Freelance Children’s Magazine Writer, Jennifer Lane, has her name printed in over 100 magazine publications, which she describes as her greatest achievement.
Jennifer currently writes for several publications, such as – Eco Kids Planet, RSPB Bird Life and Amazing! Magazine, she attributes this to her passion for inspiring children to explore wildlife.
She always wanted to be a writer and searched for a degree that would allow her to explore her creativity as much as possible. She decided to study English Literature with Creative Writing at UCLan, she said “UCLan was exactly the sort of university I wanted to go to as I got a fantastic vibe on the open days and found the tutors engaging and knowledgeable. When I looked into UCLan’s English Literature with Creative Writing course, the small seminar group sizes and the range of topics it covered, I knew it was the one for me.”
After graduating from Bachelors of Arts in English Literature with Creative Writing, Jennifer decided to continue studying in UCLan with Masters in Writing for Children, which she stated to be “the best decision ever”. This is due to the experience offered through the postgraduate degree, as it granted her many opportunities to go on valuable work placements, such as, Seven Stories: National Centre for Children’s Books, CBBC and Manchester University Press. She also volunteered at the Jacqueline Wilson Festival, through which she managed to complete a novel and find an agent. Jennifer claims: “I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without my MA from UCLan!”
Jennifer has also worked for the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in Lancashire due to her love of nature, this granted her a lot of valuable wildlife experience which inspired her to write about the great outdoors for children. She eventually moved on to work for Immediate Media in London where she wrote for CBeebies, Swashbuckle and Go Jetters magazines for children aged 3-6.
Following this, she returned to the North of England to become the Editor of Papercraft Essentials, a leading craft magazine, at Practical Publishing. Jennifer tells us how her experience in magazines set her up with the contacts and skills to become a freelance and focus on her own writing.
Jennifer attributes her success to the “incredible” efforts by her tutors who pushed her to achieve her greatest potential. As a result to which she claims her writing flourished and won her much coveted internship with the BBC in Salford in children’s screenplay.
Her advice to graduates in similar positions is to build up network of contacts and to develop an understanding of the courses very well – by reading widely about the topics and finding a personal niche. She also recommends using university experience to meet like-minded people and making your profile and work available “out there”.