Her Royal Majesty is an international quarterly literary and arts review edited, designed and defined by a collection of writers and artists who are living in Paris. The magazine is creating a space for a new generation of international artists to express themselves. Founded in 2008, the publication has grown from a zine designed to serve the local community into an international literary arts magazine.
The website gets over 20,000 hits per month. Now we want to develop the printed version of the magazine, establish a subscription list and find more bookshops and galleries in which to stock the magazine. We are also ready to develop a blog, to be updated weekly.
With $2000, we will be able to fund printing costs for the rest of 2011.
I founded Her Royal Majesty in Halifax, Nova Scotia, because I wanted to. The initial objective was to nourish the literary and artistic life of a specific region. I saw the magazine give equal pleasure to the artists who were featured and the readers who received it.
HRM derives its name from a mistranslation of acronyms: when I first moved to Halifax, I thought that the signs around the city requesting that citizens keep out of the park after dark, refrain from smoking in public places, resist the temptation to swim in the harbor, et cetera, came straight from the mouth of Her Royal Majesty. I later learned that it was not the Queen, but rather the Halifax Regional Municipality that was concerned with my garbage disposal and the distribution of parking tickets.
In the nearly two years since its inception, Her Royal Majesty has grown from a zine designed to serve a local community into an international publication that not only includes writers and artists from greater Canada, but Paris, New York, London, Reykjavik, Latin America and beyond. Now, having expanded and focused on an online magazine, we have succeeded in making the local both national and international. We receive and solicit submissions from an ever widening range of places and broadcast the publication on the Internet, advertising and promoting it all over the world.
Her Royal Majesty is now based in Paris, and has published 10 issues and organized release parties in bookshops and galleries. In addition to reading all submissions received, our editorial team contacts artists from all over the world in order to curate eclectic issues of high-quality work. Although its locale and community has changed, and the magazine has traveled quite far from its original starting place, the mandate of Her Royal Majesty remains the same: to showcase talented emerging artists – both visual and literary – in a tightly crafted magazine focused around a particular theme.
One of my initial goals when I started HRM was to make an art magazine: a magazine as an object of art. Each issue is different: some are color printed on high-quality paper envelopes and sealed with sealing wax, embossed with a large H. Some have letter-pressed covers. Some have colour-inserts in the centre-fold and poems and graphics printed on layers of tracing paper, overlaying paintings and providing a new depth.
Her Royal Majesty is a publication that features virtually all mediums of art.In addition to most forms of the written word (poetry, short fiction, essays, interviews, translations etc.), we also publish painting, illustration, photography, etching, collage, and excerpts from graphic novels.
The magazine was originally distributed for free throughout the Halifax community. While the aim was never to make a profit, I was able to cover printing costs with advertising and sponsorship from local businesses and grants from my university. However, in light of the recession and due to constant moving this past year, it has become increasingly more difficult to find sponsorship or funding.
Since the fifth issue, publishing has been fundamentally online, with the option to purchase a specially printed copy in limited edition. This has helped to open up the magazine to a more international audience and better exhibits the talented artists whose work we publish. In order to maintain a connection to printed matter, small postcard-sized flyers are designed and distributed. These flyers have a piece of artwork from the issue on the front, the table of contents on the back, and direct people to the web-site to view the issue online.
Our foremost goal is to return Her Royal Majesty back into printed matter. It was originally a print magazine and is in fact still constructed much like one online. However, while there are values and advantages to being an electronic publication, it is not the ideal format for this magazine and often makes it difficult to do true justice to the work we publish, especially the visual art.
We would also like to develop the Her Royal Majesty web-site. An idea for expansion involves incorporating sound into the publication, by creating an audio section and including videos in the PDF issues. These new elements would feature interviews with writers and artists, stories read aloud, sound-art, and recorded relevant lectures and readings, all available to listen to and download for free in pod-cast format. This would add a new and relatively unexplored aspect to literary magazines, create a network of sound and audio, and add another dimension to the multidisciplinary nature of Her Royal Majesty.
CALL FOR FUNDS
Her Royal Majesty was started and continues on a not-for-profit, volunteer-run basis. The web-site has had nearly 100,000 hits in the last six months alone, and currently has an average of 1500 new visits per month. With a quarterly publication, this means that there is an average audience of 4500 per issue.
But as the quality and scope of the magazine increases, and more time, work, and personal funds are invested, it will not be possible to continue without outside funding. In the spirit of art, community, and the gumption of beginning, Her Royal Majesty entreats you to please join our list of sponsors, and help enable it not only to improve, but continue to exist.
Editorial, Design, and Administrative team:
Nafkote Tamirat, Kyra Simone, William Fitzpatrick, James Gregor, Anouvong Southipthong, Grant Creegan, with special thanks to Ryan Kerr.
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