Moss is an online journal of Northwest writing. We started Moss in the summer of 2014 as a venue for showcasing and supporting the talented and imaginative voices of the Pacific Northwest, with a special focus on emerging writers and a mission of celebrating and preserving the Northwest’s robust literary culture. Moss is a community-first project; every issue of Moss is made available online for free, we don’t charge submission fees, and we pay every writer we publish.
Now in its second volume, Moss has been covered by The Stranger, City Arts, The Portland Mercury, and The LA Review of Books’ new site The Offing, among other publications, and has helped bring the work of Northwest writers to more than 10,000 unique online visitors. The writers we’ve published and interviewed include Rebecca Brown, Peter Mountford, Matt Briggs, Corinne Manning, Charles Finn, Janie Miller, Ryan Boudinot, and many more.
The money raised from this Kickstarter will be used to publish a print edition of the first three issues of Moss, compiling our entire first volume of fiction, non-fiction, and interviews into a beautiful, accessible, and tangible print book. The books will be printed by BookMobile, an independent typesetting and production house based in Minneapolis that prints books for Graywolf, Coffee House Press, and number of other esteemed publishers. The funds from this Kickstarter will allow us to do a small print run of 300 copies while still insuring the highest possible printing quality.
The web has been an amazingly effective platform for us, and has enabled us to release a lot of great writing into the world without undue overhead. But, we also recognize that not everyone wants to read fiction and essays on a computer screen. For some, paper and ink simply offer a more comfortable or convenient reading experience. The permanency of a physical book also means people will be able to share this writing in a more meaningful way than they can with a link to a website. Our hope is that copies of this book will be passed around, checked out of libraries, and re-discovered on family shelves 20 or 50 years from now. We’ve earmarked copies from the print run for donation to libraries and schools, to help us reach an audience outside of our online sphere, and are making the books available at-cost for individuals with limited financial resources.
In short, our decision to make a print book is about creating a new way to read Moss that will help us share this great writing with as many potential readers as possible. And as an added bonus, we’ll be including a few surprises beyond the content that’s already been published in our online issues.
For a contribution of only $10.00, you can get an at-cost copy of Moss: Volume One. By contributing more, you can get a bunch of great rewards, including stickers, shirts, totes, photo prints, and more—plus the knowledge that you are helping us to spread the work of hardworking Northwest writers to as broad an audience as possible. Any proceeds beyond the costs needed to produce our backer rewards and print our initial run of books will go directly towards paying the writers we’ll publish in future issues of Moss.
Not to worry! While we only publish writing by current residents of the Northwest and those with a substantial connection to the region, we’re not an exclusive club. A big part of our mission is to bring Northwest writing to readers in other parts of the country and around the world—that’s you!
For Canadian backers, we ask for a $5 supplement to your pledge to cover extra shipping costs. For all other international backers, we require a $10 supplement.
Though we pay every writer we publish, make our online issues available for free, and have no advertising revenue or submission fees, our online issues have been self-funded up to this point, and will continue to be self-funded unless we significantly surpass our Kickstarter goal. However, the upfront costs of even a small print-run are substantial—well above the funding we’re able to personally cover for our online content. Kickstarter allows us to offer a diversity of purchase options and special rewards without risking these upfront costs, and without sacrificing the quality of our product or reader experience by incorporating advertising into our site.
Most importantly, Kickstarter offers an exciting way for Moss to engage directly with our community of readers and writers as we embark on this new stage of the project. We truly believe that a print edition of Moss offers a chance for the broadest possible audience to support, discover, and read the work of these incredible Northwest writers.
Connor Guy is an associate editor at a publishing house in New York City, where he works mostly on narrative and journalistic nonfiction and literature in translation. Born and raised in Seattle, he attended Garfield High School and Whitman College, where he graduated with honors. He’s also worked as an 8th grade English teacher, a magazine fact checker, and—for one miserable summer—as a security guard.
Alex Davis-Lawrence is a filmmaker and creative producer based in Seattle. Also a Garfield graduate, Alex has worked on numerous video and web projects in Seattle, Austin, and New York City, including producing the Kickstarter-funded short film THE BOOK OF JOE (2013), which went on to premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival and play at festivals across the country. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a double major in American Studies and English.
Praise for Moss:
- “...a quality publication, with a strong editorial hand...” —Paul Constant at The Stranger
- “...where place-based writing is often a buzzword, the journal provides an in-depth examination into what it means for writing to be 'Northwestern.'” —Bill Carty at City Arts
- “Since launch last year, Moss has published standout work of authors from the region and has worked to preserve obscured work...” —Feliks Garcia at The Offing,“4 Literary Magazines to Add to Your Reading List”
- "...the perfect thing for the bookish indoor kids of the Pacific Northwest.” —Megan Burbank at The Portland Mercury
Risks and challenges
With Connor's experience working at a publishing company and Alex's experience with various types of design and production, we feel that we are well-equipped to put together a standout print book on time and on budget.
However, there's always the chance that unexpected delays can pop up, for a near infinite number of reasons. If anything should happen, we commit to stay active and communicative both on Kickstarter and through our mailing list, so you will always know exactly what's going on with your rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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