The making the next issue starts here

 

Each issue revolves around a single theme and I’m looking for as many different takes on it as possible. This will result in a 176-page, inspirational exploration of the theme through meaningful stories. On this page, I will explain how the theme for the next issue came together, as I always try to connect it to my personal life’s journey.

 

By the end of this page, you’ll know why I’m going down this path, what I’m looking for in terms of stories and how you can be part of the fourth instalment of Let’s Explore Magazine. On the right-hand side of your screen, you’ll find a clickable table of contents for easy reading and finding the most important sections.

 

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. If you, after reading, have any questions and/or suggestions…please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

 

Cheers,
Kilian

Intentional publishing

Letting my life’s circumstances dictate where this passion project is taking me, has ensured that there were never any real restrictions as to what was possible. Even a lack of budget simply meant that I would just take a little longer to save up enough money to produce a new issue. The organic process of this when-ready concept also found its way in my vision regarding the quality of production and attention to detail. The publication should be the best of what it can be and if this means I need more time…so be it. The downside of this approach is that it is hard to say when a project is truly finished. Simultaneously, when is the opportune time to start a new issue, as it usually takes me between six to nine months to create one.

Exploration

is curiosity

put into action.

~

Don Walsh

To make things even more challenging, this passion project is curiosity-driven. I find myself constantly interested in new ideas, new projects, new perspectives and new things to learn. Not necessarily to actively pursue them, but simply the fact of knowing that there are other ways of doing things or thinking about certain subjects fascinates me. If a project takes a long time to finish, new projects and ideas to explore start to beg for my attention and it becomes harder to focus on the project at hand. This also means though, that there is no shortage of ideas for future issues and projects.

The magazine stands for...

Let’s Explore

The above mentioned curiosity-driven intention, translated into Let’s Explore as the title for my magazine and the name of my publishing agency. When I first started with this project, Let’s Explore was mostly attributed to literal exploration, hence the amount of actual travel-related content in the first two issues. But Let’ Explore also stands for a figurative way of discovering. It stands for exploring new territories in terms of different interpretations of the same theme. It stands for both the positive and negative experiences that come with a certain occurrence. It stands for a diversity of storytellers. It stands for the inclusion of as many different voices as possible. And ultimately, it stands for showing a sincere interest in and learning from all of these facets, in order to be able to move forward with new and inspiring knowledge.

This vision for the magazine did not manifest itself overnight. It evolved during the journey I have been taking ever since I started with this independent publication besides my full-time job. While making the latest issue, pieces of the puzzle seemed to fall into place. Besides exhilarating travel-related content, story ideas were proposed that had strong personal and vulnerable elements. Stories started to lean towards human interest subject matter and many carried a component of social awareness. The lessons learned from these stories hit home with me, even though I did not yet know exactly how.

A mind is like a parachute.

It doesn’t work

if it is not open.

~

Frank Zappa

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned from the Perseverance-issue

What I did know, was that the process of making the Perseverance-issue confirmed my belief that everybody has a story worth telling. Because for every story told, there is at least one person out there who can benefit from that story. And one is more than none, so each story matters! Brainstorming with contributors about how to best craft their story to fit into the narrative of the magazine, sharing struggles some of us were facing and exchanging ideas about global events that were taking place, fueled a personal exploration. It was an exploration of my views regarding things like ego, selfishness, selflessness, insecurity, acceptance, fear, inequality and how those views impacted me. But also how it shaped my desire to publish impactful stories that could make a difference in the lives of others.

The ideas that formed around these subjects found their way into my notebook, which serves as a vault for ideas that stay in my mind for at least a month or two. Because if an idea can stick with me for that long, it means that – at some point – I will have to DO something with it. Not necessarily something big or profound. Just … something. Call it closure for the lack of a better word. While on a week-long retreat I gained insights – through exercises and self-reflection – into what I find important and what drives me. It felt like my earlier notes and the outcome of the retreat (in which I formulated a personal intention for the upcoming years) aligned perfectly with the human-interest and social awareness direction the magazine was taking. It felt empowering to experience a clearer path for both my personal growth and the evolution of the magazine.

Be the change

you wish to see

in the world.

~

Mahatma Gandhi

Recognizing a shift in the type of stories that I had published in Let’s Explore Magazine, noticing the effect it had on collaborators & readers alike and having a clearer intention for my personal growth, led me to actually becoming the change I would like to see. I volunteered with an NGO, working in refugee camps on Lesvos, to help humanize the lives of its residents…if only a little bit and for a short moment. I ended up going back for a second time a month later. During both occasions, I initiated a photography project with the residents, in which they were able to document their lives, in their way, sharing their stories in the way they want to. A dedicated publication is still in the making but this project reminded me of the power of story and narrative. How it can evoke change through inspiration and how it can empower storytellers as well as bring insight and context into a complex situation.

