As part of my MA in Writing, Nature and Place, I had to do a publishing module. My fellow course mates and I edited, designed, typeset and distributed a literary magazine called Peninsula (you can read the magazine online). I absolutely loved the experience – contacting possible contributors, editing the submissions, the frenzied editorial meetings, and holding the final product in my hands.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to start my own literary magazine. Mostly I’ve been too busy or focusing my energy on other projects. But now that I have a bit of time on my hands, I’ve started seriously thinking about it again.
The idea is still in the very early stages, but at the moment I’m fairly certain that I want my magazine to be about urban nature. I’m debating including poetry and fiction, but as a reader I’m mostly interested in non-fiction and I feel better qualified to judge it as an editor. What’s more, there seem to be plenty of fiction and poetry journals out there already, so I’d like to give non-fiction writers a chance too. I’m hoping this focus will fill a niche – whether anyone is interested in that niche remains to be seen!
There’s still a long way to go. Obviously a big first step is coming up with a name, which is not my forte (my boyfriend came up with the name for this blog). I want a name that speaks to both the nature and the urban element. Ideas I’ve come up with so far include: Red Robin, Hedgerow, Writing the City, and Dandelion – none of which I like. I also need to find some lovely, urban nature obsessed types to get on board because I’m fairly certain I can’t do it all on my own.
There are a lot of details to figure out too. I don’t believe in not paying contributors, but that means figuring out a source of money. Do I charge people to submit? Do I charge for the magazine? How often will it be published? Should it be online, in print, both or a downloadable pdf? Will anyone even read it!?
I also have a very limited idea of how to make a website or how to typeset, so there’s definitely a lot to learn!
I’ll be blogging about the process as I go along. I hope making it public will help to motivate me and of course any thoughts, tips, contributions, or discouragement from this blog’s readers are most welcome.