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Society & Culture

Stack Magazines

Updated 2 months ago

Society & Culture
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Conversations with independent publishers, telling the stories behind the stories in some of our favourite magazines.

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Conversations with independent publishers, telling the stories behind the stories in some of our favourite magazines.

iTunes Ratings

6 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
2
0
0

iTunes Ratings

6 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
2
0
0
Cover image of Stack Magazines

Stack Magazines

Latest release on Aug 07, 2020

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Conversations with independent publishers, telling the stories behind the stories in some of our favourite magazines.

Rank #1: How to make an independent magazine

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"Don't do everything yourself – that's mad..." Recorded live at The Book Club in London on Tuesday 22 January, this extra-long episode focuses on some of the most common challenges encountered when publishing an independent magazine. Divided loosely into four sections that focus on funding, commissioning, production and distribution, followed by an audience Q&A, we devote an hour and a half to understanding the first-hand experiences of independent magazine makers. Our expert panel features Caspian Whistler, creative director and editor-in-chief of A Profound Waste of Time; Elisabeth Krohn, editor of Sabat, editorial advisor to Suspira, and co-founder of Dreadful Press; and Helen Jennings, editorial director of Nataal. And as always with independent publishing, you can expect open and honest conversation from people happy to share their expertise.

This podcast is supported by Park Communications – tap into their printing expertise at https://www.parkcom.co.uk/

Jan 25 2019

1hr 37mins

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Rank #2: How to launch an independent magazine – top tips from a new book

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"People will give you a million hearts on Instagram, but they might not buy your magazine..." Conor Purcell has been making magazines for a long time. He's spent the last 13 years working on both corporate jobs and his own independent projects, making mistakes and learning along the way, and now he's pooled all that experience in a new book: The Magazine Blueprint. Except he hasn't only written about his own adventures – he's spoken to more than 50 editors, art directors, publishers and magazine sellers to create a comprehensive guide to independent publishing. He dropped in at Somerset House this week to speak about the making of the book, why it all takes so long to go from the idea to the finished printed object, and why he's still learning as he goes.

Jun 08 2018

26mins

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Rank #3: Strong Words takes an unpretentious look at books

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"The London Review of Books can be quite a daunting experience." Ed Needham loves books. And he also knows a thing or two about making magazines; he was the editor of FHM in its late 90s heyday, and he went on to edit FHM in the USA, then Rolling Stone and Maxim. But his latest editorial position is altogether more humble – Strong Words is a new magazine that takes a fresh and unpretentious look at books, and Ed is its editor, publisher, marketing manager and van driver.

He dropped into the Stack office to speak about his new publishing project, the ways in which it has changed since it started earlier this year, and how he plans to develop it over the coming months. As is often the case with independent publishers who find they have to do everything themselves, Ed is open about the things he finds most difficult, and excited by the opportunity to tweak all aspects of the magazine as he goes. There will be lots of magazine makers who feel very familiar with his struggles over marketing, distribution and production...

Sep 21 2018

25mins

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Rank #4: Episode 42: Ryan Fitzgibbon, Hello Mr magazine

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"The devastation of the shooting at Pulse nightclub was one of the biggest markers that shifted the intention of my work, and made me question why I was doing it." Ryan Fitzgibbon, editor-in-chief of Hello Mr, on the shock that led to the relaunch of his magazine for gay men, as well as a new publishing project that aims to empower new voices from across the LGBT community.

Sep 01 2017

21mins

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Rank #5: A more accessible view of art in Swim magazine

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"We're just a big group of friends who make a magazine together..." Daniel Milroy Maher is the editor of Swim, the art and photography magazine that takes a refreshingly unpretentious approach to the work on its pages. As Daniel explains in this episode, the magazine was initially intended as a way to showcase the work of friends, and while it has grown since then and now also includes some really big names, it’s managed to keep that same feeling of easy accessibility.

