Placement at Future Publishing: SFX Magazine

Copyright SFX Magazine

SFX Magazine turned 18 this weekend and as it came of age, I joined the team for two weeks for some of the best placement experience I have encountered. The magazine itself is the number one science fiction and fantasy magazine in the world and has always been the place I have wanted to work. It produces monthly issues with at least six specials a year. Future, as a company, have won a large number of awards, with a high emphasis on their digital outputs.

Being able to return to their offices provided me with a valuable experience. Having had a relationship with the team at the magazine previously, it was easy to drop back into the running of the publication as well as join in with the group rather than shying away like I had done in the past.  Having done a number of previous assessments about the magazine, and Future as a publishing company, I was well versed with the running of the outfit.

Unlike previous visits, this time I was entrusted with a number of different design projects ranging from inputting new data and images into pre-templated designs, recreating pre-existing spreads and taking old articles to make them into a 40-page digital issue (that potentially could be a live project available for download). This was something I didn’t think I’d ever get to do and am grateful to be trusted with the job – there are still checks to be done on the publication, but feedback was entirely positive. It was a constructive way to spend my two weeks, during which time I received feedback from both Dave Bradley, the editor, and Jon Coates, the Art director. This feedback I hope to have taken on board and learnt from, putting it into action after our meeting together.

Whilst I was there, I also was given access to their WordPress account in order to post stories directly to the website. These stories would go through the Online or Deputy Editor prior to being finally uploaded. I learnt a number of new ways in which you could use WordPress that I hadn’t know before and resulted in using these techniques within my own online portfolio.

Copyright SFX Magazine

The one thing I didn’t expect was to be helping a grown man into a Spider-Man costume, the video for which you can see on the magazine’s Tumblr page.

The working environment at SFX has always been a positively joyful one. It’s a place full of like-minded people who don’t mind if you ask a stupid question or want to talk about Winnie-the-Pooh. All-in-all, working with the team there I have always felt welcome. It’s just a shame that the staff are all so happy with their jobs, that it’ll be a while before I’m able to get a full-time job with them. In the meantime, I will take freelancing work when I get it and hope for the best for the future (no pun intended).

I would like to extend my thanks to all the team at SFX, you have been wonderful to me again and made it incredibly hard to not hide away in the corner instead of leaving.

The next issue of SFX hits the shops today (29th May), and you can watch their celebratory birthday video on their website.

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Author: Jen

Student at Edinburgh Napier, one of the seven Magazine Publishing MSc students. I'm a geek and I'm proud, I kind of wish I was a mutant, or an Avenger, or a companion of the Mad Man with a Box. I'm really not fussy, I'll even gender swap and be Dr Alan Grant if the occasion called for it.

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