When Women’s Health launched a few years ago, nearly every woman I know went crazy over it. Like its male counterpart, it’s heavy on the departments, with lots of quick tips, stats and factoids. Features tend to be shorter, especially the celeb cover stories, which is fine with me since celeb profiles are so controlled and rarely illuminating these days.
But one of the magazine’s October features really blew me away. “What’s Lurking in Your DNA?” details one reporter’s experience with a mail-order company that promises to reveal your particular health risks, based on a saliva sample you provide. I think this is one of the most interesting issues in health today: We now have the opportunity to peek into our future—but is that a good thing? Often technology evolves faster than we can create morals and guidelines for it. Writer Gretchen Voss does a great job capturing the complexities of the issue. I’m pretty convinced that I prefer blissful ignorance.
On a side note, I’d like to point out that this was actually my second-favorite women’s magazine feature this month. The first was a fantastic take on the typical breast cancer awareness story in Glamour. But since they don’t put all their print content online (the kind of shortsighted old-school thinking that many of the major magazines still cling to), I can’t really recommend it. Bummer.
As I’m writing this, I’m waiting for a well-known musician to call. At the appointed hour (hopefully), my phone will ring, the Caller ID will show “Blocked” and from the minute I pick up, I will keep one eye on the upper-righthand corner of my laptop so I don’t chat for any longer than the carefully negotiated 20 minutes. Glamourous, isn’t it?
My husband and I are no strangers to working in the same office — that’s how we met, 10 years ago next month. Much to our relief, the dating and working together overlapped only briefly. But last fall, just when I quit my staff job to freelance full-time, Chris got a job offer he couldn’t refuse. The catch? He’d be working from home, too. Continue reading
Lately I look forward to “reading” People Style Watch more than most of my other magazines. But I’m flummoxed by the one that just arrived. I honestly had no idea who the cover subject was until I saw the cover line “Get Jessica’s Flirty Style Tips,” and even then I could only guess that it’s Simpson. Meanwhile, Marie Claire thought she was beautiful enough to put on its cover without makeup, let alone egregious digital manipulation. Fail, People.
This photo of Crystal Renn in Glamour's May 2009 issue stopped me in my tracks.
Last week, Glamour was crowned 2010 Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors. In its hilariously snarky recap of the event, Gawker called the win “head-scratching,” but I’m not surprised at all. To me, Glamour has always stood out among its peers, but it made waves this year in ways that I find very encouraging.
On the occasion of Scott Roeder’s sentencing for the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, I want to recommend a piece that ran in GQ magazine back in February called “Savior vs. Savior.” Reporter Devin Friedman interviewed Roeder, as well as several of Dr. Tiller’s friends and colleagues, and paints an incredibly detailed picture of these two men and their opposing convictions, and how they collided on May 31, 2009. I don’t believe it’s too sympathetic to Roeder; it is incredibly unfair that he’s the only one alive to speak on his own behalf, but he doesn’t necessarily do himself any favors in that regard.
Dr. Tiller’s death affected me deeply, and this story is not soothing in the slightest to anyone who feels the way I do. But I think that’s a good thing. And whatever your politics, I think you can appreciate Friedman’s work as an extraordinary piece of journalism in the tradition of Truman Capote. Check it out, and I promise to take a break from politics next week.
I was excited to be asked to be copy editor for the premiere issue of a brand-new print magazine (title to be named later). Besides the fact it’s thrilling that people still believe in print enough to invest in it, it’s also a blast to be part of creating something from scratch. As a copy editor, your job on a magazine launch is to work with the designers and editors to institute a style guide: Where will we deviate from AP? How will we write bylines? Will subheads have periods? Will sidebars be indented? etc. Sounds boring, probably, but after years of adhering to style that others have established, it’s really fun to have a say in making the rules.
In any case, weeks of work culminated in a very long weekend before we sent the magazine to press yesterday. I thought I’d post some of the lessons learned (or reaffirmed) in the process. Continue reading