Category: Editorial

Read my feature on Alpine bivouacking in the latest Sidetracked magazine

Sidetracked Volume 11 is shipping now. This is the eighth issue of this magazine I have personally worked on, but the first I have contributed to as a writer and photographer as well as an editor.

Key themes in this issue are humanity, authenticity, and expanding our sphere of experience. There are spectacular features by Alienor Le Guovello, Sarah McNair-Landry, Sir Chris Bonington, Marco Barneveld, Ben Saunders, Mary McIntyre, and many more. Our Editor, Andrew Mazibrada, has contributed an excellent editorial on the nature of discovery.

John has made some tweaks to the design, layout and typography for this issue. I think the changes work extremely well, particularly the confident new cover design. Built on a spellbinding image by Ray Collins, in my opinion it’s the best Sidetracked cover to date.

Being a part of this team continues to be a privilege. It’s great to work with people who truly care about what they’re creating. This love and respect for the subject matter manifests itself in a rigorous editorial process, an obsessive focus on quality, and a dozen ‘no’s to every ‘yes’.

Bivouac

In amongst all this, there’s my little feature. It’s a ‘single moment’ โ€“ a double-page spread accompanied by a single image โ€“ and tells the story of a tense high-altitude bivouac in September 2017. It was my first unprotected bivouac above 3,000m and anxiety about circling thunderstorms came to define the experience.

Although this is the first story I’ve had published in Sidetracked, it isn’t the first I’ve pitched, which reinforces what I said above about no versus yes. The truth is that Sidetracked maintains very high standards. Despite my proven track record of delivering quality features for outdoor magazines, this is the first time I pitched something good enough to make the cut โ€“ and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You can pick up your copy of Sidetracked Volume 11 at http://www.sidetracked.com/volume-11/.

This is my image published in Volume 11, depicting me on the summit of Stockhorn in the Swiss Alps


Availability update: Pinnacle Editorial is fully booked well into 2018, plus a few thoughts on the future

After a quieter month, things are moving into high gear at Pinnacle Editorial HQ, and my time is now fully accounted for until the end of February 2018.

I have a varied mix of projects on the go at the moment:

  • I’ve just started work on Vol.11 of the peerless Sidetracked magazine;
  • Exciting new projects on my desk (or soon to land on my desk) from long-term clients John Burns, Keith Foskett, and others;
  • My ongoing responsibilities for The Great Outdoors magazine;
  • Several new clients on the horizon with outdoor or adventure non-fiction manuscripts;
  • Outdoor features for The Great Outdoors and UKHillwalking;
  • Somewhere in the midst of that lot, I’d like to fit in at least two trips to snowy Scotland and a few days off over Christmas.

So while this might not be welcome news for potential clients who are looking for an editor over the next couple of months, I have achieved one of the goals I set for myself when I started Pinnacle Editorial: for the bulk of my work to come from outdoor/adventure non-fiction. By specialising in this genre, my area of greatest expertise, I’ve made myself a clear choice for outdoor writers who are looking for editorial support.

The future of Pinnacle Editorial

In 2014, I started out as an editor working entirely on fiction manuscripts from indie authors. This was a good choice at the time and I worked on a wide range of great books from several writers, some of whom are still clients to this day.

But, as much as I enjoy working on fiction, there are a lot of fiction editors out there and it’s hard to differentiate yourself. Fiction can also be very time consuming for money that, to be honest, isn’t that great. Indie authors are not rolling in cash, and while I was happy to offer lower rates when I was starting out and gaining experience, I now stick broadly to the SfEP’s recommended minimum rates.

I’ve found far greater success โ€“ย not to mention job satisfaction โ€“ in focusing on outdoor writing. This is now the kind of work that I write and publish myself, and the kind of writing that I read in my spare time. I live and breathe outdoor books and magazines. Frankly it would be weird not to specialise in this subject.

So, from 2018, I will no longer be considering fiction manuscripts from new clients. While I’ll continue to work on selected fiction projects from established clients, taking on new fiction writers simply isn’t a good decision for me any more. But if you have a book about mountains, adventure or the outdoors, and are looking for an editor in 2018, let’s talk.


Sidetracked Volume 10 is available for pre-order

Sidetracked,ย the peerless adventure travel magazine, has hit Volume 10. The new issue is up for pre-order now.

Itโ€™s been quite a journey getting to this point. I came on board the team for Volume 4 in early 2015, and since then we have worked with amazing stories and some truly sublime photography. The bar keeps getting higher, and itโ€™s a privilege to help polish these stories until they gleam.

Sidetrackedย is unique: only a handful of issues a year, but each issue is something else.

Click here to pre-order Volume 10.

The wind shrieks, its fury unmistakable. The rain pounds a tumultuous percussion on silk-thin fabric. Beyond, outside, just there, the world waits because sleep wonโ€™t come. For centuries, perhaps millennia, travellers have told stories to each other, as much to forget the storms that growled beyond their trembling shelters and the dark mouths of their dank caves, as to pass time in companionship. Whether faces are picked out by the flickering orange glow of a campfire, or by the harsh white strobe of a head torch, it is in art, and in stories in particular, that we find both truth and beauty.


My new editorial role at TGO Magazine

Itโ€™s my pleasure to announce that Iโ€™m taking on a new freelance role at TGO Magazine, the UK’s leading authority on backpacking and hillwalking since 1978. Will Renwick has recently moved to OutdoorsMagic (well done, Will!) so I am assuming his duties as Online Editor. I’m joining a team including Editor Emily Rodway,ย Gearย Editor Chris Townsend, Art Editor Helen Blunt, and columnists Ed Byrne, Carey Davies, Roger Smith and Jim Perrin.

Read More


Editing TGO Magazine

In early May, I took a call from Emily Rodway, the editor of TGO Magazine. She had a simple request: for me to help get the June 2017 issue ready while she was on holiday. Of course, I said Iโ€™d do it.

Read More