About this project
Margins is a new kind of magazine – one that imagines the moment of publication to be the beginning of the creative journey rather than the end of it. It takes bravery to see a work of art – whether it be a story, sculpture, photograph, your grandmother’s chocolate soufflé recipe, a love letter you never meant to send or sent on accident, whatever – through to completion. It takes even more bravery to send that tender, bleating thing into the published world. The idea of someone picking it apart may be terrifying, but it’s what we want.
We keep meeting incredibly talented people – and we’re not just talking about artists and writers – who have profound and profoundly affecting worldviews. Margins is a quarterly magazine that is a platform for these views to not only be spread, but also critiqued, built on, developed and revised.
We live in a world of noise, and Margins hopes to separate the noise that gives you a headache behind your eyes from the sometimes dissonant but always creative noise that we’re trying to make. Getting loud is great. Therefore, if lots of us are getting loud together, arithmetic says that’s greater.
So here is the brassiest tack: we don’t want advertisements. We want the once lowly red pen, now wielded by an army of readers, to become mightier than the glossy financial sword. We want you to have space for your thoughts and reactions. We don’t want to interrupt that space by telling you what to buy, where to eat, or how to battle your cellulite. And anyway, these pages represent an opportunity for you to say, in your own words, why you buy what you buy, eat where you eat, and worship your cellulite. Take pictures of it. Send it in. Prove to us why that’s art or movement or important.
No ads means less money. Less money means we’re gonna need to sell copies. And get really awesome people to sponsor us. But until we’ve got a product to show them, they’re sponsoring air. That’s a tough sell.
We’re asking for your help to fund our first year. We’ve cranked the numbers. We’re looking for the bare minimum dollars that will let us print four high quality issues of beautiful, challenging, engaging, robust and inventive content. We want to build that freshman year portfolio because we’re confident that once people see what their peers are creating and sharing and building, they’ll want to keep it going.
Margins is a magazine where you are the editor. Margins is your magazine. We just need help giving it to you.
Risks and challenges
This is a whole new adventure for us. While part of the team has extensive background in graphic design and the other has that same amount of experience in literature, writing, and editing, the synthesis of these talents into a single publication is a new taste of the literature and design world. It’s a diving board into the unknown and we’re anxious to see how we will work together, but our open communication gives us faith that we can hammer out any kinks along the way. Getting the physical publication to match this grand idea we have floating around in our heads will not be easy, but once we’re able to get the aesthetics and feel of the magazine nailed down, the rest will come together with the help of our community, the readers.
Our biggest challenge, naturally, will be to stay alive. The print world is a hard one to break into, and it’s not necessarily a warm, fuzz-filled kind of place once you get there either. Putting the magazine into the hands of readers will be a struggle at first. We’ll have to do all the initial legwork ourselves to compile, design, advertise, and distribute the publication. But we know Margins has some things going for it that make this reality seem a little less sharp…
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We say no way! There's enough air on this planet to sustain print and digital media. We believe that seeing those two as mutually exclusive is like saying there's not enough time for both day and night. Each allows us to accomplish different things. Margins will help improve your communication skills, give you kindling for a fire on a cold night, expand your vocabulary, and strengthen the muscles in your hand.* It will also give you an excuse to slow down, to look away from the screen, to pay attention, to be with your thoughts and to remember how good it feels to think. Margins probably won't expand your digital social network, but it can fill up your bank account with physical social currency. As long as humans have stories to tell, the written word will have a place in our culture.
*To avoid injury, don't read Margins without adequate light, make sure your pencil is sharpened and your pen well-inked. If something in its pages excites you, don't get mad, get scribbling.
You can expect to own it. You can expect to be heard. We will pride ourselves in the highest quality of content, but our editorial scope is limited to earnesty, honesty and sincerity. If what you've sent as a submitter is real to you, we'll be reading it with openness. Look for names you've never heard of before spilling phrases and paint and photographic beauty that knocks you down, sends you reeling, or in the least, makes you mutter "damn, I know how that feels."
From the first issue:
"One is not transported to the past when being nostalgic—as we would like to believe—but rather the past is recalled and focused upon in the present. To achieve this we separate ourselves from our current place and turn our attention to our memory of some past moment perceived as better than the current one." -G.W. Troxell, "The Paradox of Nostalgia"
"Haul the Smith-Corona out of mothballs, re-ink the ribbon, and type the great American novel. Better yet, use a quill pen. Go out shopping for a Hudson Wasp and a bottle of rose-scented hair oil. Close down the email account. Take your television out into the middle of Chapman Avenue and beat it to death in full view of the public. Put a match to your little corner of the modern world." -Jim Blaylock, "The Philosophical Luddite"
Thisis the line I mean to draw: between men and women, words and time; across the wide gap separating news and truth, between classes where “equality” is spoken with confidence, spoken perhaps by a Jazz-AgeAmerican visiting Paris and the sites of revolution. I mean to see a long way. I am squinting.There is a dust cloud and the windows shake and break." -Charlie Malone, "Our Inability to Restore"