Friday, 14 March 2014

CBe: next

After CBe’s lie-down this spring – that, at least, is the plan, and a space has been cleared for this by my having taking on no new titles beyond the four new ones just published – I may well be at a loose end. Except that there’s an itch that won’t go away, and I keep scratching it.

A magazine. I know the title, I know the overall look of the thing. Prose, poetry. But not, as in almost all current poetry magazines, a poem by X followed by another by Y and maybe two by Z. Sequences, series, long poems: at least, say, 10 pages per contributor. Prose (fiction, non-fiction, and all stops between) of up to, say, 7,500 words – which might comprise a single piece, or a series of short pieces, or an extract from a longer work in progress. (Any of which CBe might, or might not, take forward to book publication.) Probably no more than half a dozen contributors per issue. Probably no more than two issues per year (I can’t imagine finding enough material I feel strongly about for more than that). Reviews, no. A single initial print run for each each issue, and no faffing with reprints. Print-based, but an online/ebook presence. Quality printing, and payment for the contributors (and for rights for work in translation).

Funding, ah. I’m reluctant to knock again at the door of the Arts Council, having been turned away three times and having thereby built up a kind of perverse pride in CBe having made it through six years without any external funding. Crowd-funding: I’ve heard of both good and bad experiences. So part-funding through taking advertising is what I’m thinking of – probably not from other like-minded presses, which have no budget for this; possibly from university creative writing departments; ideally from outside the box: wine, food, shoes.

Suggestions, comments, welcome, here or to info@cbeditions.com. Especially if they’re about conjuring a bit of money out of nothing. A bit of collaboration – cohabiting with a university, sponsorship from Glenmorangie – would be good for me.

7 comments:

Sian said...

That sounds wonderful - but not like much of a lie-down!

Anonymous said...

..you could try Prada...last year they ran a global literary sh story comp...& even sent the losers such as moi a magnificent book weighing about half a ton...a prize in itself ..their courtesy & finesse at all stages was impressive...so you might find they might take an interest in a lit endeavour like your magazine...and it would be outside the box....

Anonymous said...

How much do you need? (Sorry, not offering, just rudely curious!)

charles said...

That - "how much?" - is a good question. Editing, design, typesetting, etc, provided free (as with the CBe books); and given a fair wind blowing in the right direction, sales income will cover printing costs. But I'm reluctant to set sail without enough in the kitty to pay contributors (and, ideally, for a launch party/publicity). £1,000, say. More if I'm greedy.

Tom Raymond said...

Do contributors need to be paid initially? Might they not be prepared to show faith in a new venture? Or is that naive of me?

charles said...

Not naive. I know of at least one high-profile magazine that doesn't pay contributors, despite having funding. But yes, they should be paid.

Tom Raymond said...

I know nothing about this stuff. But I wonder if you couldn't make payment kind of profit-related. Contributors show faith; you grow; you pay. No? Like I said, I'm completely in the dark. But I confess I do like the all-shoulders-to-the-wheel aspect of this idea. That notion of literature as a collective venture. Doesn't happen often, right?