Andrea Warner is a freelance writer and the author of Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography and We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the ’90s and Changed Canadian Music. She’s the co-writer and associate producer of the 2022 documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On, and co-hosts the weekly feminist pop culture podcast Pop This! Andrea is a settler who was born and raised in Vancouver on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
How did you get to where you are today, professionally?
I started by writing poetry and then YA novels when I was a kid. My creative writing portfolio helped get me into university but I signed up for some professional writing classes by mistake. I was a huge fan of entertainment journalism (Soap Opera Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, Premiere Magazine, etc.) and due to family stuff, I had to think about a job where I could get paid. At the time, journalism seemed more practical than being a novelist or a poet.
I left university for a two-year journalism program and between first and second year, I actually interned at Soap Opera Weekly. I learned a tremendous amount about interviewing (mostly transcribing endlessly) and I published my first paid pieces with Soap Opera Weekly. I was even the horoscopes columnist for a few years. After graduating, I started my own feminist arts & culture magazine with some friends. We published five issues over two years and it went bust. I ended up working at a variety of office jobs but every single time I would start some kind of in-house magazine or create some kind of writing project. In 2007, I realized that I owed it to myself to at least try and make it as a freelancer.