The California Sunday Magazine February 2019 issue
Delivered to Stack subscribers in  Feb 2019

by Lucy Corkish in February 2019
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As its name would suggest, The California Sunday Magazine is published on the West Coast of America, an independent magazine inserted into Sunday copies of the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. It’s an ingenious way of reaching readers across California and beyond, and the storytelling is every bit as clever as its piggybacking distribution strategy. Take a flick through and you’ll find a collection of stories informed by the Californian worldview: this magazine may be based in California, but it has national and international ambitions.

Douglas McGray

Job title
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, The California Sunday Magazine and Pop-Up Magazine

What is The California Sunday Magazine?
The California Sunday Magazine produces ambitious features and cinematic photography across California, the West, Asia, and Latin America for an international audience. The magazine appears online at and in print, delivered with select Sunday editions of the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, as well as by mail to subscribers.

What makes it different to the rest?
We’re fascinated and inspired by California and by our view of the country and the world from here. So much American journalism comes from the East Coast, New York especially. And yet the West Coast is the centre of so much of American culture, politics, technology, and the economy. We’re also particularly dedicated to stories — real stories, about real people. And our stories are as much a visual experience as they are journalistic and literary.

Who makes The California Sunday Magazine?
It’s a small but brilliant team, led by executive editor Raha Naddaf, creative director Leo Jung, photography director Jacqueline Bates, and our publisher Chas Edwards. Senior editor Kit Rachlis has edited some of our most ambitious features, including two stories that were just named finalists for National Magazine Awards in Feature Writing and Reporting.

Who reads it?
Curious people who love a great story, are interested in the American West and the Pacific Rim, and appreciate ambitious photography and design.

Why do you work in magazines?
I’m interested in how we tell stories and who we tell stories about. I love the magic of bringing together reporting, storytelling, art, and design in service of an idea. And in this moment when we’re all distracted, receiving and promptly forgetting a million fragments of information, I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell stories people will remember. Stories that might change the way people see the world around them.

Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
Our company Pop-Up Magazine Productions produces both California Sunday and Pop-Up Magazine, the touring “live magazine” created for a stage, screen, and audience. Pop-Up Magazine is a unique series of live-narrated, live-scored, multimedia journalism performances staged at major theatres across the country.

What would you change about The California Sunday Magazine if you could?
We’re new and we’re experimenting all the time, so if we have an idea, we’re inclined to try it. We created a sound issue of the magazine, where the print edition was filled with sonic footnotes you could hear on your phone, and an issue about the lives of teens with contributions from teenage writers, photographers, and illustrators. In December, we brought our first all-photography issue, “The Way Home,” to life with a gallery show at Aperture Foundation. It was like a magazine you could walk through. That was really fun.

Where do you see The California Sunday Magazine in five years?
When we launched at the end of 2014, we set out to publish some of the best reporting, storytelling, photography, and design anywhere, from a place, California, known for many things but not magazines. That remains the goal. Expect us to keep experimenting and evolving. We’re really just getting started.

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