Jan 31 2020

24mins

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Rank #6: Episode 64: Tbilisi – Archive of Transition

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"Making a magazine is the best way to get to know a country." Froh! is a magazine and media NGO based in Cologne, and they've built a reputation for telling fascinating, unexpected stories from places like Armenia, Moldova and Lithuania. Their latest project is a book called Tbilisi – Archive of Transition, launching now on Kickstarter and based on three years spent working with locals and archives in Georgia's capital. In this episode, three of the team explain why they're drawn to these places, and why the rest of Europe could learn from them.

Mar 16 2018

17mins

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Rank #7: Pickles and humanity in Club Sandwich magazine

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"People actually read magazines!" Anna Broujean is the editor and art director of Club Sandwich, the Paris-based title that uses food as an absurd and accessible way into exploring anthropology, sociology, psychology and other social sciences. The first two issues were published in French, but issue three, dedicated to the humble pickle, features both French and English. In this conversation Anna speaks about the ideas behind her eccentric magazine, the reason why they decided to add English, and why she has been pleasantly surprised by the results.

Sep 13 2019

25mins

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Rank #8: Sixty years of revolutionary magazine covers

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"They defied taboos, they attacked conventions... they caught a moment in time." Ian Birch is the author of Uncovered: Revolutionary Magazine Covers, an aural history of magazine cover design from 1958 to 2016. He spent his entire career in magazine publishing, working on the launches of titles including Grazia, Red, Heat and Closer, and in this conversation he draws on his decades of experience to chart the ways in which magazines have changed over the last 60 years. Beginning with One, the magazine for gay men published in 1958, and running right up to the relaunch of Esquire earlier this year, he considers the art and conventions of cover design, as well as the shifting role of the printed magazine in wider culture.

Mar 29 2019

41mins

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Rank #9: Episode 56: James Guerin, Berlin Quarterly

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"I have an urge to make things that stay in the world." James Guerin is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Berlin Quarterly, the literary and arts magazine that considers the cultural world as seen from Germany's capital. In this episode he reveals his motivations for making the magazine, the vintage magazines that still inspire him and his own desire to leave a lasting impression in print.

Jan 12 2018

24mins

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Rank #10: Episode 54: Thomas Sumner, The Essential Journal

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"It was three of us in a white van." Thomas Sumner is the creative director of The Essential Journal, the men's fashion and lifestyle title based in Liverpool. Now distributing 50,000 copies every month across Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and London, and working with high end advertisers like Rolex and Jaguar, he reflects on the title's rapid growth, its editorial ethos and the opportunities that lay ahead.

Dec 08 2017

21mins

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Rank #11: Conservation meets beauty in Bumble magazine

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"We're not National Geographic..." Josef Shaw is editor and designer of Bumble, the magazine that raises awareness of the plant and animal species that are currently under threat, and offers simple, practical things that readers can do to help. It was started last year by Josef and editor-in-chief Rachel Nellist, and in this episode he tells the story of how they funded that first issue, how they’ve managed to make it self-sustaining since then, and how they started out aiming at younger readers, but found that they have a broader readership than they expected.

Oct 18 2019

20mins

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Rank #12: Weakness and strength in Where is the Cool? magazine

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“From weakness you make something strong...” Laurent Laporte is editor and founder of Where is the Cool?, the French magazine that presents readers with an eclectic and totally original selection of things that it has decreed are cool. In this conversation he shares his thoughts on turning weakness into strength (he’s not a journalist, which is why you won’t find long written articles in the magazine); the ongoing struggle of independent publishing; and why this thing absolutely has to be a print magazine.

Jul 05 2019

27mins

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Rank #13: Accidents and alchemy creating The Gentlewoman's covers

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"It's not entirely a surprise, but it's a delightful provocation..." Penny Martin is the editor of The Gentlewoman, the phenomenally successful magazine that fills its pages with fascinating women and discerning fashion, all presented with a wry smile that sets it apart from the rest of the newsstand. Renowned for its iconic covers that have featured a wide range of stars including Angela Lansbury, Beyoncé and Simone Biles, it rejects standard tools like cover lines and garish colours, instead using characterful portrait photography and subtle design touches to create an impact. In this conversation Penny speaks about the slow-burn process of choosing their cover stars, the trust they place in their collaborators, and the way she knows that they've got a cover right. ("A magazine cover works for us if I end up shrieking with laughter every time I see it.")

