Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 25, 2011.

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The new city journal revitalizing literary LA with its devotion to narrative journalism, fiction, poetry, photography and art.

Slake: Los Angeles is a new kind of city publication that is quickly becoming known nationwide for the quality of its writing, design, editing, art and photography. We publish Slake in book form to give readers a collectible, physical alternative to the glut of instant-reaction journalism and unfiltered opinion on the web and in budget-strained newspapers and magazines. We are devoted to the endangered art of deeply reported narrative journalism, literary essay, memoir, interviews, fiction, poetry, art, and photography with a sense of place. That place is Los Angeles, but our writers travel the country and the world with an Angeleno perspective. Our goal is to create a next-generation template for print and, soon, a daily website with narrative at the core of its coverage. 

Click here for another video that explains a bit more of our story or scan our media kit.

To read selected stories and excerpts from previous Slake issues, check our website at slake.la.

Are you nuts to start a print publication in this economy?

Well, yes. But we seem to be on to something. Each of our first three issues has made the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. Our first issue was the No. 1 bestseller in all categories for 2010 at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park and the No. 4 bestselling nonfiction book in all of 2010 at L.A.'s Skylight Books. Our third issue is currently the No. 3 bestselling book so far at Skylight's 2011 in-store events and we've made the monthly bestseller lists at most Los Angeles independent bookstores. Recently, we acquired newsstand distribution at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide. We have nearly 400 subscribers to date, and we're building community—our packed readings and events are helping to revitalize Los Angeles' literary community.

To read and hear what people have been saying about us, check out these links to some of the stories and radio pieces that have been done on Slake

"On the Media: Slake Jumps Right In," by James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, July 7, 2010.

"The Story Behind the Stories: LA's newest literary voice comes home to Pasadena," by Joe Piasecki, Pasadena Weekly, August 5, 2010.

Interview with Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly, The Marketplace of Ideas podcast by Colin Marshall, November 12, 2011.

"Slake: The Literary Journal That Understands L.A.," by Alissa Walker, Good, January 21, 2011.

Reviving the Corpse of the L.A. Lit Scene: Q&A With Slake's Joe Donnelly, by Antonia Crane, ZYZZYVA, September 16, 2011. 

Radio Interview with Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly, by Gail Eichenthal, KUSC's Arts Alive, July 3, 2010.

Slake—New "Slow Lit" Quarterly—Hits Newsstands, Hits Home, by John Rabe, KPCC's Off Ramp, August 7, 2010.

Sounds great, so why do you need Kickstarter and what will you do with the money?

We are deep into the editing and design process for our fourth installment of Slake—we're calling it the Dirt Issue. That means everything from a narrative investigation into how Los Angeles County dumps its sediment to stories of sex and dirty secrets of all kinds, plus interviews with New Yorker writer and L.A. native William Finnegan as well as painter Walton Ford on Hollywood legend King Kong. To get all of these stories into your hands, we will apply $25,000 in Kickstarter funds toward the three biggest costs of publishing Issue 4: printer fees, design costs and modest contributor fees. Even with limited resources, and no institutional backing, we feel strongly that writers and artists should not give their work away.

Now that you've reached your Kickstarter goal, do you really need more backers?

Yes! In addition to covering the necessary cut that Kickstarter and Amazon Payments receive, as well as postage costs for our rewards, funds above our $25,000 goal will provide a financial bridge to our continued sustainability. Slake has been independently funded and financed by its founders (who, alas, are not part of the 1 percent and have tapped their financing capacity). Now, as Slake arrives at that crucial stage where it’s making a deep impression with readers, an infusion of funds will help us grow continue our quest toward growth and stability. Also, we've got some pretty cool rewards from great Los Angeles artists that shouldn't go unclaimed. 

Do you have anything special for Facebook friends of Slake?

