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

 

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What I Read in 2015

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I recently got back from a trip to Hawaii and am staying with my parents back in Cairns over the Christmas break. Seeing as New Years is fast approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to write a list of the books I read this year, ranked from most hated to most loved.

. Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs – Hated the writing style, hated the characters, hated the glorified and blatant racism and sexism.

. Divergent, by Veronica Roth – I can totally see why this is popular, but I think I’m a little older than the target audience.

. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan – I know it’s a Man Booker Prize winner, but I just didn’t like it. Some of the descriptions screamed “I’m trying to win the Man Booker Prize!”

. Mockingjay,  by Suzanne Collins – I just wasn’t a fan of this one, although I did enjoy the first in the trilogy.

. The Odyssey, by Homer – I fully appreciate the brilliance of this, but it wasn’t exactly a page turner.

. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart – I loved parts and hated parts of this book. It was definitely suspenseful.

. A Place Called Here, by Cecilia Ahern – Really sweet story, although it was a little hard to get into and the characters were inconsistent.

. The Tempest, by William Shakespeare – Brilliantly written (obviously), but I just didn’t enjoy reading it that much.

. The Bridge to Holy Cross, by Paullina Simons – I much preferred the first book in the trilogy, but I did like the ending.

. Love, Rosie, by Cecilia Ahern – I really loved this book for some light reading.

. The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamieson – Entertaining book of essays, loosely revolving around the topic of “Empathy”.

. The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion – This book was easy to read, and I fell in love with the characters.

. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky – I think I read this in one sitting. This is the kind of YA that I like.

. The Beach, by Alex Garland – Suspenseful, different, and great settings, although for some reason it took me a long time to get through.

. The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons – This book is such a page turner – I read all 700 pages in about a day, and it made me cry a lot.

. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen – I’m surprised that I had gone so long without reading Pride and Prejudice. It definitely is a must-read.

. The Rabbit Back Literature Society, by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen  – This is probably the strangest book I have ever read, but I loved almost everything about it.

. The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway – Hemingway’s iceberg principle is so obvious in this 100 page novel about a man and a fish. I loved it and definitely want to reread it in 2016.

. Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine – The first book of prose poetry that I’ve ever read, and definitely not the last.

. Ariel, by Sylvia Plath – This book of poetry gives me goosebumps every time I open it. I’ve read it about four times this year.

. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan – This book really affected me – I had to sit quietly for a couple of hours after finishing it. It made me laugh, cry and feel completely numb all in a couple of hours.

. Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov – I don’t always know what he’s doing, but Nabokov is a genius. He has a way of making the sentences sound like music.

. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt – I’m sure this book isn’t the best written in the list, and there are definitely things about it that I don’t like, but somehow I knew after reading the first page that it would be in the top spot. This book makes you feel so left out. It makes you want to be liked by the characters and study the classics and walk around in the snow. I still think about the story all the time, even though I finished it months ago.

So that’s it, the list of books I read in 2015, rated from my least enjoyed to most enjoyed (not necessarily worst to best). I’d love to hear about your favourite books of 2015 in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Tamara Drazic