My name is Chris, and I work as a freelance journalist in London. Here you’ll find clippings of my work, as well as unpublished posts about things that commissioning editors clearly didn’t want to hear about.
I first started writing when I was at university, for my student newspaper, The Courier, which I later became (co) music editor of. During my time at university I started freelancing for the NME – literally a teenage dream come true – going to gigs in The North East and reviewing the odd album. My first gig for them was Wild Beasts, who were beginning to preview songs from their upcoming second album Two Dancers. I hung out with the band in a weird flat above the gig venue afterwards. It was amazing.
After graduating, I moved to London and did an NCTJ at the News Associates in Wimbledon. Moving to London and doing a 5 month training thing felt like the least sensible idea in the world, especially given there’d be internships and work experience to do afterwards – but I’m so glad I did it. NCTJ’s are getting a rep for being incredibly archaic, and that’s true to a degree, but the training in media law, shorthand, subbing, photoshop and writing helped me a lot (the public affairs module, eh, not so much).
Immediately after my NCTJ I took an internship at FHM – another magazine I was obsessed with growing up, and after my 3 months were up I started doing freelance work there, sometimes for the website, sometimes on the features desk and sometimes a bit of both, and even shifts on other Bauer titles like ZOO. As well as news stories online, I used to do the music/film interviews in the front section of the magazine, the health/grooming pages and, towards the end, bits for the style section. During September 2011, I worked with the production team to help create the world’s first fully-interactive digital magazine. Each product, advert and article in our September fashion supplement was embedded with a layered QR code that, when scanned on a smartphone, took you to exclusive content, ranging from a preview of Lacoste’s A/W collection to Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson playing Mastermind with himself on camera.
Later that year I went to work for Blokely as Style & Grooming editor. As I joined, the website was going behind a paywall, though some content would still be free. After working for a large company, working on a smaller title was incredibly challenging but I enjoyed looking after two sections of the site, and it was very rewarding. I was fortunate enough to attend London Fashion Week and go on some pretty cool trips. However, I was made redundant in April this year, and took the (risky) decision to go freelance.
Working for yourself gives you incredible freedom when it comes to work, but it also asks a lot of you, whether it’s meeting three deadlines at once, staying up late researching pitches or not letting rejection deflate your sense of worth.
Since going freelance my work has appeared in NME, Men’s Health, Esquire, The Mirror, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Dazed & Confused, Notion and Topman magazine, and I’m always interested in new commissions, freelance shifts across news, creative editorial or production, and naff products, so do feel free to get in touch: