It was during the summer of 1998 when the Assistant Editor of Girls’ Life Magazine called to ask me to write an article for their Reader Produced issue that I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was only 12-years-old, but I was already dedicated to making my dreams
come true: I wanted to write for a magazine.
I have been writing, editing, collecting, scribbling, jotting, cutting, and pasting my way into the minds’ of girls across the country with e-zines (online magazines) that I have produced since I entered middle school. I have practiced the art of networking for years it seems: I have had sponsorships from companies like Candy Kisses Lip Gloss and OOP! Juice beverages for my various magazines and projects. I ran my own website for a period of time and I have also formed relationships with other girls interested in the same career paths, including some who have already succeeded in this field like Anna and Christina Olivo of www.girlything.com. Regardless of the fact that I was only 12 when I wrote my first real article, my mind was made up and I have not once strayed from this dream.
However, my endeavors as a young online publisher weren’t as professional or as complicated as what real magazine editors and writers do on a daily basis. It seems to be common knowledge that there is no “typical day” at a magazine: every day is a challenge and every day is different. According to Sarah Wilson, the editor of Cosmopolitan, her day is extremely hectic. Besides from attending meeting after meeting, she is also in charge of “approving every picture, every layout, every headline and, of course, writing the cover lines” (Wilson 1). She makes sure to read every line in the magazine over and over, at least three of four times, before it goes to print. Another staple of any magazine are the other writers and helpful editors on the staff. Sonia Wright is the Assistant Brand Manager for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She actually got her job at Cosmo by browsing the internet for job openings at different magazines. Her typical day is “liaising with creative to design marketing pages and point of sale, speaking with clients to do promotions and subscription offers in the magazine, and lots of meetings” (Wright 1). When working for a magazine, every position is different and every day is a surprise, a challenge, and a new chance to shine.
Since journalism and particularly magazine journalism are so competitive, there are many other opportunities I am taking outside the classroom setting in order to enhance my success in the field. I have been slowly developing my own online magazine again, one particularly aimed towards older teen girls that will premier in the form of its’ own website. I have applied for positions at The Burr as a staff writer and The Daily Kent Stater as a feature writer, which would serve as great learning experiences. I am also currently applying for an unpaid, online internship in the spring for Tint Magazine which is published from Bowling Green, Ohio. I hope to have some sort of internship or other type of experience next semester, whether I create it myself with my own webzine or if I work on one of the magazines/newspapers I have applied for. Even though the field is competitive, it is still possible for people to shine in this profession. One example of this is Atoosa Rubenstein who has been editor-in-chief of both Seventeen and CosmoGirl! magazines. Atoosa grew up in a strict Muslim household and was culturally restricted from participating in regular teen activities like dating and even having her legs. Atoosa said she is grateful for these experiences as they have given her values that she might not have otherwise acquired. This has given her an edge in the magazines she edits: she has described herself, saying that she “‘puts the bar at a place that is higher than the bar that other magazines for young women do'” (Vecsey 1). Atoosa knows that it’s important to dig deeper when dealing with teen girls’ and their sensitivities. She knows that teenage life is not all about lip gloss and finding the right belt to match the perfect pair of shoes, and she tries to include more serious issues in her magazines. Atoosa herself was a self-injurer during her college years, so she has seen the darker side of life (Vecsey 2). She has inspired and connected with many girls across the country, myself included.
Atoosa Rubenstein has accomplished so much and she is only 26-years-old. During the next 20 years, I hope to accomplish something of value like Atoosa has. I hope to be thoroughly engrossed in the business, whether this be from freelance writing for many different publications or having a steady position at one publication. I hope to have established my name in the business and have worked my way up the ladder of success.
By attaining a degree in magazine journalism, my main goal is to pursue my love of writing and to be able to support myself through my writing. I have wanted to write ever since I can remember and I don’t plan on giving up my dream any time soon.