Carley Fortune is the editor of The Grid’s life section, where she handles stories on fashion, real estate, parenting, retail and food, which makes her very hungry. Occasionally, she writes about world issues, like finding an apartment and saving money, but mostly she sits in front of a computer thinking of ways to get the word “woot” into display copy. She’s been working in magazines for six years, previously as the associate online editor at Toronto Life.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No, but I’ve been a lover of magazines since a very young age. I wanted to be a florist, a vet and a marine biologist when I was little. In high school, I seriously considered becoming a lawyer, but decided to go to journalism school and see if I could make it in the magazine biz.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Still in magazines. Still in Toronto. Much larger pay cheque. Or, I’ll retire to the countryside and edit cookbooks.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Lose the attitude. Listen. Share your ideas.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I love Slate and The Atlantic online. I listen to Slate’s Culture Gabfest and the James Beard Foundation’s Taste Matters podcasts. I’m a magazine addict and one of my favourite things is to spend time in front of the newsstand and see what stands out. I often pick up Bon Apetit, Esquire and GQ; I wish there were equally awesome women’s publications. My partner and I subscribe to the New Yorker, New York, Toronto Life, and Saveur.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
When I was at Ryerson, Colin Mochrie let me interview and shadow him for three days for a class assignment. He was so open and generous with his time, and I was able to write and report a proper profile. I learned a lot from that assignment.
A couple of friends and I fake interviewed Joffrey Lupul at a party. I stood staring at him with my mouth agape. It was horrifying.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Be careful, your mouth is going to get you in trouble one day.” I just haven’t really followed it.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Be prompt. Work hard. Say what you think.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know the publication. Obviously, The Grid is focused very tightly on Toronto, but I can’t tell you how many travel and national stories I’m pitched.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Hmm… I recently went to a fantastic beauty trend seminar held by MAC. It was a small group of people in a nice setting, it was fun and I learned a lot.
Public spitting, bad manners, men with long fingernails, chipped nail polish.
A home-cooked dinner, Toronto restaurants, red lipstick, Manhattans, Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer, my girlfriends, loungewear, my fiancé’s smile, Slate’s Mad Men recaps.
Ruth Reichl’s Not Becoming My Mother.
Best place on earth?
A dock, anywhere.
Pippa Lord, who runs the website Sous Style and is the photo director for Elle. She just seems like a really smart, stylish, spunky Aussie chick.
My parents. And Eve Best in Nurse Jackie.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Truthfully, I’m obsessed with the calorie-counting app MyFitnessPal. I gained what I call “The Grid 10″ in my first year at the magazine. There’s always delicious, bad-for-you food at the office, but this helped me get rid of it.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean. Chlorine gives me a rash. But I grew up on a lake and love freshwater the most.
Voicemail or email?
I don’t know how to check my voicemail.