Sally McIlhone

Sally McIlhone

Playwright and Deputy Editor, SHOP Magazine

  • Location: London
  • Career stage: Experienced

My writing has focused on, at one time or another: zombies, handbags I can't afford, magical babies and boobs.

I graduated with a law degree from Warwick Uni in 2006 and realised that 'vegetarian anarcho punk' was not a viable career choice. At 22 I was working as a PA in a chartered surveyors firm and spent my days genuinely considering how to eat my own face. On a (slightly stoned) car journey to Wales I came up with the idea for my first play, Brain Drain!, about two brothers who buy a mind-control machine from the devil to use on their employees. Who knew where I got the inspiration from. I used my generously-provided Christmas bonus money to put the play on at Brighton Fringe festival in May 2008, earning a four star review from the Argus newspaper. Look...

Armed with proof that I was a real bona fide writer, I started interning at where I reviewed movies and telly and became a small time internet hate figure after insulting Stewart Lee's style of comedy. I moved on to Square Mile magazine and FRONT where I learned the ways of the City gent and the 16-25 year old Alt boy respectively. At FRONT I attempted to work as a sub-editor despite a painful absence of skills and was promptly found out three months later.

I started working at SHOP, the international fashion and travel magazine from tax free shopping company Global Blue, in 2009 and I'm now the deputy editor. You'll notice from my CV that I left SHOP a few years back to take a job at FHM. When I failed miserably at writing like a lad, and got sacked by the same editor who had fired me three years previously at FRONT, I was lucky enough to go back to a promotion, and unlucky enough to develop panic attacks as a result of post traumatic stress. Go me! 

But CBT and an absence of caffeine healed all wounds, and I learned some valuable lessons from my brief foray into mainstream media. Firstly, journalism was great but it was not really what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to write stories, not ask glamour models how often they masturbated (true story) or expound upon the virtues of skiing in Lebanon. So I wrote a horror film about three child-eating monsters who terrorise a Northern Irish village, which I used to get onto the MA Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) course at City University. I hand in my full length play, Greedy, about a bisexual woman who seeks to scratch her girl-on-girl itch before marrying her longterm boyfriend, at the end of August 2016. After showcasing an extract of the play at City Uni in June, I have already been approached by the Cockpit Theatre, who will be putting on a rehearsed reading of the play in January 2017. 

As well as writing, I did my first piece of spoken word at Red Raw at the Resistance Gallery in May 2016. I talked about wanting a penis. It was liberating and nerve-shredding in equal measure. I hope to perform it again in the near future. I will also be writing a short scene for Miss Mo Presents: Filth! in October 2016 and am interested in any other creative writing commissions (go on, email me -

I hope that Greedy will get snapped up by some cool new writing theatre like the Royal Court, but failing that I'll put it on myself. Because I'm still a DIY anarcho punk underneath it all. 

Work History

Deputy Editor - SHOP Magazine

Oct 2015 - Present

Managing Editor - SHOP Magazine

Oct 2012 - Oct 2015

Freelance journalist - Stylist, ShortList, Grazia, FRONT Magazine

Aug 2012 - Oct 2012

Front Section Editor - FHM

May 2012 - Aug 2012

Fashion and News Editor - SHOP Magazine

Oct 2011 - May 2012

News and City Guide Editor - SHOP Magazine

Dec 2009 - Oct 2011

Freelance Sub Editor - FRONT Magazine

Sep 2009 - Dec 2009

Freelance Luxury Editor - Square Mile Magazine

Jun 2009 - Sep 2009

Staff Writer -

Jan 2009 - Jun 2009


Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) - MA - City University

Sep 2014 - Sep 2016

Law - LLB Hons - University of Warwick

Sep 2003 - Jun 2006


  • digital journalism
  • Creative
  • International Journalism
  • Journalism
  • Playwriting
  • Screenplays
  • Team Leadership
  • Team Management
  • Team Player