Commissioning for independent magazines

by Steve Watson in May 2024
Share on Facebook, Twitter or Copy Link

We launched our Discord server in March last year, and it’s turning into a nice place for chatting about magazines. (If you haven’t already tried it, join us – we’d love to see you there.)

Most of our members prefer to watch quietly from the sidelines, and of course that’s totally fine. Lurkers are welcome! But a few regulars have emerged over the months who get involved with answering questions and suggesting thoughts, and they’re the ones who really make the group work. I love it when we get magazine makers and readers chatting back and forth and giving us all a glimpse into their independent publishing worlds.

One of our most vocal members is Anja Charbonneau, editor-in-chief and creative director of Broccoli, and founder of Mushroom People and Catnip. It’s amazing to have somebody with her experience in there, dropping thoughts and insights into the chat, and occasionally making exciting announcements. (We were discussing the absorption of Pitchfork into GQ when she casually mentioned that she was thinking about starting a new music magazine, and now I’m looking forward to seeing the first issue of Heartbeat appearing towards the end of this year.)

A few weeks ago she posted to say that she and Broccoli’s editor, Stephanie Madewell, had taken part in a Q&A session about commissioning:

I think that sounds brilliant, and I’d love to hear them speaking about their processes, so I dropped Anja a line to see whether she and Stephanie would be up for doing the same thing in our Discord. I’m pleased to say they agreed, so they’re going to be speaking at 5pm UK time on Thursday 6th June, along with Broccoli’s deputy editor Ellen Freeman (also editor of Mildew, which we delivered to Stack subscribers in November last year).

Come and join us if you’ve ever wondered about the best way to commission stories; or if you want to get an insight into the publishing machinery behind Broccoli, Mushroom People, and Catnip; or if you’d just like to drop in on a conversation with magazine lovers. It’s going to be a bit of an experiment – we’ve done one video roundtable event on Discord before, but it was quite a long time ago and deliberately small and informal. I’m definitely a little bit nervous about making everything work, but I’m going to ignore the safe allure of Zoom because this event originated on Discord, so I think it makes sense that it should happen there too.

If you want to be part of it, all you need to do is join our Discord server and watch out for the notifications that will pop up a few minutes before the event. We’ll hold the event in the server’s meeting room, which is really easy to access, and I’ll make sure there are instructions in the chat on the day. If you have any questions about all this, just drop me an email and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can, and I hope you’ll join us to hear from Anja, Stephanie and Ellen.

Commissioning Q&A with Broccoli
Thursday 6th June, 5pm UK time
Join the Stack Discord to enter the meeting room

Close Icon

Join our magazine club! Subscribe to Stack and every month we'll pick a different independent title and deliver it to your door. You never know what you'll get next...

Subscribe now