Podcast: Literary Magazines in the Digital Age

Hi everyone,

In this mini podcast, I sit down with James Goldsworthy, co-editor of PASTEL Magazine, to talk about the process of launching a literary magazine in the digital age.

We discuss the stigma and prestige of the different forms, standing out in a saturated digital landscape, and taking advantage of digital media to reach a global audience.

James Goldsworthy is based in Queensland. He is a writer and visual artist, and the co-editor of both PASTEL and Inklings Zine.

The launch event for PASTEL is happening on the 23rd of November, at Betty’s Espresso in West End (Brisbane).

I hope you enjoy!

***

Transcript:

T: I’m here today with Mr James Goldsworthy, co-editor of PASTEL Magazine, to talk a little bit about literary magazines in the digital age.

I guess we’ll start by talking a little bit about PASTEL Magazine, and how it came about.

J: Yeah, ok. PASTEL Magazine is an all new literary journal, based across Queensland, with a mission to show-case the height of eccentric and experimental artists across print and online platforms. It’s run by myself, James Goldsworthy, and my partner in crime, Maria-Andrea Rivera. We both have a passion for the eclectic when it comes to the creative arts. It really came about after Maria and I started to spend some time around Brisbane-based creatives. What we saw was a culture of apprehension in young and emerging artists when it came to submitting work to publishing outlets.

What we discovered was that there seems to be an underlying idea that if your work doesn’t hit a kind of literary standard, then it’s of a different quality. So we wanted to start to break that down. Literary, non-literary—as far as we’re concerned, it’s all just one big melting pot.

T: PASTEL is digital at the moment, but you have plans to go into print?

J: That’s right.

T: Could you tell me a bit about the decision of starting off with digital and then moving into print? The prestige of print, if that’s something you believe in, and the stigma that comes with online journals.

J: I don’t know about a prestige or a stigma towards either, but I think there’s something to be said for any publication that’s paying homage to that traditional printing format. Perhaps it is the other way around now, in the sense that there may be a prestige on digital, and a stigma on print, purely because of the way the world’s going.

T: And if something doesn’t have a website, it’s automatically questioned.

J: Exactly, it’s cast aside, you know? I think as well, digital media complements print because, as you said, the world revolves around the internet now, and word of mouth really isn’t enough anymore to push a product. For PASTEL for example, if we hadn’t embraced digital media, we would never have made it half way across the world. We were so shocked to receive submissions from Spain and the USA, and to catch a little bit of interest. And, we’d only really been active for about two months.

T: So I guess we’ve talked a little bit about how digital media has helped emerging magazines make a name for themselves, but do you think there’s also a hindrance that comes with digital media?

J: I think the real hindrance there is when you are opened up to this landscape of other publications that are doing a similar thing than you, and it can chip away at the voice and the identity that you’re building for yourself. But I think to overcome that hindrance, you’ve just got to do what you’re doing. People are magnetised to talent; they can sniff it out. So if you’re just being yourself, and you’re pushing your own product, then through that, I think you can overcome that hindrance.

T: So best of luck with the magazine, and I’m looking forward to the debut issue.

J: Thank you. Our launch event is coming up on the 23rd of November, at Betty’s Espresso, Brisbane City, six o’clock to nine o’clock, featuring our first ever issue of PASTEL, featuring a slate of artists and poets and prose writers that have been featured on our online medias already. There are some exclusive pieces coming your way as well—we’d love to have you there.

 

Follow James and PASTEL on Twitter for regular updates, events, and submission calls.

 

[Podcast image: Coffee and magazine. Used with permission under a CC0 Creative Commons licence. Find here.]

[Intro and Outro Music: Someways by Nicolai Heidlas. Used with permission under a CC0 Creative Commons licence. Find here.]

[Sound Effect: Pages flipping. Used with permission under a CC0 Creative Commons licence. Find here.]

