In our launch issue we’ve talked about the theme belonging and more specifically about belong | belonging | longing. This theme was a direct result of our own exploration into where we as storytellers, as a printed magazine and as a (online) platform belong.
After the launch of issue 00, a lot has happened. We grew as an online platform, we launched Let’s Explore Publishers: a creative agency that helps others to get their story into the world, and last but not least, we have more possibilities to collaborate with people than before. At this point, there’s really not much more we can wish for, because what we love doing most, is create and share inspiring stories. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. And it’s all because people believed in us, when we started our printed magazine.
Again, our own experiences will be the starting point for the theme of our next issue: issue 01. By doing so, we’re letting the printed publication evolve alongside our personal evolution. Below you’ll find the context, for the theme of issue 01.
We started our online platform as a means to curate stories that inspired us, keep them in one place and by doing so, hopefully inspire others as well. We quickly connected with likeminded people, who either had their own story to tell and share, or people who pushed us into new directions to create more stories ourselves.
We launched online, even though print is our first love, because we wanted to build a quality community first and grow from there. We soon realized that we could actually take it into print and took the leap of faith last year with our Kickstarter campaign, which proved to be very successful. Reaching our goal not only made it possible for us to print our launch issue, it also meant doors we hoped would open, actually did a bit.
Everything that has happened after the launch (almost selling out the magazine in 3 moths, business opportunities to get a sustainable magazine going and people reaching out to collaborate and/or contribute) exceeded our expectations and it keeps kicking us in the butt to do everything within our power to take the platform and the magazine to the next level.
Our specific journey is, in many ways, not unique. We all have had moments where we stood at the crossroads and had to make a decision about what to do next. Some of us are impulsive and don’t necessarily need to know exactly what’s around the next corner. Others, like ourselves, are a bit more cautious and need more reassurance about what their yellow brick road looks like and where it might take us.
What we all have in common though, is that, something / somewhat / someone changed the way we look at things / our own lives, the way we create, the way we experience, the way we share experiences; resulting in taking a chance/a leap of faith and finding out there’s more than meets the eye, when you let your eyes to be opened.
Instead of sharing the process you could also highlight that which started or triggers a change. An object or place can be the starting point of a next chapter. Take transit areas (airports, trains station, harbors, etc) for instance. They’re locations where people step into the unknown, say goodbye to loved ones or get back to them. Besides the emotional component, these locations are (most of the time) fascinating to look at, as they’re designed to guide travelers to their next destination, never calling it a final destination.
Please realize, that these explorations come in all shapes and sizes and don't necessarily have to be these huge, life altering, 180 degrees, I'm letting go of everything I know, situations. Each and every process is unique and we definitely want to hear how yours went.
In our launch issue, we were looking for safe havens. A place, object or state of mind that comforts you, made you feel at home/at ease. This time, since we’re at certain crossroads ourselves, we’re looking for that which took you out of your comfort zone, helped you take a leap of faith (willingly or necessarily) or what opened your eyes. We want to hear and share the story of how someone / something / a moment changed your life / influenced your life / altered your “behavior”, for better or worse, in any shape or form.
We are interested in exploring the unknown and finding out what can happen in a given situation. We’re all in favor of (controlled) experiments, in finding new ways of doing something we’ve been doing in a same way for a long time. We embrace failures, mishaps, fuckups and happy accidents as moments to learn from, to grow as a maker, writer, artist, photographer, storyteller….heck let’s just say it: human being.
It’s entirely up to you how far you wish to go in sharing your story. Below, we identified three different stages along which you could build your story.
But like we said, we like experiments, happy accidents and fuckups. So, don’t feel constrained by narratives and story forms we proposed. Go nuts, leave the yellow brick road, run in the corn fields and play tag with the scarecrow.
In this first stage we’re looking for your story pitches. Please submit your story idea in max 300 words and max 10 images and we’ll take it from there. Also state what expectation regarding format you have. Will you be doing a written essay, short story, photo essay or something else. This can change along the way, but we need a bit of guidance up front to keep a words-images-balance in the magazine. Do keep in mind that pages in the the magazine are limited, so give us your best, to have a chance to be included in issue 01. Please keep a close eye on the deadlines.
We like to approach the making of the magazine as an organic process, in which you as a storyteller, will get a lot of room to experiment and explore your boundaries. From our end, we’ll make sure the focus on the theme stays on point and that, together with the other stories, there will be a coherent curation of tales.
Once we’ve made our selection of stories to be published, we’ll work on the finalisation together. If necessary, we’ll be asking some “difficult” questions, to push you a bit in making the story even better. Besides that, we have to guard the overall theme throughout the magazine and how your story will sit next to the others.
It’s pretty easy to keep working on a story and loose track of time. There’s always a new angle to explore, another way of phrasing your words or new images to shoot. But, below you’ll find some dates you want to mark down and don’t loose sight of.
11 July pitch deadline
15 August first draft
12 September final story
The sooner you pitch your story, the sooner we can have a look at it. This also means your chances increase on having it published, because we can work on it together for a longer period of time. It’s no guarantee though.
We hope you’ll find inspiration in the theme of our next issue and will trigger you to send in your take on it. We’re really looking forward to reading your stories and can’t wait to dive head first in the next issue. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.