Yes! Photographer and Slake contributor Anne Fishbein—her work is in New York's MoMA, SFMOMA, LACMA and the Art Institute of Chicago—has offered to sweeten our $450 reward level for anyone who is Facebook friends with her or Slake. Facebook friends of ours who become backers at that level not only receive a framed 20-by-17-inch black-and-white signed photo from Fishbein’s “Long Shots” feature in Slake No. 2, they will receive an additional 20-by-17-inch photo by Fishbein. Head to our Facebook page and "like" or friend us; then mention the Fishbein Facebook Challenge in a Kickstarter message to us after you pledge to get the extra photo.

More About Slake's Kickstarter Rewards

I know the deadlines have passed for making my subscription a holiday gift, but I'd still like to give the Slake subscription I get through Kickstarter to a friend. How do I do that?t

It's easy. When you make your pledge, send us a note through Kickstarter with the information requested below and we'll send a special Slake gift card to your intended receiver announcing your good taste and generosity. Here's what we need to know: 

Do you want to begin your gift subscription with the current issue, Slake No. 3 "War and Peace," or the forthcoming Slake No. 4 "Dirt"?

Gift Giver's Email:
Gift Giver's First and Last Name:
Billing Address, City, State, Postal Code and Country:
Phone:

Gift Recipient's First and Last Name:
Gift Recipient's Address, City, State, Postal Code and Country:
Phone:
Gift Recipient's Email:

(Email and phone are not shared with anyone outside Slake and are requested in case an issue is returned in the mail or anything else goes awry.)

What if I need more than one gift subscription?

If you want to purchase an additional gift subscription, visit our Slake Shop through our slake.la website or at shop.slake.la and choose the gift subscription link, or click here http://shop.slake.la/collections/frontpage-bottom/products/gift-slake-subscription

What if I'm already a Slake subscriber and don't need a gift subscription? Can I renew my current subscription through Kickstarter?

Yes, all of Slake's Kickstarter rewards at the $75 level and above include a Slake subscription. If we reach our goal and see that you are a current subscriber, we will contact you and ask if you'd like your subscription to be extended or if you'd like to give it as a gift.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    29 backers

    A Good Read: We'll email you a sneak-peek PDF of one of the best stories in Slake No. 4 before the issues get to bookstores. With your first look, you'll receive a personal email of thanks from Slake's founding editors, Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa.

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    27 backers

    UPGRADED $25 REWARDS: One Copy of Slake: Los Angeles + A Good Read + One Excellent Poem: Find out for yourself why Slake: Los Angeles has so many fans. Choose the forthcoming issue, No. 4, "Dirt," or one of our previous issues: No. 1, "Still Life"; No. 2, "Crossing Over"; or No. 3, "War and Peace." Bonus: one (8 ½-x-11-inch) card-stock print of one of our favorite poems to be published in Slake No. 4, suitable for framing, and a handwritten note of thanks from Slake's founders, Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly. Also comes with the $10 reward. (Previous backers at this level get the upgrade.)

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    28 backers

    A Good Read + One Excellent Poem: The $10 reward, plus one (8 ½-x-11-inch) card-stock print of one of our favorite poems to be published in Slake No. 4, suitable for framing, and a handwritten note of thanks from Slake's founders, Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly.

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    9 backers

    A Good Read + One Excellent Poem + Slake's "See Me Feel Me Touch Me" poster featuring images from Slake's second issue and a hand-written note of thanks from the editors.

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    5 backers

    UPGRADED $50 REWARDS: One copy of the forthcoming issue of Slake: Los Angeles, No. 4, "Dirt" + one back issue of Slake (choose from No. 1, "Still Life"; No. 2, "Crossing Over"; or, No. 3, "War and Peace") + A Good Read + One Excellent Poem + Slake's "See Me Feel Me Touch Me" poster featuring images from Slake's second issue and a hand-written note of thanks from Slake founders Laurie Ochoa and Joe Donnelly. (Previous backers at this level get the upgrade.)

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    8 backers

    One copy of Slake No. 4 inside its own Slake book tote, plus all the rewards of the previous levels. And at this level, your note of thanks from the editors will be hand-written in gold ink!

