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Copywriters on the rack #22: Sally Fox

Hello and welcome to Copywriters on the Rack. Now, this may sting a little…

Who are you and what do you do to pay the bills?

I’m Sally and I’m a copywriter. I write persuasive and creative words for good businesses.

What was your career path to get to where you are now?

I started working life as a trainee fashion buyer. I spent eight years making my way up the ranks until I was managing the cardigan department. Once there, I slowly cottoned on to the fact I wanted to wear cardigans, not buy them. So, I did what every 31-year-old third-life-crisis-er would do: ran away to Southeast Asia, retrained as a copywriter and jammed my foot in a new door.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Learning about marvellous businesses and organisations from the clever people behind them, and then being a part of their growth or success.

What’s the worst?

Late payers, incomplete briefs, dry spells. ‘Nuff said.

How do you fill the gaps when you’re not doing the day job?

At the moment, I’m learning screenplay writing. There’s a lot of crossover with writing copy. I also like to run, cook and be consistently terrible at yoga.

Well, this should sort your chakras out. Here we go…

What’s the stupidest thing you did as a teenager?

There were a lot. Perhaps the most consistently stupid was traipsing around rainy Devon in wide-legged jeans every day. They soaked up the puddles so effectively I regularly had fetching tide marks and suffered wet calves slapped with soggy denim.   

Write me a poem about envelopes

Why don’t postcards have envelopes?
Is it the pride
Of the folk poolside?
Sharing their glee
On a trip to the sea
Why don’t postcards have envelopes?

Who would win in a fight, Take That or Boyzone?

My money’s on Take That. Boyzone spent the whole time sitting on high stools and only standing up for the obligatory key change three-quarters of the way through the song. I’m assuming this is either because they were weak to begin with or if not, that they’re physically weaker as a result.

Write me three straplines for:

1) Jamie’s ‘Cooking with Frogs’
Hoppy days

2) NVQ Level 1 Witchcraft
Simple spells for basic witches

3) Sewer Holidays in Moldova
Oh, I do like to be beside the cesspool

What was your nickname at school?

Foxy. And my sister called me Soi. I don’t know why.

Draw me a picture of an aardvark on a catwalk (yes I know you’re a writer, but do it anyway).

Copywriting is like trying to catch your own shadow, discuss.

Catching your shadow is a game with no end and no winners. Much like writing copy to a terrible brief.

You’re feeling down in the dumps. What do you need to perk you up again?

Back-to-back episodes of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and a trough of mac and cheese.

What is love?

Love is when you can’t stay mad at someone even though they’re frequently very, very annoying.

Pick a random pic from your camera roll and tell us about it.

These are the only two chillies I managed to grow this summer. I had hoped for a more plentiful bounty but I took these treasured two and made a curry so all was not lost.

Write me a very short story featuring: Keira Knightley with a headache, James Blunt with a secret and Rihanna with a jar of marmalade that’s past its use by date.

“What a night,” said Rihanna, rubbing her eyes.

“My head hurts,” said Keira Knightley, trying not to vomit as she pictured the tequila she’d been knocking back just a few hours earlier.

Rihanna opened the fridge door, scanning for something to take the sour taste from her mouth. Spotting a jar of marmalade, she squinted at it:  

“July 2011. It’s probably fine.” She grabbed a spoon.

James Blunt walked through the front door, blinking.

“What’s up, James?” said Keira.

“Yeah, what happened to you last night?” said Rihanna.

James looked shifty. He checked his jacket pocket twice.

“What’s going on?” barked Rihanna, “You’d better tell us, or I’ll…” She interrupted herself by spewing decade-old marmalade all over Kiera.

“I’ll kill you!” Screeched Kiera, launching her citrusy limbs at Rihanna who held the spoon aloft in defence.

Amidst the preserve pandemonium, James slipped away, one hand on his jacket pocket.   

Make my skin crawl.

Jacob Rees-Mogg eating hummus with his Oystercard on the London Underground while maintaining eye contact with you.

Ugh! Now make my heart melt.

My little nephew makes a ‘beep beep beep’ sound when he’s going backwards because that’s what lorries do.

Write me dictionary definition entries for ‘Wilcock’s Lexicofantabulous Compendium of Oddities and Soddities’:

1) Lumpworn
An overused item of knitwear, past its best.

2) Stilits
The little flecks of spit that land on your face when someone speaks too enthusiastically.

3) Splayzing the wazzlet
Massively overselling one’s capabilities. “He’s really splayzing the wazzlet on his LinkedIn profile, isn’t he?”

If you were alone on a desert island for a month, what 6 items would you take with you? (they have to fit in a Morrison’s bag for life and yes, you can keep the bag)

1) My dog, Dolly (Is she an item? Pretty sure she’ll fit if she crouches)
2) A long book (you can choose)
OK then, Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky’s always good for a laugh.
3) A mini guitar so I can learn a new skill
4) Pen and paper to document the days
5) A solar-powered radio so I’ll feel less lonely
6) A packet of Hobnobs.

Make up your own question and tell me whatever you want to get off your chest.

How do you cure a lack of inspiration?

Step away from your desk and do something else. Off you go.

Desk, dungeon. Tomarto, tomayto. Now give me three reasons why I should let you go.

1) It’s nearly the weekend.
2) I need a snack. A snack of beer.
3) I can hear my nephew reversing in the next room.

And before I remove the shackles, tell us where we can find you online.

My website


Right, Fox, skidaddle. I’ve got a date with Jacob Rees-Mogg and a tub of hummus.