Saturday, 22 August 2015

You Don’t Just Emerge and Be Tim Winton

By Chloe Watson

You complete your first creative writing class and decide you have some pretty sweet ideas for stories. After your first design class you find you’re not too shabby at photoshop. By week two of classes, you decide the world is ready for you and your growing knowledge of art and literature. So you decide to make a magazine.

Luckily for you, second year proves to be a little more difficult than you expected, and you realise that a magazine will actually require effort. And luckier for you, there are already literary magazines in place that can give you a hand at getting into the wonderful world of the arts. Lucky for you there are sessions such as: Media Makers: Lit Mags, The New Breed.

Literary magazine editors BrigidMullane,  Kill Your Darlings (KYD), and Ellena Savage,  The Lifted Brow, spilled the beans to Ben Birchall on what it is like to work on, live and love their jobs and their publications. And why these are important to the emerging writer (including the first year student from above). Quotes about how the vast majority of writers begin their career in literary magazines and journals only confirmed my belief in the art and the point of the print magazine.

Print is (supposedly) a dying art form in our digital world, but there are still those who will give their hearts and souls for it. Both ladies discuss the hardships of ‘doing it without salaries’ as writers - volunteers to their art form – have always done. As Brigid states, there are ‘tears of love and lack of sleep’ at the end of an issue, but the drive to continue drives her on.

Newer lit mags such as KYD and The Brow allow editors more breadth of visions. Being younger than their more established counterparts, there is greater ground for exploration. This gives the more radical and out-there emerging artist a place for their works and offers all writers a nurturing place to hone their craft. As Brigid believes: ‘You don’t just emerge and be Tim Winton.’ You need support and you need breaks and you need magazines to take a punt on your work.

Moving beyond emerging, as an artist, is harder than ever. The Arts in Australia are in for a struggle. Funding is currently receiving a giant smack in the face, but The Lifted Brow and KYD still believe in the magic of the printed magazine. Ellena is convniced that print captures a moment in time in a way that other formats do not. Twenty years from now, writers will still be able to pull an edition of The Lifted Brow or KYD off the shelf and discover what writers and artists existed in our time now. The future needs the influence of the past. And thanks to mags like these it will continue to receive it.

Edited by Wayne Stellini



3 comments:

  1. Loved that quote about Tim Winton. And loved your review.

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  2. Sounds like I missed an interesting and inspiring session! It's also great to hear that, despite what many people may say and think, print is certainly not dead yet. Neither will it go down without a fight!

    I especially loved what you said about there 'still being those who will give their hearts and souls for [print]...as volunteers to their art form'. It is one thing to wake up one day, thinking to yourself- today is the day that I conquer the written world, become Tim Winton and then do nothing much about it. It is another thing completely, to push yourself through failures to reach success, or at least contentment, whilst being a 'volunteer' doing the thing that you love.

    It sounds like Brigid and Ellena have had their share of 'doing it tough', but have come out the other side to produce well loved print lit magazines that inspire emerging writers to keep pursuing their passion!

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  3. Sounds like I missed an interesting and inspiring session. It's great to know that despite what many people may say or think, that print is not dead! Neither will it go down without a fight!

    I especially love what you said about there still being 'those who will give their hearts and souls for [print]...as volunteers to their art form'. It is one thing to wake up one morning and say, today is the day that I will conquer the written world, become Tim Winton, and then do nothing much about it. It is another thing entirely, to wake up each morning and as a passionate 'volunteer', push yourself through the failures to reach success, or at the least, contentment in doing what you love. From the sound of it, Brigid and Ellena have done the latter- overcoming the hardships of print media.

    Not only have they created successful and much loved literary magazines, but they have done so, allowing fellow 'volunteers' and emerging writers to continue pursuing their passions- which in turn, helps to keep print alive.

    Long live print media!

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