Mar 01 2019

19mins

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Rank #14: Art and architecture meet on the pages of Too Much magazine

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"Design cannot make a boring magazine interesting..." Audrey Fondecave is one of the editors of Too Much, the Japanese magazine that mixes art and architecture to create a poetic understanding of the spaces we inhabit. They call the resulting hybrid 'romantic geography', and each issue is exhaustively researched, drawing upon a wide pool of expert contributors to ensure that the ambitious editorial is as authoritative and provocative as possible. In this conversation, Audrey speaks about their process for creating the magazine, why it absolutely needs to exist as a physical object, and why she doesn't want it to last forever.

Mar 22 2019

17mins

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Rank #15: Episode 53: Christoph Amend, Zeit Magazin

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"I'm always waiting for the surprise." Christoph Amend is the editor-in-chief of Germany's Zeit Magazin, the magazine distributed with news weekly Die Zeit. In this conversation he speaks about his earliest experience of writing articles, how his first professional magazine jobs taught him that creativity and profitability must go hand in hand, and why it's important for him as an editor to keep on writing.

Dec 01 2017

26mins

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Rank #16: Understanding Isis: Magnum Photos dives into the archives to produce a fresh view of Isis

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"There's still a desire for long-form photo essays." Francesca Sears is Director of Special Projects at Magnum Photos, and in this episode she explains why the legendary picture agency decided to publish its first ever newspaper. Drawing upon the Magnum archives, A Brief Visual History in the Time of Isis takes a long view of history to tell a fresh story about how the group has managed to draw so much attention to itself, and challenges the image that Isis has so carefully created.

May 11 2018

22mins

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Rank #17: Record Culture magazine lauds vinyl in print

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"I see the appeal in holding something..." Karl Henkell is editor-in-chief of Record Culture, the magazine that visits vinyl lovers in their homes and studios. Long interviews give them the space to talk about their passion, and they're photographed surrounded by piles of vinyl, giving a lovely intimate picture of who they are and what music they listen to. In this conversation Karl talks about his first impulse to create a print magazine, his pursuit of the perfect interview, and how he's working to put Record Culture in front of the right readers.

Oct 11 2019

35mins

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Rank #18: Stack Awards 2017

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Hear all the judges' comments and winners' acceptance speeches from this year's Stack Awards, recorded live at The Queen of Hoxton on Monday 20 November 2017.

Nov 24 2017

1hr 9mins

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Rank #19: An addiction to publishing in Gym Class magazine

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"It's totally out of my comfort zone, but I'm 100% okay with that..." Steven Gregor is the editor and publisher of Gym Class, the magazine that has evolved over the last 10 years to become the magazine-maker's magazine. He published the last issue in 2016 as a fond farewell to print, explaining that he couldn't afford to keep on losing money on his passion project. But the start of 2019 saw the return of Gym Class, again taking magazines as its core subject matter, but with some major changes that have pushed Steven and his project on into ambitious new territory. In this episode he speaks about the excitement that brought him back to publishing, the challenge (and rewards) of handing over creative direction to somebody else, and the magpie-like approach to publishing that has helped to make this latest iteration financially viable. We delivered this magazine to Stack subscribers in January 2019, but if you weren't on the mailing list you can head over to the Stack shop to pick up a copy for yourself: https://www.stackmagazines.com/product/gym-class-magazine-volume-2-issue-1/

Feb 15 2019

26mins

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Rank #20: A feast of editorial design in Eye magazine

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"We approach special issues with trepidation..." John L Walters and Simon Esterson are the editor and art director of Eye magazine, the international review of graphic design. Their latest issue is the second in a two-part special focusing on magazine design, and it's their biggest issue ever, packed with fascinating interviews and comment covering both the mainstream and independent worlds (and the places where those two realms intersect).

