazines at 10ish - all that was left was figuring out the logistics of how to actually do it.

 

YOU’VE WORKED FOR PRESTIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS, CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU MANAGED TO GET YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR?

 

Interning and freelance writing was my way in. Unpaid internships, though, are a massive issue in this industry, and prevent so many people from getting their start, but if you are able to do a few, then do, they help. Even if all you learn is that you don’t want to be a journalist. I did the unpaid ones during reading breaks at university and in the tail end of my final year I interned with the Economist’s 1843 magazine (paid), which taught me so much: how to edit your work, how to take editor’s notes, how to adapt tone. Lots of publications do 6 months - 1-year paid internships now, which are great entry points.

 

If you can’t intern, then try to freelance on the side. Find the right editors to pitch (easy to do online), analyse the stories the publications you want to write for run and then send them some ideas. There’s much more scope for young or new writers at digital publications than print, so start with those. All you need is one idea to get accepted to get the ball rolling - the more you have published, the more editors are willing to take a chance on you. I'd also ask yourself why you want to work in the industry. Is it because you love writing, interviewing, editing? Or do you like the idea of working at a magazine or newspaper? If you don’t have a genuine love of the nitty gritty parts of the job, I promise you it will get old quickly and I’d recommend going into an industry where the money is better.

 

WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF YOUR JOB? OR SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULDN’T EXPECT FOR A WRITER?

 

That you get to follow your interests.

 

AND THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN BY SOMEONE IN THE INDUSTRY?

 

Always take two dictaphones to a big interview.

 

WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU’VE HIT A BLOCK?

 

This is tough because there isn’t necessarily one place. I’m a big believer in consuming lots of things (news stories, podcasts, long-form pieces) and that they will plant seeds that ideas are eventually born from. When I’ve really hit a brick wall though, I will ask friends what has been on their minds recently. Ask enough people and you start getting the same answers - that’s one thing you learn doing this job, we’re all thinking about the same things.

 

TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOKS LIKE AS A FEATURES WRITER?

 

Researching, interviewing, lots of writing. I’m usually on deadline for a magazine piece alongside shorter stories. Occasionally, it will involve speaking with a celebrity on the phone for an interview - pre-covid, this usually took place in a hotel room - which sounds much more glamorous than it is (lots of waiting around).

 

TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT YOUR DAY TO DAY LOOKS LIKE AS A FEATURES WRITER?

 

Researching, interviewing, lots of writing. I’m usually on deadline for a magazine piece alongside shorter stories. Occasionally, it will involve speaking with a celebrity on the phone for an interview - pre-covid, this usually took place in a hotel room - which sounds much more glamorous than it is (lots of waiting around).

ARE YOU READING OR LISTENING TO ANYTHING GOOD AT THE MOMENT?

 

Yes, I’m reading a collection of short stories called Wrong Heaven by Amy Bonnaffons, which are surreal and beautifully written, alongside Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which I’m rereading. I’m also listening to The Apology Line, a podcast about a 1980s phone line people called to confess and apologise anonymously for things they’d done, even murder. I would recommend it to everyone. It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

 

WHAT’S THE ONE THING YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING WHEN LOCKDOWN LIFTS?

 

So many things. Ordering a negroni at a bar is top of my list, though.

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE WHEN IT COMES TO JEWELLERY?

 

Delicate until it comes to rings, which I like large or stacked.

 

DO YOU HAVE A MANTRA? IF YOU COULD GET SOMETHING ENGRAVED ON OUR CONFIDENCE NECKLACE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

 

“No one is you and that is your power”.

 

I have no idea where I first read this, but it stuck with me. It’s so easy to compare yourself and your progress with other people’s, but it’s pointless. They’re not you. And that’s also your strength: no one can be you.

Shop Hannah's Favourites

Shop Hannah's

Favourite Pieces

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THIS WEEK

Five Things We Loved

Five Things We Loved

NO.1 ALL BIRDS

 

Allbirds paving the way when it comes to sustainability. Take a look

 

NO.2 CHLOE ZHAO
 

Chloe Zhao making history with her two Oscar wins - talk about #girlpowerLearn more

 

NO.3 MAYA JAMA

 

Queen of self love sharing tips on how to be your happiest self this summer. Discover here

 

NO.4 PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

 

Carey Mulligan’s portrayal of Cassie in Promising Young Woman proving sometimes justice is served! Take a look

 

NO.5 OF WOMEN AND SALT

 

An Epic read for the bank holiday.. one you pick this up you won’t put it down! Read here

Sending love to all of you.
Enjoy your week!

Sending love to all of you.
Enjoy your week!

Jessica and Sidney sigantures

Kimaï Ltd Telephone House 69 Paul Street London, London EC2A 4NG
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