Hi, I’m Liz Potter
I got my lucky break into journalism 34 years ago, in 1989. I was a polytechnic graduate with a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies, just back from a voluntary stint as photographer on a US summer camp in Massachusetts. I was so convinced I wouldn’t get the job (as trainee writer for weekly Amateur Photographer magazine) that I was really relaxed and felt unusually confident in the interview. The Editor at the time, charismatic Scotsman George Hughes, took a liking to me and gave me the job on the strength of some dreadful poems I’d written for the college magazine!
I spent nine years in photographic magazines, interviewing the likes of David Bailey, David Hockney and Lord Lichfield, and working my way up from features writer on AP to edit the monthly Photo Technique for three years. I left in order to try my hand in the home interest sector, working as acting homes editor on Homes & Ideas, Ideal Home and Perfect Home.
I went travelling in 2004 for 10 months, renting out my Cambridgeshire home to fund a trip round South East Asia (India, Thailand, Cambodia, New Zealand and Australia). I applied for a job as Deputy Editor on Period Living whilst sunning myself on Bondi beach in Sidney. I was delighted to get the job, even though I did have to relinquish the sun, sea and sand!
When Emap sold Period Living to Centaur publishing, I went with the team and ended up editing and relaunching the magazine in 2006. After a year, I found commuting into London every day from Cambridgeshire took its toll. So I made the leap back into freelancing and wound up being offered the Editorship of Garden Answers in 2012. In nine and a half years we got the circulation up from 17,806 readers to 70,391 in 16 consecutive ABC increases. An amazing achievement that really proves there’s still life in print magazines, if you know what you’re doing!
I’m now hoping to start a fresh creative chapter in my life, one where I’m not fire-fighting an increasing workload all the time and can enjoy a bit of me-time pottering in the garden. If I’m inspired to write a few blogs about it, so much the better!