For this week’s Meet the Media series, we’re pleased to introduce Allyson Koerner, a celebrity and entertainment news writer for Bustle. With an undergraduate degree in English, and a master’s in Print and Multimedia Journalism, Allyson is well-equipped to deliver trending stories that have landed on MSN, SheKnows, Culturess, and more. Please welcome Allyson to BLND!
Hello! I’m Allyson Koerner and I’m 33-years-old. I’m a freelance writer with a focus on entertainment and Disney Parks news. I write entertainment news for Bustle, contribute to WDW Magazine, and write news and create travel guides for WDW Prep School, along with sharing parks news on social media.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge Disney lover and even started my own Disney blog, Magic-Ally Main Street, in April 2018. My hope is to one day grow my blog into a business. I want to help others plan successful Disney trips and provide tips on how to have fun at the parks.
How did you get into journalism? Was this always where you saw yourself?
I think I’ve always leaned more toward my creative side when I was younger. English and writing were my strongest suits when I was younger. I actually started out as a Psychology major in undergrad and realized it wasn’t for me, so I switched to an English major and writing minor. I’ve always loved entertainment, so I figured writing about celebrities, TV, and movies would be perfect for me. I applied for grad school and attended Emerson College in Boston for two years and received a Master’s in Print & Multimedia Journalism.
From your experience, what makes a great story?
Being able to write well definitely helps, but I don’t think one has to be the ultimate storyteller in order to tell a good story. For me, I think it’s just being honest, speaking your truth, and writing about what you love. One of my college professor’s once told me, “Allyson, write what you know.” So, I think if someone writes what they’re passionate about it will ultimately turn into a great story.
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
As big of a deal as it’s been for me to interview multiple celebrities and to attend press junkets, my biggest accomplishment has been having enough guts to start my own blog in order to try to build a business all on my own. I took a huge leap and it’s going to be a long journey until I actually make something out of it, but I’m doing what I love and I’ve never been happier.
What is one thing you wish the public knew about your job?
Freelance writers who work at home don’t just get to sit around all day watching TV. Just because I work from home doesn’t mean I have an easy job. I wake up early every morning and work well into the evening. I hold multiple writing jobs to make sure I can pay the bills. Yes, my schedule is pretty flexible compared to others, but my job isn’t as easy as it might sound. I love writing, but sometimes it’s hard. I’m alone all day working, so it’s my responsibility to kick my butt into gear and find the motivation to write, no matter how often I deal with writer’s block.
I wake up at 6 a.m., have a cup of coffee (always a must and I can’t function without it), play catch up on social media, eat breakfast, exercise (usually the elliptical), and then get ready for the day.
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
This is much easier said than done, but don’t give up. There were so many times I just wanted to walk away from writing. It took me a long time to find my path and to finally have my writing voice heard. You will probably have to start at the bottom, but keep fighting, work hard, and don’t lose that determination. Whatever your dreams are, you can achieve them. It definitely gets frustrating at times, but as long as you keep pushing, you can make your goals a reality.
When you’re not writing, what can we find you doing?
I watch way too much TV. You can also find me planning a Disney trip or actually visiting Walt Disney World. I also love hanging out with my family and grabbing a beer with friends. I even take a tap class once a week.
Three words that describe you? Goal-oriented, compassionate, and accepting
#1 place on your travel bucket list? England, specifically London
Go to drink order? Either dark roast coffee (black, no cream or sugar) or beer (give me all the craft beer)
Favorite restaurant? Hugo’s Restaurant in Los Angeles. When I briefly lived in LA, Hugo’s was my go-to (the one in Studio City, not West Hollywood).
Where can people follow you?
Find me at: @AllysonKoerner on Twitter