Two projects I’ve been involved with over the past month were revealed to Gazette subscribers this week.
Today’s paper (at least the home-delivery version) couldn’t be rolled up very well because of a thick, 92-page magazine called Urban Expressions. It’s a lifestyle magazine filled with stories about fashion, home decor, food and other girly magazine stuff (no sex or relationship tips though).
And, of course, there’s lots of ads.
I was the copy editor for this issue, and lived it for about a week in August (which is why I didn’t post anything to this blog for 11 days), coming up with clever headlines and captions, and reading and re-reading every story to ensure everything was right (so if you find any typos, you can blame me).
Copy editing a magazine is definitely different from a newspaper. You have days, rather than hours. The stories are long, the pages all designed by a professional designer (in this case, The Gazette’s Susan Ferguson, who had an even more hellish time with this than I did, designing a whole magazine from scratch), and everything goes back and forth between different people who each have their own ideas.
The cover story (like most magazines, this one has a giant picture of a pretty white girl on the cover) is about actress Rachelle Lefevre, who is known for her role in Twilight movies but is also in the upcoming Barney’s Version, a film based on the Mordecai Richler novel that just screened in Toronto. She talks to Gazette style editor Eva Friede about her love of the city and poses for pictures in what I understand are the latest fashions.
- Lesley Chesterman on making the perfect cup of coffee, profiling Café Myriade
- Chesterman on chefs reinventing classic comfort food
- Bill Zacharkiw’s picks for the city’s best restaurant wine lists
- David Johnston on nordic spas
- Susan Schwartz on a garage sale hunter who finds new uses for old objects
- Donna Nebenzahl on a Westmount Square apartment’s use of space
- Nebenzahl on a decorator using her own home to show off her design skills
- Nebenzahl on bathroom design
- Eva Friede with the latest fashions for fall
Local content returns to Driving
The other skybox-worthy change happened the day before, as the paper expanded its Monday Driving section to include some local content. The three-days-a-week Driving section hasn’t seen any regular original content since Jordan Charness’s automotive legal advice column was dropped in 2008.
Among the weekly features, which will be added to the back of the Monday Driving section, are:
- Head-to-head comparisons, either two people reviewing the same vehicle or one person reviewing two similar ones. This week, Kevin Mio and Miranda Lightstone look at the 2011 Ford Mustang.
- Gearbox, a mechanic’s advice column. This week it looks at the possible causes of a particular engine noise.
- A profile piece on car modifications. This week it starts off with Danny Geraghty, who founded MontrealRacing.com.
There will also be more automotive news, either local or national.
I’m involved in the editing process of this, though only for the local content and I’m not the one laying it out and writing the headlines (now I know what our assignment editors feel like).
As you can imagine, both of these moves are designed to increase advertising revenue. Let’s hope it works.