By Lauren Saxe
At 23, Cathrine Khom isn’t your typical editor-in-chief. The Long Beach native and former healthcare administration student finished her degree at California State University, but unlike her peers, she did it all while helming her original publication, Local Wolves.
Khom started Local Wolves as a music blog back in high school, when she wasn’t seeing enough local and indie bands featured in her favorite teen mags and websites. After a brief hiatus during her transition from high school to college, she revisited the blog, morphing it into what would soon become a successful print and digital publication. Six years later, she’s got more fuel than ever.
With 50 people on staff and her sister Sophia weighing in as the creative director and copy editor, Khom’s bimonthly publication focuses on music, indie artists, photography, arts, entertainment, social issues and all things culture. It’s no surprise Khom has proved herself a serious contender in the magazine world, accepting the honor as one of Folio‘s Top Women in Media 2017 Rising Stars. Here, she chats with Ed2010 about diving into the publishing industry, her creative inspirations and what’s next for Local Wolves.
What do you suggest to young people interested in pursuing publishing?
I think the best advice is just literally do it, like what Nike says. You might not have all the answers, but that’s what Google is for. I researched everything. There are always opportunities, so reach out, look for email contacts and be comfortable saying, “Hey, I have some stuff that I can contribute.” I always admire people that take that risk and just email or even pitch me through a tweet or something. Instead of wishing, just go for it and do it. There are so many publications out there that would love to have your work.
Tell us a little bit about Wolfie submissions, your monthly reader contributions.
Wolfie submissions came about when we wanted to have another outlet to express what’s going on in the world and what’s going on with our readers in general. We would get submissions all the time from writers, photographers, illustrators and designers who wanted a space to create work based on a theme, so I said, “OK, let’s do it.” People liked it and started to ask for the next theme, or they suggested themes so we made it a monthly thing. Now we have entire issues based on these themes. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you give us an example of a theme?
One of my favorites was the theme of mental health. It was our May 2016 issue with Jack Baran and it was the first time we attempted a themed issue. We used black-and-white photography, and it was just really raw and organic. It was also one of the first times that we went over our 100-page limit. It allowed people to open up, to not be scared to talk about mental health and to kind of break that stigma a little bit.
What publications and editors do you look to for inspiration?
I’ve been loving INDIE Magazine a lot more recently because of all the photo shoots and people that they’re featuring. Notion Magazine is another source of inspiration. They did a shoot with HAIM and it was so memorable. I want to make sure that when we do photo shoots it can be that memorable as well. I also love The FADER, Dazed and i-D. I check out their work at least once a day.
I like reading Girlboss blog posts because it gives me more inspiration of what kind of content to go forward with next year for our own blog re-launch.
The editor-in-chief of Allure, Michelle Lee, I love her. I’ve been following her since she was at Nylon and I was in awe every time. And now what she’s doing with Allure, I still have the same awe. I just see so much effort put into every cover and I really appreciate it. I love her fashion sense as well.
What’s next for Local Wolves?
We’re going to dive more into YouTube and make more video content, like interviews and sessions. And I love The FADER, for example, with its success stories and documentaries. I kind of want to incorporate that into Local Wolves, but more with just everyday people.
We want to be more active on our blog, not just do features and interviews, but more like stories you would read on Girlboss, more personal stories. That’s something our team is working toward, as well as more events, merchandise and other cool things that our readers can get involved with.