"Publish More Women"
“For real, you guys, we need to Publish More Women” was the rallying cry of 2018’s Women of Letters project -- 18 puzzles constructed by women constructors, edited by women editors, and in support of women-centric charities. “Publish More Women” was seen on T-shirts worn by our allies at past American Crossword Puzzle Tournaments, and “Publish More Women” has been the argument of articles and posts that have addressed the meager representation of everyone other than cis-men in mainstream crossword constructing (and, to be fair, in the indie world as well).
The Inkubator is here to take a step forward in publishing more women. We intend to be an ongoing subscription venue for publishing twice-monthly crossword puzzles by women -- cis women, trans women, and woman-aligned constructors. We are inspired by the success of two projects that have led the way in the past year: Queer Qrosswords and Women of Letters. The outpouring of support for QQ and WoL was evidence of the crossword community’s desire for diverse projects -- and evidence of the community’s generosity in supporting constructors and editors who were willing to take risks. QQ and WoL depended on constructors donating their time and talent (as we both did); the Inkubator will go further in that we will not only publish but also pay constructors at rates comparable to the rest of the crossword industry. As well, we are interested in establishing a network to mentor new and emerging constructors who will develop the skills and confidence to infiltrate other venues -- and we will also be showcasing and promoting the work of established constructors. You will see both new and familiar names in the Inkubator’s first year.
We’re honored to be associated with and supported by the American Values Club Crossword for our first year; indeed, our name -- The Inkubator -- is an homage of sorts to AVCX editor Ben Tausig’s Inkwell, an indie crossword feature that ran in alternative newsweeklies for ten years in the early ‘00s. The AVCX has been a venue for many emerging constructors and we see the Inkubator as an opportunity to pass that generosity on to a new community. Our Kickstarter goal is to raise enough to fund the project’s first year, and then we expect to continue independently as a subscription service. Join us to support the Inkubator’s campaign to publish kickass, sparkling, outrageous, beautiful, uncompromising crossword puzzles by women.
Who We Are
Tracy Bennett is a managing copy editor for Mathematical Reviews/MathSciNet in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her crossword puzzles appear as a feature called “X-Games” in BUST magazine, and she’s on the constructing team making puzzles for the Crosswords With Friends app. She has had puzzles published by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Queer Qrosswords and Women of Letters. She constructed for the 2017 Indie 500 and donates puzzles to Groundcover News, a 501(c)(3) organization taking action to end homelessness and poverty.
Laura Braunstein is a librarian at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. She has had puzzles published by the New York Times, Puzzle Society, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Women of Letters, and is a team member with the American Values Club Crossword. She constructed for the 2018 Indie 500 and for Boswords 2017 and 2018, and blogs for Diary of a Crossword Fiend. When not crossing words, she advocates for #openaccess to scholarship, edits Wikipedia, bikes and skis on mountains, and discusses politics with her kids.
The Inkubator's logo was designed by Alex Briñas, a puzzle-newbie and a scrappy maker at heart.
... and stay tuned as we announce the constructors for the Inkubator's first year!
Risks and challenges
We plan to begin emailing puzzles, as PDFs and .puz files, twice monthly to our backers in January 2019; we are currently recruiting constructors and editing puzzles, and we have no doubt that we will have wonderful puzzles for you twice a month through the Inkubator’s first year. Some of the puzzles may be challenging to solve.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)