Trish Halpin - Editor, Red

Trish Halpin
Editor, Red


Still feeling dead chuffed about winning editor of the year (women’s
non-weekly) at the British Society of Magazine Editor awards on Monday
night at the Hilton. Rebekah Wade, Ian Reeves, Claudine Collins, Jo
Foley and Dylan Jones were the judges, and the competition in my
category – Vogue, ELLE, Glamour, Harpers & Good Housekeeping – was
really tough, so I was thrilled for the team.

We’ve worked really hard this year to keep Red ahead of the competition, despite huge launches into the market.

(Although I didn’t stay out celebrating until 3am at Windows on the World, like some publishing big-wigs I could mention).

booked today as a holiday about two months ago when editing Red’s
December issue, determined for once to follow my own advice about
planning ahead for a stress-free Christmas.

I don’t get much time
for shopping as weekends are out because I have 21-month-old twins and
today I’m overwhelmed by just how much there is to choose from as I
wander the aisles of Ikea and M&S.

Make a mental note to
commend fashion, beauty and lifestyle editors for wading through all
this stuff so well every month. Only one phone call from the office
(about writing this piece in fact).

As a rule, the team members
don’t contact me on my days off and I refuse to have a BlackBerry,
although I will check emails at the end of the day, just so I’m not in
for any shocks or surprises when I’m next in the office.


Friday is my favourite day of the week because the office is usually
half-empty, which means I can catch up on paperwork, emails and
everything that’s not already crossed off my never-ending ‘to do’ list.

I prepare for one staff review and the rest of the morning is spent
signing off cromalins and reading any last-minute proofs for the
February issue, which we’re putting to bed at the moment.

This is
the first issue the art team has produced using InDesign, and
thankfully there haven’t been any production glitches so far.

to get to a yoga class at lunchtime; we have a Holmes Place very
conveniently situated in the basement of the Hachette building in North
Row, which is the only reason I would ever find time to get to the gym.

up with editorial director Francois Vincens to discuss a new editorial
project then pop into my publisher, Judith Secombe’s office to get an
update on sales figures (December is doing well – phew!).


I’m recruiting for a new features editor, so after checking in at
the office I head off with my deputy editor, Victoria Harper, for a
morning of second-round interviewing at the Cumberland Hotel in Marble

We advertised the position last month and had a fairly good
response, but as so often seems to be the case with editorial
positions, the shortlist has ended up being mostly people we already

Working lunch with the publisher, advertising and promotions managers to discuss the editorial strategy for 2006.

3pm, I get a panic call from my husband who has had to take our
daughter to hospital, so I grab the March issue copy I was planning to
read this afternoon and run.

Thankfully, Esmé is fine. We all
have colds in our house at the moment, but unfortunately hers has
developed into a chest infection. Don’t get to read the copy, but know
I’ll have a chance to do it on my way into the office in the morning.


Go through copy with section editors, giving my feedback and any
amendments or changes I’d like made. An email has arrived from a
celebrity publicist complaining that they don’t like the images we’ve
shot of their client and therefore don’t want us to publicise the
interview with newspapers.

Absolutely fuming, because not only are the pictures beautiful, this
particular publicist always goes out of their way to make life
difficult, changing tack so many times I’m left wondering if they have
a clue what they’re doing, even though the celebrity loves working with

It always amazes me that it isn’t the Hollywood A list who act like prima donnas, but the publicists for Brit TV stars.

Decide to calm down before responding.

February coverlines with senior team, then work on the cover design
with the art director. We usually do about three or four different
versions, trying out different colours and typography, changing lines
so they fit, until we’re happy. Only then will I run it past the big


9.15am breakfast meeting with a fashion PR at the Wolseley on
Piccadilly. Back in the office by 10.30am for our weekly celebrity

Quick meeting with brand manager and publisher to OK the cover gift
for the May issue, which is gorgeous and a great tie-in with a High
Street brand.

At 12.30pm there’s pandemonium in the office as our home shopping brand extension Red Direct is having a sale.

Pick up some really gorgeous tea lights and other great Christmas gifts.

fashion director is going to Sri Lanka tomorrow evening to shoot a
couple of fashion stories for next spring, so she runs me through all
the clothes, and her model choice.

Only one outfit I don’t think
our readers will like, but she has loads of alternatives as the fashion
cupboard is literally bursting with gorgeous creations.

Finalise April flatplan, so it’s now time to start thinking about May. And it’s not even Christmas yet…

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