The Quest for Writing Mentors

I have recently completed a Magazine Journalism course, and because of this, I have become very analytical in my magazine reading.

I have been visiting the library for old magazines, for examples, Vanity Fair, Good Reading and some of the fashion magazines. Buried behind pages of fashion are often polished examples of well-written articles in magazines like Harpers Bazaar.

Harper's Bazaar March 2012Harper’s Bazaar:

“It’s the penultimate night of London fashion week and the city is near hysterical with the accumulated buzz of non-stop shows and parties.” (p.143)

“Thirty seconds into a trip from a downtown Manhattan hotel to JFK Airport and my driver starts firing off questions.” (p180)

“Madonna lives behind high, spike-topped, black metal walls in three townhouses joined into one on New York’s Upper East Side. I had to manage my covetous feelings as I was ushered…” (p230)

Set the scene and hook them in, in one sentence that is hard work! But I was hooked and they were good articles. I didn’t even really care about the topics of the articles, but I enjoyed them!

I’ve become lately acquainted with the Australian Women’s Weekly New Zealand Edition. My age group (being pre-30s) is not their main concern, but the content is right up my alley. Thought-provoking articles on a wide array of topics from actors, to monarchs, to travel, architecture, books, movies, health—the list goes on. To summarise their celebrity interviews and articles in one word, “humane.”

Mindfood April 2013A long time favourite, that has just celebrated its fifth year in production, is MiNDFOOD magazine. A lot of the description for the AWW New Zealand Edition, above, applies to MiNDFOOD. And the April 2013 edition has taken them a step further ahead of the field, more content (to compliment their online offerings), sustainably produced paper, in-depth, excellent articles and a genuine passion for people, the world and environment.

Take the Story “A Life Well Lived” (April Edition, pp136-147) written by Editor-in-chief Michael McHugh. After nine full pages of delicious photos of designer Carol Sills’ home, we come to the opening words of the article: “Fashion designer, Caroline Sills, tells a good story. As we sit on her front verandah looking out over a reserve in Devonport, Auckland, with the Waitemata Harbour sparkling across road, she has me in fits of laughter as she recounts her travels through the Amazon and being chased by the local Romeo while catching piranhas.” This is just an example of what you’d find in MiNDFOOD, good pictures and good articles.

The course has finished, but the apprenticeship is in full swing.


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