I remember the first time I bought Marie Claire so clearly.
It was my third year of uni and I was trying to work out just exactly what I was going to do with my life… obviously I knew I wanted to write but that seemed like a pipe dream at the time and the hours and hours I spent poring over the Media Guardian jobs section was getting more depressing by the day. So instead of doing what I was supposed to be doing (queen of procrastination that I am) I jacked it all in, buggered off to Asda and bought the world’s biggest wodge of Milky Bar and a copy of Marie Claire.
At twenty-one, I’d never picked the magazine up before. Marie Claire seemed like a grown up’s magazine for grown ups. I was a student who wrote stories, worked in a toy shop and wore Pokemon t-shirts. I was not a grown up. But I knew I had to become one. Honestly, that afternoon in April, spent laying on my futon, scarfing chocolate and devouring this amazing new (to me) magazine was one of the happiest in my life. I love magazines, I love finding out new things and quite frankly, I occasionally love a chocolate binge. And as soon as I was finished with the mag, I was hooked and within fifteen minutes I was subscribed.
As well as helping me pass an afternoon, that issue of Marie Claire also reminded me why I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to entertain, I wanted to put words in front of people and I wanted to tell stories. The next day, I got right back on the job hunt and shortly after, landed my first job in PR.
And so without even knowing it, Marie Claire have been inspiring and mentoring me for the last ten years which makes me feel incredibly proud to be involved with their How to Get Published Inspire & Mentor tour this year. So far we’ve done London, Bristol and Birmingham, with Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool to go and I couldn’t be happier with the way it’s going. Sometimes it’s a hard story to listen to – everyone knows how hard it is to break into publishing, be it as a writer, a journalist, an agent or an editor but if you’re passionate and you’re talented and you’re prepared to give it everything you’ve got, you’ve got the best chance at getting where you want to be and almost everyone we’ve spoken to on the tour is 100% determined and 100% amazing. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen on the rest of the tour. You can find out all about Marie Claire’s Inspire & Mentor programme here and I really do implore you to check it out because quite frankly, the scheme itself and the people behind it are fantastic.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got the August issue of Marie Claire and a giant bar of Fruit & Nut to deal with while I finish I Heart Vegas…