Rantings of a sub-editor

May 17, 2010

New job(s)!

Hello, hello, hello, it’s me, Cathy! Regular readers (all seven) may have noticed that I have been somewhat quiet on the rantings front of late. This is because… [drum roll…] I’ve been off catching a job or two.

I’m delighted to say that I will be leaving The Grocer for Which? magazine four weeks from now, hurrah! Of course I’ll miss the Crawley – or, more specifically, Broadfield – ambience, but I guess I’ll get used to all those shops, cafés, bars, bright lights and so on in the end. Much sadness to be leaving Kitty and the Bamfordettes though. (Also known as The Grocer’s subs desk.)

And as if that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been signed up for three trial shifts at the Sunday Times (thanks Kit), starting this weekend, plus two more shifts at the Guardian… erm… also starting this weekend. Well, we all know that days off are for sissies. (Yikes. Luckily I have managed to engineer a week off between finishing at The Grocer and starting at Which?.)

Bizarrely, the blog played a part in all three of these opportunities. I never foresaw that when I set it up one quiet day last autumn – I just wanted to share word nerd things (today’s favourite is a hyphen crime: “The ad stars a weedy, wannabe-rock star singing into his hairdryer.”

Anyway, yes, I’m on the move. Now… how long is it going to take until I don’t wince every time I put that question mark on the end of my new employer’s title? Hmm…

Very happy. 🙂

Ps. This does, of course, mean The Grocer is looking for a new sub-editor to replace me. If you want details, give me a shout and I’ll spill the beans (and other clichés).



  1. Dear Cathy – congratulations! I hope this doesn’t mean that you will no longer be blogging. Best of luck in your new job, Angus

    Comment by Angus Donald — May 17, 2010 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  2. Good luck at the ST – it’s an excellent team of news subs & you will be mentored well.

    Comment by Bertie Blunt — May 17, 2010 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

  3. What is wrong with that hyphen? It is clearly a story about a star that wants to be a rock. I imagine the song he was singing into his hairdryer was “I am a rock” by Simon and Garfunkel.

    That aside, well done and good luck. Weekends are for wimps. We’ve all done weekend shifts to get a journalism job (or even multiple shifts on the same day – ah, those happy Sundays of subbing 8-2 on one supplement followed by 3-12 on the paper…)

    And do keep blogging, please.

    Comment by Paddy — May 17, 2010 @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  4. Well done you. Just tell me you won’t change Which? to That? at the next redesign.

    At least Which? makes some kind of sense. What Car and What Mountain Bike on the other hand sounds like people have started talking to modes of transport (especially if you add the question mark).

    I look forward to the Which? guide to sub-editing books or style guides . . .

    Well done, and all the best. V-C

    Comment by Vice-Chancellor — May 17, 2010 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you everyone! Yes, I do hope to keep blogging.

    I am a rock, I am an iiiiiiisland!

    Comment by substuff — May 18, 2010 @ 8:53 am | Reply

  6. As others have said, well done. The Times is my favourite newspaper. Obviously, the Guardian is at the forefront of modernity, in stylistic terms and overall outlook. Shame that it’s the paper of Harman worshippers and people who prefer the serious Bond movies to the funny ones with Roger Moore.

    Spill a bit more info on the way that the blog helped you, if you can.

    Comment by Michael Reed — May 19, 2010 @ 2:59 am | Reply

    • Hi Michael. Ok! The blog helped me get the Guardian shifts because I was a cheeky mare and emailed David Marsh, the style guide editor, saying “hello hello, look at my blog” kinda thing. We followed each other’s blogs for a bit and a couple of months down the line he asked if I’d like to do a shift or two and see how it went – no CV!

      I also emailed Richard Dixon at The Times, who replied inviting me to lunch. He also said I should do some shifts, but it hasn’t quite worked out yet – while he is keen, I seem to be having some difficulties getting the night editor to notice me. But that’s ok, as I have quite enough work on just now!

      My current chief sub moonlights at the Sunday Times and he heard they were on the lookout for new subs. He mentioned me and said they should look at my blog, and then I got a phone call saying that he had liked the blog and was I free for shifts. Woop! I had to then take a test, but still, the blog helped.

      I should mention that I also emailed a bunch of other chief subs at various publications, who didn’t reply – so it’s not like I just struck lucky, more like I spread my net wide. At that time, though, I just wanted people to read the blog and perhaps join in – I wasn’t particularly scouting for a job.

      My application to Which? was more traditional in that I filled in an online form and sent in my CV. But my CV now has a link to my blog on it, and whaddaya know – when I turned up for my second interview, the editor had already read my post that day and was ready to quiz me on it.

      Now all I have to do is make sure I eat my Weetabix!

      Comment by substuff — May 19, 2010 @ 5:05 pm | Reply

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