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    47 backers

    UPGRADED $75 REWARDS: We heard from some of our backers who wanted a more affordable way to get a subscription to Slake through Kickstarter for holiday gift giving and we listened. Now, instead of receiving Issue 4 alone inside its own Slake book tote at the $75 level, you will get the tote and a four-issue subscription to Slake with all the rewards of the previous level and a note of thanks from the editors—handwritten in gold ink! And if you pledge by Monday, December 12, you can turn your subscription into a gift for your favorite literary-mined friend or relative; we'll mail a special card announcing the four-issue subscription to your intended before December 25. Note: All previous backers at this level get the upgrade.

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    36 backers

    Tee Up: At this level, you get a limited-edition, all-cotton American Apparel Power-Washed Tee with screen-printed Slake logo and Los Angeles cityscape, custom-dyed by L.A. artist Anne McCaddon in special Kickstarter campaign color. Also comes with all of the rewards of the previous levels, including the poster, a copy of Slake No. 4 in its own book tote—plus that Thank You note in gold ink!

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    8 backers

    UPGRADED $200 REWARDS: At this upgraded $200 level, you get a subscription for eight issues of Slake instead of four. We'll also send a Slake-logo baseball cap designed by our creative director, Alex Bacon, plus all of the $100 rewards. If you pledge by Monday, December 12, you can turn your subscription into a gift for your favorite literary-mined friend or relative, and we'll mail a special card announcing the eight-issue subscription to your intended before December 25. Note: All previous backers at this level get the upgrade.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    4 backers

    Subscriber Level: We'll send all of the rewards you'd get at the $150 level, plus, by stepping up $50 to this Subscriber Plus level, you will become a Slake subscriber for $10 off the usual $60 price of a 4-issue subscription. And, since the $100 level includes Issue 4 -- that's five different issues of Slake to anticipate.

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    Hank Cherry's Extremely Hard, Incredibly Thirst Quenching Lessons in Tennis Serving, Poetry Writing and Ginger Ale Imbibing. It's two 30-minute lessons, a full hour of poetry on the court, on the page and out of the soda-pop bottle. For those who can find their own transportation to Los Angeles' Griffith Park, writer, filmmaker and Slake contributor Henry "Hank" Cherry, a former 13th-ranked mid-Atlantic 14-and-under tennis player, will demonstrate the blistering serve he uses to crush his opponents and teach you how you can do the same. After 30 minutes, you'll learn to SLAKE your thirst properly with a fine ginger ale supplied by Cherry, a connoisseur of small-batch and even a few homemade brews from his time in New Orleans. Once refreshed, you and Cherry will use the remainder of your second 30-minute session to write a five- to ten-line poem that we will post on Slake's website. In addition, you will be recognized as a Friend of Slake in the print edition of Slake No. 4 and receive all of the rewards of the upgraded $200 level.

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    4 backers Limited (41 left of 45)

    Friend of Slake + Art Package No. 1: Pledge by Dec. 2 and you will be recognized as a Friend of Slake in the print edition of Slake No. 4. After Dec. 2, your name will appear as a Friend of Slake on our website slake.la. No matter when you pledge, you will receive one (12 x 18-inch) limited-edition digital print on Finch Fine paper of original story art from Slake No. 1, signed by the authors. Unframed. Also comes with all of the rewards from the $200 level. (Don't forget ... gold ink!)

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    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    NEW REWARD: Friend of Slake + photographer and Slake contributor Shannon Donnelly's stunning 20x30-inch photograph of sunset on the Pacific at L.A.'s Hyperion Water Treatment Plant (unframed, signed by the photographer). Shannon's photograph was the title-page panorama from her "Light Years" photo essay on Los Angeles Department of Water and Power buildings. It was one of the signature pieces from Slake's first issue, and a companion piece to Judith Lewis Mernit's "To Catch a Raindrop," an in-depth report on water in Southern California. This level includes all of the rewards of the upgraded $200 level. To view the Shannon Donnelly image, click on http://slake.la/features/light-years