Someways by Nicolai Heidlas Music @nicolai-heidlas
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
creativecommons.org/licenses/
Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/gYKg7KhuRZI

 

Spinebind Issue #4 Released

Hi everyone,

Wow, it has been a busy week, but as always, totally worth it. Issue #4 of Spinebind Magazine went out into the world today, and I feel like a mother waving good-bye to her child on the first day of school. I’ve done my job, it’s now out of my hands, and if I find a spelling mistake, there’s not much I can do about it. Scary stuff.

Today has been packed with final proofreading, final final proofreading, uploading, trying to figure out why it’s not uploading, re-uploading, blogging, and emailing emailing emailing. I’ve also just finished a couple of hours of freelance writing work, and a quick Pilates session. I definitely need to make good use of this productive mood. I’m forever trying to figure out a way to make it last for longer than a day or two!

Anyway, for now I think I’m going to give myself a break with a cup of tea, away from my email inbox. Then, hopefully still in a productive mood, I’m going to sit down and write some more.

If you’re interested in purchasing a print copy of Spinebind, follow the link below:

http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1225672

If you’re a bit of a minimalist who doesn’t want any extra stuff, you can download the PDF for free here: issue-4

I hope everyone is having a great and productive day!

All the best,

Tamara

The Good Kind of Rejection Letter

Hi everyone,

I’m sure you’ve seen the news about J.K. Rowling posting her rejection letters to inspire writers to never stop submitting. It really does help to soften the blow of a rejection when you see concrete evidence of famous authors being rejected over and over again before making their big break. Today I woke up to another rejection letter in my inbox, but it actually put me in a great mood. This one, unlike countless others I’ve received before it, has just a tiny hint of hope–an undertone of validation. I’ve blanked out which journal sent it to me just for privacy, but it’s a journal that I’d be overjoyed to be published in one day. I thought I’d share my rejection with you to remind you to look at every step forward as a success, no matter how small. Here it is:

Dear Tamara Drazic,

Thank you so much for submitting to ************. We have read your work with interest, and although we are not accepting it, it did come close. We would love to see more work from you, so please feel free to resubmit during our next reading period.

Again, thanks for sending us your work. We hope to read more from you soon.

Assistant Editors

************

As writers I think it’s so hard to not sink into the everything-I-write-is-rubbish mindset, so it’s important to pick apart your rejection letters and find the positives inside them. Often you’ll just get a standard declined, but when you do get something more, hold on to it. Being rejected is just another thing you have in common with the writers you admire, after all.

Happy writing!

Yours Sincerely,

Tamara Drazic

Starting my own Literary Magazine?

Good morning/afternoon/evening!

Every year, the Christmas holidays are a time for me to read, write and submit like crazy before the new year starts up. It’s like my years start in March and end in November, and the months of December through to February are for me to catch up on all the things that I meant to do, and didn’t. These Christmas holidays I have been frantically submitting to literary magazines while searching for other writerly/editorial jobs that I could be qualified for. As you can imagine, the job hunt hasn’t been very fruitful.

Instead, somehow the internet world took me from my original search,
“junior editorial jobs Brisbane”, all the way to “starting your own literary magazine”. Ever since I was about thirteen, it has been a dream of mine to be the editor of my own magazine, but I researched myself out of trying it because of the saturated, dying market. Today I decided to stop letting money and possibility of failure stop me from trying something that could be fun and exciting. A kind of new years resolution.

So today is the first day of planning. I am going to work really hard at this and try to produce a high quality online magazine full of the things I love most – short stories, poetry, extracts of long form prose, personal essays, and one or two opinion pieces per issue.

This magazine will be aimed at new, not necessarily young, writers, and I’m going to try my hardest to pay my writers at least a very small amount to start off with. I want to show them that their work is valuable and valued, even though I won’t be able to pay market rates. I know that this will most definitely cost me money rather than make me money, but it’s a passion project and at this point I really don’t care. I’ll make money elsewhere.

This is my project for twenty sixteen, and I am so excited about it. Hopefully by next year, I’ll have a couple of issues out and can give you all an update on what I’ve learned, the mistakes I’ve made, and the fun and stressful times I’ve had. I’m diving in.

I hope that this post has motivated someone to just go ahead and try something a little crazy. It’s the new year, after all.

Thanks for reading, as always!

Tamara Drazic