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Freelance Journalist Interview with Elizabeth Norton

Elizabeth Norton
Elizabeth Norton
"The thing I love most about freelance PR and journalism is that I get to write about anything and everything", says freelancer Elizabeth Norton. And anything and everything for Elizabeth has included classical and archaeological areas, cars, music, furniture and even the dental market. So why not get your teeth stuck into today's interview to find out more?

About your journalism:


What do you write about?
The thing I love most about freelance PR and journalism is that I get to write about anything and everything. I have a PhD in Classical and Archaeological Studies so that’s my specialist area, plus I spent a year working exclusively in the dental market. I’ve also written articles about everything from cars to music, furniture to medicine.

Where are we likely to see your work?
I’m a regular features writer for Verve Magazine, based in Kent, but I’ve also written for other local magazines, charities and B2B publications as well as authoring academic articles for publications such as the Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Well, my thesis is something I’ll never forget! But I was overwhelmed by the support I was shown after an article I wrote on disabled benefit cuts was published in The Guardian last year.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I enjoy anything to do with the promotion of charities and would love to work more in that sector, as well as getting back to my ‘roots’ in academia, but mainly I thrive on variety: if I’ve never done it before, I want to!

About you and PRs:


Where do you source ideas for articles?
That depends on how detailed a brief I’m given. Anything from stories in the news to the time of year can help kick start my imagination.

How can PRs be useful to you?
PR is useful when researching a topic with which I’m unfamiliar as it opens up a new revenue of source material.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
I prefer email contact as the nature of my work means that I never know when I’m going to be hit with an urgent deadline, and therefore have to become suddenly incommunicado.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
The occasional interruption can be a good thing, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of my regular work.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I haven’t found any major flaws with PRs yet, although some companies have continued to send me press releases long after my deadline, which is a little frustrating when moving between topics.

About you:


How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I spent many years as a university lecturer so would probably return to that. I’d love to make money from my art work but I don’t think that would pay the mortgage!

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
A holiday somewhere sunny for me and my husband and a spa weekend for my mum, to give her a chance to relax.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I tend to have several books on the go at once so that would be a long list, especially as I re-read my favourite books every few years. The last book I picked up was Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, the last magazine I looked at was actually Verve and I flit through so many blogs that I’m not even sure which one I last read. My reading is very much like my writing; I love variety!