It's a massive undertaking, so it's not surprising that this double issue has been bubbling away for a number of years before finally emerging onto the newsstand, and I loved hearing the stories behind the stories straight from John and Simon. As I write this we currently have copies of this latest issue available to buy from the Stack shop, so do head over there to pick one up for yourself...

https://www.stackmagazines.com/shop/

Dec 14 2018

28mins

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Publishing as art in Pfeil magazine

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"We thought we'd make a printed exhibition in the format of a magazine..." Anja Dietmann and Max Predinger are two of the people behind Pfeil, the Hamburg-based art magazine that we delivered to Stack subscribers in June this year. This isn’t a magazine about art – the magazine itself is conceived as an artwork and they’re absolutely committed to each issue’s artistic concept, which leads them to do some slightly crazy things with it.

Aug 07 2020

22mins

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A love letter to print (and Portland) in Joon magazine

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Bijan Berahimi is the founder and editor of Joon, which he describes as a sort of love letter to Portland. Bijan runs Fisk design studio and gallery in Portland and the magazine is a collaboration between Fisk and Brown Printing, one of the city’s main printing companies, and you can clearly see that they’re using the project to show off the stuff they can do. It’s an absolutely gorgeous piece of print, with lovely bright colours, loads of different paper types, glosses, foils and finishes, but it’s also a really readable magazine with a lovely warm feeling of community and some genuinely surprising storytelling.

Jul 23 2020

26mins

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Travelling the USA with Fifty Grande

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"It's a grind. You have to get out there and do it..." Chris M Walsh is founder and editor of Fifty Grande, the travel magazine that goes deep to uncover the real USA. Chris is an experienced editor, having spent time at Billboard and Zagat, and now he’s drawing on the lessons he learned from those big, corporate publishers, while also improvising and getting his hands dirty with the scrappy business of small independent publishing.

Jul 17 2020

24mins

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"Illustration therapy" in Aww magazine

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Andrea Leung is one of the team behind Aww, the magazine that mixes animals and illustration to create a little bundle of happiness and creativity. Aww is published in Hong Kong, and I spoke to Andrea a few weeks ago, before the changes in the law and the increased Chinese government control, but in our conversation Andrea makes it clear that the magazine is intended as an escape from Hong Kong's politics, and from the many other difficulties people are currently facing around the world, and instead focuses on providing readers with some animal-based "illustration therapy".

Jul 10 2020

16mins

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Ambiguity and Balkan identity in This is Badland

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"It has this ambiguous position of being geographically inside but ideologically outside..." Nina Vukelić and Rafaela Kaćunić are the founders and editors of This is Badland, the magazine that presents “The other Balkan”. The question of Balkan identity has been central to the entire project right from the start, but this fourth issue is themed “Are we home?” presented as a question that allows them to dive deep into ideas around nationalism, nostalgia, power and politics. But of course they do all that along with brilliantly bizarre photo shoots, playful, provocative stories and amazingly characterful and disruptive typography.

Jul 03 2020

24mins

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From fuzzy to slick with Feeeels magazine

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"We wear all the hats..." Feeeels is one of the most impressive new magazine launches I've seen so far this year. Made by a core team of four graphic designers who met on the graduate programme at Rhode Island School of Design, each issue is themed around a different tactile adjective, with contributors using the touchy, feely, human messiness of real stuff as inspiration for a fresh consideration of the world. In this episode Lauren Traugott-Campbell, Sarah Mohammadi, Angela Lorenzo and Drew Litowitz explain why they started by investigating the idea of 'fuzzy', what they learned from making that first issue, and why they've decided that issue two is going to be the 'slick' one.

