My new editorial role at TGO Magazine

It’s my pleasure to announce that I’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, Gear Editor Chris Townsend, Art Editor Helen Blunt, and columnists Ed Byrne, Carey Davies, Roger Smith and Jim Perrin.

This may not be a surprise for some of my readers. I’ve been writing features for this magazine for a couple of years now, and have even edited it on one occasion as well. Since I established Pinnacle Editorial three years ago I have been gradually taking on more work from outdoor writers and the outdoor publishing industry. I started out strictly as a fiction editor for indie authors, but this is a challenging area to differentiate in, the workload can be unpredictable, and the money isn’t that great (indies don’t tend to be rolling in cash). The outdoors is firmly established as my expert niche now. Regular editorial work in the outdoor industry is what I’ve been aiming for, and now that I have two ongoing freelance roles (Sub-Editor at Sidetracked and Online Editor at TGO) I feel far more secure – no longer am I working from project to project, unsure of my workload from one quarter to the next.

An aside: the benefits of being a specialist

As an editorial professional, I’ve found that specialising has helped me tremendously. Someone who has written a non-fiction mountaineering or hiking book (say, a trail memoir) will be looking for an editor who knows the subject well, and can pick up on subtle details that other editors might miss. All else being equal, I can do a significantly better job than a non-specialist editor with only passing knowledge of this specific subject. I’ve had plenty of feedback confirming this.

My reputation as an outdoor writer, combined with the content and presentation of this website, is attracting new clients. My client base has undergone a shift from consisting primarily of genre fiction authors to outdoor writers. Over the last couple of years I have worked with authors such as Keith Foskett, Ellis Stewart, Mark Horrell and John Burns – all of whom write about the great outdoors, mountaineering, or backpacking.

It’s no coincidence that I have stopped actively promoting my novels1. While I continue to edit fiction, I am no longer trying to attract new fiction clients. Specialising in outdoor writing and editing – books, magazines and online – is the right career choice for me, and it’s what I always had in mind for Pinnacle Editorial right from the start. The clue is in the name!

What is and isn’t going to change

My new role at TGO won’t affect the content of my personal website or social accounts. You won’t see me starting to push any ‘official’ views on my Twitter or Instagram. I’ll continue to write stories, reviews and opinion pieces on this website as normal.

There will be no change to my existing editorial work. I’ll continue creating value for my clients, fiction and non-fiction alike. My work for TGO is not going to muscle out anything else.

I’ll be building more relationships with brands and publishers. This means I will be taking even more care to be transparent about any influences relevant to book or product reviews.

For the foreseeable future, I have no plans to become a brand ambassador for anyone. I started receiving such invitations about a year ago but I always politely turn them down because I worry about losing freedom and objectivity. This will be doubly important in my new role.

  1. In fact, you won’t even find them listed on my website any more. While I have no plans to remove them from sale, I no longer regard them as examples of my best writing – they’re from an earlier period of my career.
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