Curiosity Evokes Change

Curiosity evokes change

These events invigorated me. It gave me a sense of purpose because it looked like I had found a way to use my skills to make a difference. So much so, that it propelled me to go back to school, to learn additional skills, and commit to making Let’s Explore Publishers about something bigger. It culminated in redefining my vision for both the magazine and the publishing agency: “I believe in a world in which people are open-minded and sincerely curious about what others have to say, to learn from the stories of others and strive to live an inspired and inspiring life.

The mindset I am currently in, could not have been achieved without the making of the Perseverance-issue, my volunteer work on Lesvos, me going back to school and the necessity of staying home due to COVID, which helped me to reflect on what I truly find important. On top of that, this journey was kickstarted by my curiosity, which evolved in finding inspiration in places I did not, at first glance, expect. The long time between publishing the latest issue and this launch of the new theme, apparently, was needed to align my drive with my passion project. Now, the time of thinking and living in my notebook is over. It’s time to actually do something!

I felt empowered and listening to Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s search for meaning” – talking about finding purpose and meaning – inspired me to aim for who I believe I should be, through which I can become who I can be. It, therefore, made perfect sense, to make the theme the next issue of Let’s Explore MagazineEMPOWERMENT.

I want to share your story
Empowerment Issue

What’s your Empowerment-story

The idea of the magazine is to create a publication of inspiring interpretations on the theme Empowerment, which can be presented in countless ways. In order to create a coherent collection of stories, these will – as in previous issues – be categorized in people, places, projects and ideas. Please use this structure to guide and/or inspire you.

My ambition is to publish a diverse, inclusive, open-minded and curiosity-driven magazine, that makes the reader think. By doing so, it can then present meaningful insights about Empowerment and perhaps even inspire change. To make this publication happen, I’m looking for your tale of Empowerment. Please remember, that for every story told, there’s often at least one person who can benefit from that. […] Do not sell yourself short by thinking your story is not good enough!

Your submission can be a personal experience, you can document somebody else’s journey in a collaborative effort or on behalf of their account, create a profile of an organization or a project that aims to empower people or communities. Besides these literal empowerment-stories, one can also explore the meaning empowerment has for you in a think piece.

It’s not always necessary to be strong,

but it is to feel strong.

~

Jon Krakauer

This also means that you can make empowerment as big as a subject as you like. It can be “small” as in: that which makes you get up in the morning, that which inspires you when your creative juices have difficulties flowing or events that lift your spirits when the walls are closing in on you due to COVID restrictions. On the “larger” end of the spectrum you can think of: stories that amplify the voices of minorities, create awareness regarding gender equality, racial justice, climate change, etc. or ways to find security in uncertain times.

Whichever way you choose to present your interpretation, remember that there is no right or wrong story, no matter how small or big its impact has been. Diversity is key and any form of personal experience (i.e. growth or lack thereof), acknowledgement of possibilities for change in the past/present/future, sharing one’s struggles to feel empowered or a having an inner voice that tries to keep you small, helps shape a narrative that could be empowering in and of itself.

How and what to submit

Vision without action is just a dream,

action without vision just passes the time,

and vision with action can change the world.

~

Nelson Mandela

What’s next?

The first part of making the Empowerment-issue consists of collecting your story ideas. To submit your proposal, pitch it in no more than 300 words, no more than 10 (low res) images and don’t forget to add a story format if you already have an idea. From all submissions, I will select the ones that together make the best and most diverse collection of inspirational and/or thought-provoking material. I intend to publish 25 stories spread out over the 176 pages. And to keep it an interesting read, a mix of story formats is key, hence the importance of mentioning it in your proposal.

Story formats

Different types of stories usually have different story formats. So if you already have a format in mind, please add this in your proposal, because it will help me with making the final selection. Note that the below image-text ratio is a very general guideline:

• photo essay: 90% images, 10% text;
• photo story: 75% images 25% text;
• essay: 25% images 75% text;
• short (fictional) story: 90-100% text. Taking the reader on an adventure, journey, exploration of self.

Estimated Timeline

I 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. The making of the magazine is a collaboration between the individual contributors and myself. I’m available to brainstorm with each selected contributor about their story, to help wherever I can. To be clear, it’s your story, not mine! In the end, I’ll make sure the stories sit nicely next to each other, making the magazine a coherent collection of inspiring stories. But you and you alone decide over the content of your story.

 

My goal is to create a timeless, inspiring magazine, together with amazing storytellers and time shouldn’t be a factor in getting it finished. But to make sure we will not spend an eternity procrastinating, I have some general deadlines in mind.

• Deadline Proposal: March 1st
• Deadline first draft + start design: May 15th
• Deadline final story: Juli 1st
• Print and launch: September 1st