Jun 26 2020

21mins

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Beirut-based Journal Safar is beating the odds

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"We keep going. We keep publishing. We keep speaking..." Maya Moumne and Hatem Imam are editors and creative directors of Safar, the visual culture magazine that’s based in Beirut, and which we delivered to Stack subscribers last month, May 2020. It’s a totally fascinating magazine, because while it begins from visual culture and design, it pushes out far beyond that to tackle big, difficult stories based in politics and social justice, with a particular focus on Lebanon and the wider Arab world. In this episode they speak about their motivations in making this magazine, and also about the particularly difficult conditions they’ve had to endure: the political upheaval that started with last year’s October Revolution, the economic disaster that has accompanied it, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to an extremely harsh lockdown across Lebanon.

Jun 19 2020

24mins

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The Modernist is making the world a better place

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"If you were running a successful magazine, why would you write about tripe or bins?" Eddy Rhead is one of the editors of The Modernist, the magazine we delivered to our subscribers last month, April 2020. Featuring a bin on the cover and including stories on bus shelters, concrete and the vagaries of 1950s planning permission, it makes for a decidedly strange read. But it's also beautiful and enlightening and unexpectedly idealistic: "There's a paucity of ambition in today's society," Eddy says. "There isn't that ambition to make the world a better place – modernism didn't always get it right, but that's what they were aiming for."

May 15 2020

34mins

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Exploring the erotic with Extra Extra magazine

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"At the moment it's more difficult to be daring..." Samira Ben Laloua is founder and publisher of Extra Extra, the erotic arts magazine that presents what it calls the “mundane and sensual city life”. The contemporary urban experience is right at the heart of this magazine, and coronavirus means that experience is more disrupted now than most people can remember, so I was interested to hear what they’re doing to adapt and cope with the restrictions.

May 01 2020

22mins

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Reporting on Europe in crisis

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"Journalism is in crisis and Europe is in crisis..." Kyrill Hartog is editor-in-chief of Are We Europe, the print magazine and digital platform that was launched in 2017 out of the chaos surrounding Brexit. It exists to tell stories about Europe in a non-divisive and constructive way, and since it’s a magazine that was born out of crisis, I wanted to speak with Kyrill to find out what they’re doing in the face of coronavirus, a new type of crisis that is affecting independent magazine makers around the world in totally new ways.

Apr 17 2020

28mins

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Analogue freedom in Sofa magazine

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"You can have way more fun in print..." Ricarda Messner is one of the editors of Sofa, the Berlin-based magazine that dedicates itself to exploring themes like teenagers, cyber love, masculinity, and most recently play. We delivered their play issue to Stack subscribers this month, March 2020, and Ricarda dropped in at the Stack office a few weeks ago to speak about making "a print magazine that feels like the good old days of the internet."

Mar 28 2020

25mins

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Experimental literature that's actually good

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"Somehow all our eclectic tastes combine and we get this glorious mess..." Dzenana Vucic is one of the volunteer editors behind The Lifted Brow, the literary magazine that styles itself as “a quarterly attack journal from Australia and the world”. Providing a platform for underrepresented voices, they do a great job of tapping talent that might otherwise be overlooked, uncovering experimental forms of literature and producing brilliantly exciting work. In this conversation she speaks about how the team make that happen, the pressures they face as a group of volunteers working without pay, and the many ways in which the Brow is growing beyond the magazine itself.

Mar 20 2020

22mins

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Soft Punk is "prying sense from our strange present"

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"We may not make it, but if we don't we'll go up in flames..." Jacob Barnes is editor-in-chief of Soft Punk, a new literary and arts magazine that’s working hard to tell stories you won’t come across elsewhere. Jacob and most of the team are navigating the move from university into work, and it seems like almost by accident they’ve found themselves creating this magazine as a way of showcasing the sort of stories they love. But there’s also something more deliberate and ambitious going on; they’re also committing themselves to a demanding quarterly publishing schedule, and engaging with the sort of serious work that can make a lasting impression on readers – at least it did for me.

