What’s stylee, you ask? Oh, it’s just another way of saying style. There’s a lot of word-enhancing here at Fabulous. Definitely a place where terms like “amazeballs” fit in just fine. Hey, there’s a time and a place, and this is it. I think it’s fun.
As I top edit the fashion, beauty, health, home, dating and travel pages, there’s been a bit of a learning curve to decipher which of these words are actually well-known and used frequently, and which are just us having a go at coining the next cheeky catchphrase.
Since today was press day, I got to flex my witty word reportage by helping to come up with coverlines. So far, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job. Today was my third time getting involved since starting, but because we work so far in advance here, the issue we closed today (Feb. 10) is the one I’ve been most involved with from (sorta) start to finish. And whatddayaknow, it’s the Love Issue. Here I thought I’d get to escape the dreadful Hallmark holiday that is V-Day by moving to another country. Oh no. We’ve got hearts. We’ve got lingerie. We’ve got blozzers. (How’s that for a word? Use your imagination, then read it in context when the mag’s out in two weeks. Sworn to secrecy on the rest!)
So sometime around midday, the department and sub editors send their suggestions to Sinead (the deputy) who then combines them all on one document, which is brought to a meeting with myself, Beth (another assistant editor), and Rachel, the editor. The four of us then mix, swap, combine and rejigger until we get them just right. Then, Rachel sends them to Mark, the creative director, who works his magic in fitting them onto the cover and voila! We’ve made a Fabulous. So far, it’s been relatively no-fuss, but I’m told there will be nights when the brain’s just got gas and we’ll be there for hours having a think for the ultimate pun. All those years editing SNAPS, I say bring it on!
Rewinding a bit, the editing/proof process is very streamlined. Once a story idea has been pitched in conference and approved by Rachel, I don’t really see it again until it lands on my desk in a “job bag.” It’s an actual plastic bag (see below). I can’t say I get the plastic bag system, but it probably comes in handy when someone spills water on the desk. Plus, those words are precious!
Job bag to the left, flatplan on clipboard to the right.
By that point, photo requests have been submitted and the copy’s been edited by Carly, the Acting Lifestyle Editor. There’s even a suggested sell. Then I get to line-editing, which I’ve been doing on paper. (Back at home, I usually edit on-screen in our publishing platform.) I’m enjoying getting to use the proper proofing marks I learned back in J-school! Once I make my edits, I put it back in the job bag and give it back to Carly who then enters the changes in Word and sends it to subs (copy desk). They then give it a read and hand it over to design to place on the layout. Aside from briefly discussing/approving a hand-drawn layout suggestion with Carly, the next time I see the feature is when it’s been fully designed, and dropped in my inbox as a proof. At that point, if I have another suggested hed or want to change a photo, I can discuss with Rachel and do so. But here’s the biggest shocker to me: Once I make my marks/changes on the layout, I don’t see it again! At P6M, we see proofs THREE TIMES (in first, second and final stages). And in PULSE, the editors themselves are responsible for cutting copy to fit, inputting changes and writing captions, whereas here, subs do it all. At the end of the day, it’s all very tomato, tomAHto, or as I like to say, ”same, same, but different,” but I’m definitely learning lots of new methods to the journalism madness!
Oh, remember how I said we were putting together a “Birthday Issue”? Well, we had a (ahem) fabulous cake made for one of the features and it was just too pretty not to show off. We had it displayed on the 6th floor so that everyone at 3TM could see it when they went to get their breakie or lunch at the canteen:
Happy 5th Birthday Fabulous!
Then we ate it.
We had our cake and ate it, too! Mmmm.