Sacha Cohen: An Enterprising Freelancer
Sacha Cohen is a big name in the publishing industry. Don't get her mixed up with the ice skater (although she does receive some of her fan mail) because this Washington D.C. based writer has written for everything from AARP magazine, USA Today, the Washington Post, New York magazine, Glamour magazine, and most recently Cosmopolitan.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Sacha last week as she took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about the business. She is most gracious and I truly appreciated her time and valuable insight into this industry. Here are some highlights from our phone conversation.
*AH- Let's start with some background, where did you go to college?
*SC- Tulane University for two years and then I transferred to the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
*AH- Were you a journalism major?
*SC- I was actually an English major. (Sacha considered switching to journalism, but already had many of the English requirements filled.)
*AH- How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
*SC- I've enjoyed writing since the age of 10 and I was good at it. It's still a thrill to see my name in print.
*AH- Did you do any internships while in college?
*SC- I actualy needed to work. (Unpaid) internships really limit you especially if you can't afford to work for free. They are also incredibly competitive. People who know people get internships.
*AH- Where did you start after college?
*SC- I started out as an editorial assistant for a trade publication in Chicago. I wrote about furniture and woodworking.
*AH- When did you get your first big break?
*SC- I decided to go freelance in 1999, I joined the National Press Club. I wrote a column about shopping online. I was writing for the web and I got in very early during the dot com boom. Mostly I wrote about business and technology. Now I'm writing more about lifestyle, food and travel; things that really interest me.
*AH- What is your favorite thing about your job (as a freelancer)?
*SC- I really love the research, finding cool and interesting topics and being on the forefront of trends. I also enjoy working for myself and being a part of the media and seeing what doors will open.
*AH- What's your least favorite part?
*SC- Interviewing! Well, really the anticipation of it. 99% of the time people are really nice but once in awhile people are really demanding.
*AH- What was the story that was your favorite, or that you were most proud of writing?
*SC- An essay I wrote for the Washington Post. It was about libraries. I got to write something about me. I'd like to write more personal essays if I had more time.
My conversation with Sacha gave me a lot of confidence and I plan on taking some good advice she offered me. I feel like my dream of working for Cosmopolitan magazine will one day be within my reach.
Look for Sacha Cohen in a magazine near you! Check out her website <www.sachacohen.com> for more information.