Kseniia Spodyneiko is a 27-year-old journalist, marketing specialist and former editor-in-chief for Cosmopolitan webzine (Russia) and the Marie Claire webzine, and runs her own travel, fashion and lifestyle blog: thestylejungle.co.nz.
She is currently digital editor at Uno webzine.
SKYLA SCOTT interviews Kseniia about her progress as a writer, and what she’d tell every journalist starting out.
Q: What do you like to write articles about?
A: Travelling is my favourite topic! My blog and the articles I wrote for UNO magazine are mostly about travel. I am convinced though, that sticking on one topic is a dead end. You have to be a multi-tasker, to be able to cover different topics to stay a creative and inspiring author.
Q: What is your biggest writing achievement so far?
A: I was editor-in-chief for the Cosmopolitan webzine in Russia and wrote several articles for the print magazine itself. I am so proud of that! Cosmopolitan is the largest magazine in Russia, every issue is read by approximately 6 million people (Gosh, I just realised – it’s more than the whole of New Zealand!). How cool is that?
Q: How did you get the job as Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan webzine?
A: I found their vacancy on a Russian website devoted to jobs, applied and was invited for an interview!
It was probably the worst day in my whole life for an interview! I was in the middle of my last exam session: no make-up, coffee drops on a T-shirt. But when you get a call from Cosmopolitan who wants to see you TODAY you don’t say you’re just not ready yet, do you?
Surprisingly, I got the job! As simple as that. Of course, it wasn’t an editor position at first. I started as a social media manager. Later I was offered a position of a fashion editor and only then gained a position of editor-in-chief.
Q: How can writers get ideas for articles?
A: While studying we were told that there are hardly any unique, never covered topics left out there, so our main job is to find a new approach. And ideas can be everywhere. Let’s say, you just bought a new face serum. And you think – hmm, what’s the difference between serum and cream? Here is a topic! Let’s talk to a cosmetologist and find it out! Because if you don’t know it, most probably there are millions who don’t know it as well!
Q: Do you ever get writing blocks? If so, how do you deal with them?
A: Oh yes! I taught myself to always start from the middle. Sounds weird, but it works for me. I write any random part, just to get my thoughts going and from there I would move to the first paragraphs.
Q: What tips can you give new writers about getting published?
A: Be attentive to the way you write your emails! Normally editors are so busy they won’t even open the links to look at examples of your work. But they can easily ascertain your writing ability from simply reading your email. And always offer several topics you would love to write about in your first email! Even if they won’t fit, they demonstrate your creativity and might help an editor to come up with a different idea based on yours and ask you to write it.
MORE ABOUT KSENIIA SPODYNEIKO
About the Author:
Skyla Scott is a freelance writer, careers coach, tutor and marketing consultant. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is a qualified career counsellor. Skyla loves writing, dancing and travel and has enjoyed satisfying her wanderlust cravings through adventures on six of the seven continents around the globe!
Photo credit: Photo of Kseniia by Alex Spodyneiko