Sara Ward Slimming World editor
Sara Ward, the editor of Slimming World Magazine, has contributed to its market success with her passion for authentic storytelling. (Photo credits: Sara Ward)

Sara Ward’s journalism passion began at Exeter University where she studied German and Italian. “I engaged in multiple media roles while studying, including managing the television station, writing for the newspaper and a local magazine, and doing radio work in my free time. My coursework in Italy further fuelled my passion for journalism,” Sara says.

“I began my career at Southwest News Service. In 2010, I joined Take a Break. Later, I covered maternity leave as an editor at That’s Life. In 2016, Slimming World offered me the magazine editor role, when I took a challenging decision to move from London to Derbyshire,” she says.

Gaining Strengths

Sara believes the joy of working for Slimming World is that they are a friend to their readers. “When a new issue is released, we receive feedback from our readers. For instance, recently our features writer got a phone call from a woman. She said, ‘I’ve just been reading one of your success stories, and I had to stop reading it and ring you.’ She said it was so moving that she’s in tears. She stopped reading and picked up the phone just to tell us about it,” she says.

AI has not posed a challenge to Slimming World. “I prioritise authenticity and do not find ChatGPT’s writing to be of high quality or original. Our focus is on ensuring everything we produce is genuinely excellent. I often encourage my writers to surpass ChatGPT’s capabilities and develop their own authentic voices. We maintain a strong, authentic voice in Slimming World Magazine,” Sara says.

Routine Work

Every morning, Sara jots down her tasks before gathering the team for a check-in using their workflow system. “At Slimming World, we regularly review task progress, making adjustments to stay on track. I provide updates and motivate the team, while the chief sub-editor focuses on details. Working closely with our team is crucial,” Sara says.

“I oversee monthly reviews and personal development plans for each team member. I supervise four managers, ensuring everyone has goals and opportunities for growth. We offer training, like the upcoming storytelling workshop, to enhance success story writing skills,” she says.

May/June 2024 issue of Slimming World Magazine
May/June 2024 issue of Slimming World Magazine (Photo credits: Slimming World)

Passion turned Success

Slimming World magazine reached new heights with her personal experiences. “My passion lies in authentic storytelling, prioritising testimonials for a lasting impact. We have also undergone redesigns and introduced new concepts and franchises over the years. In 2022, we added a section called Mind, Body, and Soul, highlighting that Slimming World extends beyond weight loss to benefit holistic well-being,” she says.

Sara considers herself fortunate to be in journalism, deeming Slimming World her best workplace ever. She anticipates its ongoing growth, saying, “Being a magazine editor, my aim is to connect with readers through compelling stories. It is the best job; engaging with people’s lives, travelling, and even visiting number 10 Downing Street have been privileges in my career.”

Joy in Editorship

The Slimming World editor excels in balancing big-picture thinking with attention to detail, making her role deeply fulfilling. “I enjoy brainstorming new ideas, merging visual and written elements, and contributing to projects. Seeing the magazine I have worked on land on my desk brings me joy. Serving our readership and genuinely engaging with people’s lives is truly fulfilling.”

She leads a talented, dedicated, and caring team. “They never rest until they have done their best, and their creativity and attention to detail make the job easier. Having a great team is essential,” she says.