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  • Pledge $400 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    Friend of Slake + Matjames Assemblage Sculpture + rewards from $200 level. Matjames Metson spent nearly 20 years living and making art in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. After many struggles, he found his way to Los Angeles and is chronicling his journey in a graphic novel; the first two parts were published in Slake No. 2 and No. 3. ( Glimpse an excerpt at http://slake.la/slake-2/survivors-guild/ ) Matjames is also a brilliant assemblage sculptor; his studio is a wonderland of magical boxes, some as small as matchboxes, others that tower over a tall man. For Slake's Kickstarter, Matjames is donating one of his mini assemblage pieces (8 x 4 1/2 inches; see Update #10 for a photo). To get a sense of his work, you can view a short doc by director Robert Sobul here: http://vimeo.com/22299091

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  • Pledge $450 or more
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    2 backers Limited (4 left of 6)

    NEW REWARD: Friend of Slake + your choice of one of six different photographs from Anne Fishbein's "Long Shots" photo essay of images taken at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita, first published in Slake's second issue. Each framed, 20x17-inch black-and-white print is signed by the photographer. Many of Fishbein's photographs are in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, New York's Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Her photography book "On the Way Home" (Perceval Press) documented the people of Yaroslavl, Russia, and the city's transition from communist isolation to the modern world. This level includes all of the rewards of the upgraded $200 level.

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    3 backers Limited (4 left of 7)

    Friend of Slake + Art Package No. 2, Sandow Birk: A limited-edition pencil drawing, created exclusively for Slake, by world-renowned artist and Slake contributor Sandow Birk. Unframed. Series of 10 was printed. Also included is your name listed as a Friend of Slake on the Thank You page inside printed edition of Slake No. 4, as well as on our website, slake.la. Plus, all of the rewards of the $200 level.

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    0 backers

    Friend of Slake + Party with Slake: Many of our readers know that we celebrate each issue with a big, public celebration that can attract more than 600 people. But we also throw a more intimate, low-key party to thank the writers and artists who contribute work to Slake for less than their usual fees. Donors at the $500 level will be invited to both Issue 4 parties, including the more exclusive event for the writers and artists in the Slake family ... and you! Talk to your favorite Slake writer or artist and get a public shout-out from Joe and Laurie. Comes with all the rewards at the $200 level. (Travel costs not included.)

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  • Pledge $750 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    Friend of Slake + Photography Triptych: A collection of three framed 22-x-17-inch photos of the Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange of the 105 and 110 freeways signed by photographer and Slake contributor Shannon Donnelly (as seen in Slake No. 3). Plus the awards at the $200 level.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Friend of Slake + Painting by Los Angeles artist Ingrid Allen + rewards from $200 level. "Patience," the 2010 oil-on-wood painting (24x36-inch), was used to illustrate Yxta Maya Murray's story "Scream Like a Girl" in Slake's second issue. Allen was raised at the Bruchion School, where she studied old-master techniques taught by her mother, Liv Saether, and Saether’s husband, Jan. She continued her studies at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy. Her work has been shown around the world. In 2008, Ingrid helped create an after-school art program for teenagers called Make Something!! Ingrid Allen

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Friend of Slake + Painting by Los Angeles artist Anne McCaddon + rewards from $200 level. "Bouquet 5" (oil on canvas, 2011, 26"x22") is from McCaddon's Bouquet series. Focusing on the same peculiar simple shape, the Bouquet paintings explore figure-ground relationships and the mashing of image in a minimalist composition. McCaddon, who is Slake's production manager and asst art editor, received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2003) and her MFA in painting from UCLA (2009). McCaddon had two solo shows in 2011: Over-Under Worked, with ACP and Parker Jones Gallery, and The Alphabet Paintings at LACMA's ARSG Special Exhibitions.. She has been included in group exhibitions such as Immanent Domain II (Arena 1 Gallery, 2011), Wet Paint: 10 Young L.A. Painters (Steve Turner Contemporary, 2009), and Plain Brown Wrapper (Human Resources, 2011)

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