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

Life as a Writer

Hello!

I don’t know if you remember me, but…

Ok, I’m just going to cut to it. I’m sorry I’ve been gone for a month. I have been so incredibly busy with my last semester at university. I have around four half-finished draft blog posts that I just haven’t gotten around to finishing, but I promise they will be out soon. Anyway, this is a blog about writing and the writer’s life, so here are a few things that I’ve been up to:

  1. Writing (obviously) — I am working on a novel (or maybe novella, not sure, post coming soon), that I am going to be graded on for my final semester studying creative writing at uni. I have two subjects that I’m using this project for, so all up I’ll need to reach the 16 000 word mark. It seems attainable enough, except that I keep deleting blocks of 1000 words at a time in bursts of frustration. Maybe I should break my delete button.
  2. Critiquing other writers — When I’m not writing or doing readings, I’m doing critiques on my peers’ writing. This is actually super helpful, and I learn so much from everyone else.
  3. Freelancing — I’ve just finished a freelance editing job. I really enjoyed doing it, and I earned some money (which is a rare thing to come by)!
  4. Reading — If you ever feel stuck with your WIP, I highly recommend “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. It really helps to take away the looming cloud above the terrifying experience that is writing a novel.
  5. Working on Spinebind — In case you’re new here, Spinebind is a literary magazine that I created at the start of this year. Submissions for the third issue close in four days, so I have a lot of tricky decisions ahead of me. Still loving every minute of it.

What are you all up to? How is the writing life treating you?

Thank you so much for reading,

Tamara

Update – Issue #2 of Spinebind – Ideas

Hi everybody,

I hope you’re all doing well. I am up in Cairns visiting family, and am finally getting some much-needed down time. For any of my new readers out there, I’m the editor of a literary magazine called Spinebind. Up until a few days ago, my time was all being put towards the magazine and getting the second issue ready. I am so happy with how it turned out. The response to the second issue has been great so far, and it’s so nice to see that people are enjoying the work inside.  You can read all about the magazine here!

My own writing has been slowing down a bit lately. I know all of you writers out there understand the feeling of finally having time to work and then not getting anything out on the page. It’s as if all my ideas come along when I’m meant to be focusing on other things, and disappear with the rest of my worries as soon as I have time to dedicate to my creative projects. It’s during times like these that I stress myself out about my future. It’s silly, really, because I know from experience that the flow of ideas always starts back up again. But until that happens, I just keep reading over what I already have and edit, delete, edit, delete.

I do think I need to remember to allow myself a little bit of down time that doesn’t involve writing. That’s why I’m trying not to feel guilty about this past week. But I also think I need to get better at just writing through the uninspired times, otherwise I’ll never finish anything. I’ve been listening to music by Kodaline and The Apache Relay on repeat – their music always seems to inspire my writing – so we’ll see how it goes from here.

I hope you are having a great day,

Tamara

Quick Update – WIP – Twitter – Spinebind

Hi guys,

Just a quick update – today I reached the 10 thousand word mark on my current work-in-progress once again. I keep deleting thousands of words and then getting back to 10 thousand, and then deleting and then writing, but I think I may finally be over the hump. I’m excited to leave the beginning alone for a while now and just keep moving forward.

Also, I decided to go through my old Twitter account, and it was a painful experience. All the tweets were from when I was around 15 years old; they made me feel physically sick. Anyway, I’m happy to finally have a clean slate where I can focus on my writing, my blog, and on Spinebind. If you want to get even quicker updates than this, follow me at Tamara Drazic, @drazicdiaries.

The second issue of Spinebind is well underway, and I’m currently in the exceedingly difficult process of deciding on which pieces to publish. I received even more submissions this time around, which is crazy to me. Fortunately, a lot of them are quite short so I may be able to fit in more writers. There are just too many great submissions to choose from, and I’m having the most amazing time reading them. I’m maybe having a little too much fun with it, considering it is the final week of university for the semester, and my assignments are piling on top of each other.

I hope you are all having a fabulous day,

Yours truly,

Tamara

Marketing Tips for Literary Journals – Part I

This blog has so many amazing tips!

Journey of a Literary Journal

I know I’m jumping the gun here, but I just love this stuff. At some point we’ll actually have a product to promote, but until then here are some marketing tips for those who have journals out there already. And for our group, let’s start thinking about creating a “marketing team” in addition to the standard teams of readers, genre editors, & production staff.

I’m halfway through my note-taking of the interviews I’ve conducted in the past 2 months, so this is just Part I of a compilation of promotional advice from various editors. If you enjoy this stuff like I do, and/or have some marketing tips of your own to add, please “Leave a Response”! 

  • Develop a clean, sophisticated design for your site – this will announce the value of your enterprise more than anything else
  • The best marketing technique is simply to publish excellence from a variety of…

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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

 

Good News – Getting Published

Hi everyone,

Today is a really exciting day for me, for two reasons. One, it’s my last day in Brisbane before heading off to Honolulu for two weeks (you can read about the trip on my lifestyle blog, https://tamarajoydrazic.wordpress.com/ ); and two, because I just found out that one of my poems has been picked up by a literary magazine. I can’t wait for the issue to come out around mid-December so that I can share it with you! The magazine is called Grouch Publishing, and it’s a young, online magazine based in Melbourne.

I love all of the stories and poems in the past issues, and I feel so lucky to be featured in the next issue. I haven’t yet published any of my creative work, so this is new to me. I’ve forced myself to stop rereading and picking at it. Now that it’s going to be out there, I need to accept that it’s actually finished. As a copywriter, my name was never put on any of the work I published, so seeing my name in the magazine is going to be a pretty big moment.

As you may have read in my post about dealing with rejection, I have submitted countless pieces of work, and up until today, they had all been rejected. If you are a writer that’s just starting out, please don’t get discouraged. You never know when your piece just fits.

Thank you so much for reading, and for supporting me along the way.

– Tamara Drazic