The White Review, a print and online literary and arts journal, was founded in 2011 to provide a space for a new generation of writers and artists to express itself unconstrained by form, subject, or genre, and publishes fiction, essays, interviews with writers and artists, poetry, and series of artworks.
After 20 print issues, The White Review is growing and expanding. Alongside redesigning the print issue, to be re-released in March 2018, we’re also planning a greater variety of regional events, a series of creative writing workshops, and will launch a new Poets' Prize later this month. But we are asking you to help support one specific and crucial new development: the creation of a dedicated reviews space on our website.
The current paucity of space for serious-minded literary and arts criticism in the UK desperately needs remedying. Across both print and digital formats, accessible and in-depth arts coverage is dramatically shrinking; there are fewer and fewer column inches for criticism in the broadsheets, and the few remaining publications that are dedicated to such criticism almost universally charge subscription fees, or place content behind a paywall.
We want to change this: as of October 2017, we will publish three book reviews and three exhibition reviews on our website each month, providing space for incisive, provocative and serious criticism. Our reviews will aim to consider books and exhibitions which might otherwise go under the radar, in line with the magazine's longtime emphasis on ambitious and innovative writing in English and in translation.
Like all of The White Review’s online pieces, we want to ensure these reviews are freely accessible to you, our readers. But we also want to buck the damaging trend that frequently sees writers publish online without pay. By doing so, we hope to set a precedent for a more egalitarian model of digital publishing, and to support a new generation of critics. As a registered charity operating as a not-for-profit, The White Review needs your support to make this possible. Your money will help fund this project for the first year. Most of the income raised from this Kickstarter will go towards paying our reviewers in line with what we pay our current contributors. A modest amount will be used to fund a website redesign that will accommodate this new content, and make our site more user-friendly.
The White Review is only made possible by the dedication of all those who contribute to it – whether as editors, writers, artists or readers. Please help us to launch this exciting and, we believe, urgent new venture.
Film by Cottia Thorowgood
Praise for The White Review:
‘Packed with varied, unexpected material in all kinds of forms, The White Review brings a message from the future: it rises to meet readers’ and writers’ continuing needs to experience art and literature in a sensuous, delectable form; and it gives me the feeling that I have my finger on the pulse.’ — Marina Warner
‘One of the best magazines in Europe.’ — Hans Ulrich Obrist
‘The White Review is a thing of beauty.’ — Vogue
‘Nothing less than a cultural revolution.’ — Deborah Levy
‘Alarmingly elegant … it’s good to see young Londoners doing a little magazine with style.’ — Lorin Stein, editor of the Paris Review
‘Sumptuous … a list of contributors growing in stature much like the publication itself. — New York Times
‘A quarterly out to push the possibilities of the format’ — Metro
We have a range of rewards on offer to cajole you into parting with your hard-earned cash, ranging from reasonably priced archive postcards (by various artists, including Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller), to freshly printed tote bags, to the first copies of our forthcoming anthology, to an appraisal of the first 10,000 words of your novel.
The White Review's Kickstarter campaign will end with a party on 28 September at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club, with readings by Deborah Levy, Natasha Soobramanien, Luke Williams and others. We hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Risks and challenges
Making the reviews section sustainable
Reaching our set target of £7,000 will guarantee funding for the first year of the project, but what will happen next? One of the key challenges we face is making the project financially sustainable for the year 2019-2019 and beyond.
Over the past 6 months, The White Review has been undergoing significant changes behind-the-scenes, in an effort to take the magazine in a new direction while increasing its financial sustainability. One key aspect of this change is a redesign of the print issue – which will relaunch in March 2018 – with reduced print and cover costs. We will run a corresponding subscription campaign in an effort to increase our subscriber base, generating additional income. We anticipate that the creation of a reviews space will increase traffic to our website, thus making our website more attractive to advertisers. With these measures, we anticipate raising enough income to make the reviews space sustainable for 2018-19 and beyond.
Managing the workload
Over the past 6 months there has been a restructuring of The White Review masthead, with several new roles and new staff joining the team. In October, Francesca Wade and Zeljka Marošević will take over as Editors, with responsibility for commissioning book reviews. Izabella Scott and Rosanna McLaughlin have joined as Art Editors, with responsibility for exhibition reviews. Cecilia Tricker has taken over as Online Editor, co-ordinating the review publishing schedule, while Kayo Chingonyi has joined as Poetry Editor and Ralf Webb as Managing Editor. This restructuring has enabled us to divide tasks in such a way that we are confident that we will be able to run this project successfully. We are already in the process of gathering a roster of reviewers, and commissioning pieces for the coming months.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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