Kat is a freelance writer, editor and digital consultant based in Toronto. She is the co-founder of content agency Tavanberg, new media editor at Food & Drink magazine and a frequent contributor to publications such as the Globe and Mail and Up!. Follow Kat on Twitter: @kattancock.
+1 What do you read to keep current on the latest trends and news?
What don’t I read?! I’m an omnivore when it comes to reading: I flip through travel, business and fashion magazines on Next Issue; I read all the major Canadian news sites online (and regularly download the Saturday Globe and Mail); I get Saveur, Bon Appétit and Food + Wine in print so I can rip out pages for inspiration; I use Zinio to get magazines from around the world (such as New Zealand food magazines, so useful when you’re planning two seasons ahead); I get my travel industry news from Skift and magazine industry news from the Canadian Magazines blog. And I’ve recently signed up for a morning news roundup from Quartz (@qz) that I love. It’s an efficient way to stay up to date on world events, and I always find myself tweeting at least one item from it.
I also, of course, use Twitter to get reading recommendations and stay up to date on industry news, especially, these days, around content marketing, social media and technology, which (*ahem* shameless self-promotion) my company, Tavanberg, consolidates into a monthly round-up e-newsletter. (You can sign up at tavanberg.com/newsletter.) I’m a voracious user of Instapaper to save great articles for later reading; otherwise, I’d have about five million tabs open on my browser at all times.
+2 If you could live in any city, where would it be and why?
My fantasy, should I become independently wealthy, is to own apartments in all my favourite cities: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, plus New York, London and Auckland, to start with. Possibly Zurich and Zagreb. Am I evading the question?
+3 What’s your “plan B” if you need to spontaneously switch careers?
I’m actually a trained yoga teacher, though I don’t think I could do it full-time. But I’m also a PhD dropout – not a decision I regret, but I’ve been having fantasies about going back to school to study First Nations languages and possibly work on writing systems and pedagogical materials.
+4 Most coveted superpower?
As a travel writer? Definitely flying at the speed of light.
+5 Looking back, which moment in your career are you most proud of and why?
My grandmother, who left us recently at the age of 92, grew up the oldest of 12 children in Christchurch, New Zealand, and had to leave school at 13 or so because her family couldn’t afford a school uniform. She went on to marry a Canadian and live a very good life on the west coast but always wished she could have had an education and loved hearing my stories of working in the magazine world and especially as a travel writer. It’s so easy to become blasé about what we do, but I always try to look at my career from her perspective to help me appreciate it. Given my Kiwi heritage, it was pretty special having a cover story on the travel section of the Globe and Mail a couple of months ago featuring a recent trip to New Zealand.