I hate computers.

So I suppose now is as good a time as any to get into what I've been working away on for the past month or so. I was going to wait until absolutely every last detail was ironed out and we were ready to launch to mention anything, but in the meantime I feel like I've got nothing else to say...

A group of close friends, including B, and myself have set to work organizing an online English language literary arts magazine. We'd hoped to have the website up and running by the end of July, but it's looking like we might be up a lot sooner than that. In fact, B's coming over tonight and with his programmer guidance, we can hopefully finish the basic layout of the site, and I'll leave him from there to work out all of the computery details that are over my head. We've got a domain. We've got a provider. I've been busy setting up all of the other social networking sites. We've also got a designer, a fiction editor and an arts editor.

I guess this is what I meant about becoming less anonymous, although I'm sure it didn't make much sense at the time. Once this whole thing goes up, my presence on the internet is going to have increase exponentially. I've even signed up for a Twitter account, for God's sake, and I suppose I'll have to figure out how to use the damn thing. Am also in the process of figuring out how to un-banish my Google Plus account, which I hacked out of existence the moment the fucking thing started popping up all over my browser integrating things I hadn't asked it to integrate, and combining absolutely all of my internet activities into one useful profile that would make internet stalking an absolute walk in the park for anybody I've ever emailed in my entire life.

I'm not pleased about the whole thing, and B's seen a rather ugly side to me as I've spent our evenings in together for the past couple of weeks cursing loudly at my laptop when it refuses to do the things I'm trying to make it do. I'm not a techy person. I'm easily frustrated by these magical machines. Which endlessly amuses the computer programming arrogant dick I call my boyfriend, who practically throws a parade every time I have to ask him for help with anything. So all of this, plus the resumption of a long term hate relationship with my arch-nemesis from university, Microsoft Word, has led to a complete disinterest in touching the computer for any kind of bloggy type things in my downtime. I've barely managed to stop myself from tossing the whole terrible machine out my fourth floor window.

But the point is this: In the lead up to planning this whole little venture out, I set out first and foremost to do my research. To find out what was already out there, what has succeeded and what has failed. And all I could find was a sad little graveyard of quickly failed ventures.

I'm not sure what it is -- a lack of organization and ambition on the part of the venturing party? A lack of interest and participation within the community, as a whole? A lack of proper dogged marketing and promotion?

There's nothing. Just these sad ads for submissions followed by complete radio silence. Not even a single issue.

Which is why it's important for me to be as visible as possible. My biggest fear about this whole thing is not that no one will read it -- no one reading lit mags is basically a preordained condition of starting one. The thing I'm really worried about is not taking in enough submissions.

Which is where I hope the blogging community will come in. I have absolutely no idea how this blog grew to the level of readership it did, but I'm always grateful for it. Self-promotion is not in my blood, and I struggle to take advantage of even the opportunities that are handed straight to me. This blog has been a soft place to fall, in that regard, over the years. And I hope it will be so again, once this project is launched.

So put on your thinking caps, kids, and rack your brains. Anyone at all on the Korean peninsula, who is doing work that you like, work that you think is worthwhile... keep them in mind. And when the site goes up, please let them know. We've got a talented and diverse community here, and we've got talented and diverse Korean friends and loved ones amongst us. And I wish we had more collective access to that.

So let's see what we can do.


S said...

Are you looking for work only from people currently in Korea? Is this primarily for fiction, or nonfiction, or professional development...?

(Can you tell my interest is piqued?)

I'm no Picasso said...

We're really not completely determined about the restrictions on location just yet, because we're worried about not getting enough of a response, so for now I'll just say... we are primarily hoping for work from people currently in Korea. But we're not ruling anything out. (Basically, we still need to decide.)

It will be poetry, fiction and lyrical nonfiction (meaning not articles, basically), as well as visual art, photography and possibly interviews or translations if anyone has the notion.

Alphanomical said...

Have you thought about going along (or asking people on your behalf to go) to Language Cast? I don't know what the ones in Seoul are like as I've never been, but if they're like the ones in Busan, they're not a bad platform to advertise at. The majority of the crowd is made up of young Koreans who are interested in learning and speaking English, and Expats who speak English already.

If you'd like, I can give you a mention at the two in Busan? Give me the contact details when you're ready and I can make some printouts to give to people. I haven't been to them in a while so it'll be a good excuse to go again.

Sidney said...

I don't have anything self-made to offer or even other people to link to, but if you need illustrations for the magazine (as in, for the design, layout, etc.), I'll offer my amateur services. I'm trying to build up experience doing illustrations for anything that wants stuff from someone like me, so if you need a picture drawn to go along with something, plz feel free to use me~

Anonymous said...

Ah, if only you had done this a while back during my active open mic days, I could have swung some writers your way.

Relatedly, though: a frightening number of my hits are still all from Korea. When promo-time comes, send word and I'll begin posting about it.

idoru said...

This sounds like a really interesting venture - let us all know links and social media points - I'm looking forward to seeing and reading what happens and do what I can to help promote :)

Mr Nameless said...

Sounds interesting, Liz. Will you do reviews of contemporary literature, and such? I'd like to know what the cool kids are reading these days. Best of luck with this endeavour! x

sager said...

Nice post with awesome points! Can’t wait for the next one.

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