Mar 13 2020

26mins

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Bridging Britain's divides in Between Borders magazine

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"Why can't we talk about identity in a way that brings people together rather than divides us?" Luc Hinson is the editor and co-founder of Between Borders, the new magazine that aims to straddle some of the dislocations that are currently dividing Britain. The project began in 2017 and was inspired in large part by the fallout from the Brexit vote, and after publishing online for a couple of years and gradually figuring out their editorial voice, they’ve released their first print issue, themed around transit, a familiar subject they use as a way of uniting very different people from very different backgrounds.

Mar 06 2020

22mins

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Nurturing sustainable fashion in The Lissome

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"We take a very deep and holistic view..." Dörte de Jesus is the editor and founder of The Lissome, a sustainable fashion magazine based in Berlin. She became fascinated by the fashion industry while working at Elle Germany, and although she quickly became disillusioned by the wastefulness of fast fashion, she says she felt inspired to champion the people and companies working at the forefront of more sustainable making. In this conversation she tells the story of how she started publishing online, before moving into print while making some major changes in her personal life along the way.

Feb 28 2020

22mins

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Publishing for social good in The New Issue

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"We believe these stories deserve to be told..." George Wright is the driving force behind The New Issue, a new print magazine published here in the UK by Big Issue North. The Big Issue helps homeless people by recruiting street vendors to sell copies at a profit, which the vendor then keeps, and The New Issue is dedicated to helping the same people but via a different route. It’s intended as a slower, longer read; it’s more expensive with higher production values; and its quarterly publishing schedule allows the team more time to find and develop the stories they want to tell. In this conversation George speaks about the motivation behind the new magazine, and how they're reaching readers without selling on the streets.

Feb 21 2020

26mins

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Punk publishing rips up the rules in Rotten magazine

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"Obviously it was just me in my bedroom..." Joel Seawright is the man behind Rotten, an extraordinary magazine that reveals and comments on the process of magazine making. Joel left school aged 15 and struggled to find work without any qualifications, but he knew he loved photobooks and started playing around with the idea of making a magazine as a way of working with the photographers he admired. He had no experience of publishing; he felt like he didn’t have a voice; and moreover he felt like he needed to prove himself to his dad and show what he could do. The result is a magazine unlike anything else I’ve seen – scrappy and handmade, funny and opinionated, it’s intensely personal but also intended as a general demonstration that these days virtually anyone can make a magazine.

Feb 14 2020

24mins

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Able Zine is smashing disability stereotypes

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"There are lots of horrible assumptions and stereotypes around disability and I just wanted to smash them all to pieces..." Claudia Walder is the editor of Able, the magazine that provides a platform for people with a wide spectrum of disabilities and chronic illnesses. She was diagnosed with ME when she was just 23 years old, and in this episode she speaks about the frustration and shame she felt at having to stop work and become "a disabled person", and also the revelation that made her want to turn that around and create a bold, confident magazine that communicates a wide range of disabled people’s experiences.

Feb 06 2020

29mins

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A more accessible view of art in Swim magazine

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"We're just a big group of friends who make a magazine together..." Daniel Milroy Maher is the editor of Swim, the art and photography magazine that takes a refreshingly unpretentious approach to the work on its pages. As Daniel explains in this episode, the magazine was initially intended as a way to showcase the work of friends, and while it has grown since then and now also includes some really big names, it’s managed to keep that same feeling of easy accessibility.

Jan 31 2020

24mins

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Art and environmentalism in Where the Leaves Fall

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"I've never found anything interesting to read about soil..." David Reeve and Luciane Pisani are the editors and art director of Where the Leaves Fall, a magazine that focuses on our contemporary relationship with nature. It’s the sort of subject that can easily feel overwhelming, but they explain that they’re on a mission to tell stories about sustainability and the natural world that feel human, and which ultimately inspire readers to take positive action. They’re also keen that their magazine should help give a platform to voices that aren’t normally heard, and so they search far and wide, looking particularly to the global south for local stories about these global environmental issues.

Jan 24 2020

26mins

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iTunes Ratings

6 Ratings
Average Ratings
4
0
2
0
0