Hull Literature Festival 2001 8th - 18th November
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{ Hints from the Hacks }

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Lucy Smith | Steve Regen

Hints From The Hacks - 1

Lucy Smith

Double Vision asks Lucy Smith, feature writer for the Hull Daily Mail, to reveal the secrets of delivering to deadlines.

Lucy's job requires her to provide an endless flow of fresh ideas which she investigates and writes up as engaging and entertaining copy. She is often to be seen lying between the sheets of the Hull Daily Mail sampling facial or aromatherapy treatments. Sadly these have no place in the literature festival, although they might well become a necessity for detoxing overworked reviewers. Now there's a thought for next year's programme!

As well as going out and about to interview and research, Lucy works in a busy newsroom and needs to produce copy to tight deadlines. So how does she do it?

'I put it off as long as possible and then finish the job in a frantic rush at the last moment. Then, of course, I worry that I haven't spent longer on it and tweak bits and pieces until the subs are screaming at me.'

We're on course there, then!

Lucy reckons that reporters have a more pressurised job, though. She was sent out as a reporter at the time of the Selby train crash and when the foot and mouth crisis broke. 'Reporters have no time to hone their writing skills', Lucy said. 'Feature writers have a bit more time to think about how they write.

What is Lucy's most memorable feature?

"I developed a whole feature around a production of 'Kindertransport' by Northern Theatre Company. I discovered that one of the original Kindertransport children now lives in Hull and had been to see the play with Maureen Lipman's mother. It was fascinating to discover someone, now living locally, whose whole life had been changed by the events which were described in the play."

Lucy also enjoys being able to find out about the lives of people she meets around Hull - the perfect excuse for being nosey! Double Vision's noses ( soon to be exposed on Photograph of the Day ) are twitching with anticipation.

Hull Daily Mail web site:

Photograph used with permission of the Hull Daily Mail