Olivia Stren is a Toronto-based freelance writer. She writes for a variety of publications, including Elle U.S., Elle Canada, Fashion, National Geographic Traveler and the Globe and Mail.
What was your first job?
I worked at a Benetton in high school. I can still fold the hell out of a cardigan! My first real job in the industry was as an associate editor at Toronto Life mag.
Best advice for people getting started in your industry?
The main thing you need as a freelance writer is stamina.
Three of your favourite accounts to follow on Instagram?
I love Rachel Alice Roddy (a cook and writer for the Guardian based in Rome)—she makes me want to eat more brocoletti and and move to Italy. And then there are my various fashion crushes (Clare Vivier, Apiece Apart, Ulla Johnson, Samuji), etc. I know that’s more than 3. I’m a Gemini, choosing is not a forte.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Nora Ephron, in her apartment in New York.
The most traumatic was probably a phone interview with Kate Hudson—she was delightful, but after about an hour, I hung up the phone to realize that my tape-recorder hadn’t worked.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
I’m terrible at rules.
This is too long a list!
This is, thankfully, an even longer list!
You’re boarding a plane tomorrow. Where are you headed?
Ideally, the Greek islands. I’ve never been.
I don’t have one.
Who would be cast to play you in the movie version of your life?
Ideally, Marisa Tomei.
The Americans and The Crown. Both superb.
Just finished Jessi Klein’s essay collection “You’ll Grow Out of It.” About to start Michael Chabon’s “Moonglow.”
Professionally, Nora Ephron. But today, it was my cat, Penguin.
Song of the moment?
Kermit the Frog’s “Rainbow Connection.” (I have a toddler.)
Elmo’s World vids on Youtube (see above)!
One thing you can’t live without?
So many things! I’m obviously very needy! I’ll say (good) coffee.