Rosie J Spinks

Freelance journalist

London, UK

Rosie J Spinks

UK/US Freelance Journalist based in London
Bylines: The Guardian, NPR, Quartz, Lucky Peach, Wall Street Journal, Fusion, The Billfold, Sierra Magazine, Slate, GOOD, Outside Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms || @rojospinks ||


Living with anxiety in the age of nonstop bad news

Like a lot of anxious people, I have a tendency to catastrophize. First, I think about all the things that could possibly go wrong. Then I leap straight to the most irrational, worst-case scenario of the options I’ve come up with. But last Friday morning, I woke up to discover that a majority of British citizens had voted to split from the European Union, the markets were crashing, the value of the pound was plummeting, and our prime minister was set to resign.
Quartz Link to Story

A London without immigrants would not be London

Whenever I fly into London’s Heathrow airport, the trip back to my flat takes me across the same slow, snaking, cross-town journey on the Piccadilly line into northeast London. Though the blue line takes me through many of London’s major landmarks and recognizable place names—South Kensington, Covent Garden, King’s Cross—it isn’t until I disembark at Finsbury Park and board the 254 bus towards Hackney that I feel like I’m really home.
Quartz Link to Story

Marie Kondo tells us to ditch joyless items but where are we sending them?

Earlier this year, Ikea’s head of sustainability said at a Guardian Sustainable Business event that consumers in the developed world had reached “peak stuff”. The success of Japanese de-cluttering icon and best-selling author Marie Kondo suggests he’s not the only one who thinks so. The praise and enthusiasm for the KonMari method, which is Kondo’s approach of only keeping items that “spark joy”, signal that attitudes in an increasingly disposable world are shifting.
The Guardian Link to Story

How YouTube and Niconico fuel online fan culture in Japan

When American vlogger Casey Neistat took home the Shorty award for YouTuber of the Year last week, he and his fellow nominees all had something in common: their channels were all based in either Europe or North America and broadcast in the English language. With the world’s tech pulse fixated firmly on the English-speaking world (and with Silicon Valley serving as the hub), it’s easy to forget that social media is a decidedly global phenomenon.
The Guardian Link to Story

The caffeine curse: why coffee shops have always signalled urban change

It’s a bright February morning at the Proud Archivist (now the Proud East), a coffee shop facing the canal just off Kingsland Road in London, and regular Matthew Green is greeting the manager as if they’re old friends. Their cheerful interaction rises above the low din of the subdued crowd, some of whom are chatting, most of whom are typing away on laptops.
The Guardian Link to Story

A UK rule aims to stop officials from prejudicing voters. The US should do the same

These are trying times for voters in the US and the UK. Stateside, Americans must contend with the rise of Donald Trump. Across the pond, British citizens are preparing to vote on whether to leave the European Union. Trump’s unlikely rise to prominence and the Brexit vote are each driven by many of the same issues—nationalism, xenophobia, and a pervasive sense of economic impotence.
Quartz Link to Story

To Date a Reader

“Where’s the London Review of Books?”. he asked the Bangladeshi shopkeeper, slightly louder than was necessary. “It’s usually over here, but I don’t see it,” He quickly clarified, lest the nosy onlookers thought this was his first time seeking out such a highbrow read. I peered over the rack full of Scandinavian design magazines to catch a glimpse of this vocal LRB reader.
Bookwitty Link to Story

What it’s like being an American ex-pat during this insane election

When you move to another country, you make certain concessions in an attempt to reduce the friction of day-to-day life in a new land. Refusing to conform to certain cultural norms would be too exhausting, so you adapt piece by piece. In England, where I live, these things include changing my pronunciation of certain words to avoid ridicule, dialing down my expectations of customer service, and accepting that wearing workout clothing when I’m not actually exercising will be always met with confusion.
Fusion Link to Story

Double Trouble: The Pain of Dual Citizen Expat Taxes

Earlier this year, I kept running into the same advertisement in the London Underground: a rotating series of posters featuring self-employed people—a chef, a builder, a landscaper—sitting in a mid-air cross-legged lotus, a blissed-out expression on their faces. The ads were for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department, the U.K.’s tax collector.
The Wall Street Journal Link to Story

Trying To Add The 'M' Word (Menstruation) To The U.N.'s New Goals

When a village doesn't have latrines, several problems predictably follow. Diseases like cholera and infectious diarrhea are rampant, thanks to the flies, water and livestock that spread bacteria from uncovered feces to humans. Another, less publicized problem has to do with women and their periods.

Long-time east Londoners on Hackney hipsters: 'They need a humour injection'

No shortage of words have been written about the changing face of east London. From blogs chronicling the dizzying number of independent coffee shops and cocktail bars to the modest internet outrage provoked by a Brick Lane cereal shop owner’s remarkable tone-deafness, gentrification is a topic that’s all abuzz.
The Guardian Link to Story

Saigon street food: 'There's no future for my son selling food this way'

On weekdays, the Trâng family starts thinking about lunch at 6am. More specifically, that’s when they begin preparing gà chiên muôi ot or “fried chicken salt chili,” the popular dish that serves as the cornerstone of the lucrative lunch service they’ve been operating in the 3rd district of Ho Chi Minh City for three decades.
The Guardian Link to Story


Rosie J Spinks

As a freelance journalist, I write about development, social enterprise, technology, gender issues, the environment, travel, cities, food, fashion, and global citizenship. My work has appeared online and in print in US & UK publications including The Guardian, NPR, Quartz, Lucky Peach, Wall Street Journal, Fusion, Slate, Sierra Magazine, The Billfold, GOOD, Outside Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms & others

Born in Los Angeles to British parents, I graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in environmental studies. Based in London, I am a nomad at heart and have lived in and reported from multiple countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Media mentions of my work include print, TV and radio coverage in The Economist, Los Angeles Magazine, Take Part Live, The Londonist, The Big Issue, and local radio stations in the US. You can find my blog at



  • Writing & reporting