Guardian masterclass excitement

by Steve Watson in February 2014
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This weekend I’m running a masterclass in independent publishing at the Guardian’s offices. It will be the third time I’ve organised the two-day event, and this one is looking like it’s going to be the best yet.

All week presentations have been flowing in from the various speakers (details of them below) and I’ve been pulling together the lesson plans, but the most exciting bit came last night when I received the results of the pre-course questionnaire, giving details of the people and organisations who will be there to learn.

I won’t give their details now in case they wouldn’t want me to for any reason, but suffice to say there are a couple of organisations I’ve admired from afar for a while, and some really interesting new magazine concepts in the works. I can’t wait to make a start working with them, and assuming they’re happy for me to share details I’ll post next week about the various projects.

It’s fantastic to see so much interest from the makers of new magazines, and I’m sure our expert guests will be able to give them some solid guidance. Over the weekend we’ll be joined by:

Guy Andrews, editor of Rouleur, who will speak about the importance of finding a niche for your magazine. I’ve just scanned through his slides, and I can’t wait to see him present them live – there’s going to be a huge amount of knowledge and experience packed in there.

Rosa Park, editor of Cereal, will talk about the importance of making an impact with a magazine. That’s something she and her partner Richard did to great effect with Cereal, both in print and across their phenomenally popular social media channels, and they’re just starting it all again with Guided by Cereal, their new series of online-only city guides.

Jeremy Leslie, author of The Modern Magazine, and the publishing powerhouse behind magCulture, will be giving his verdict on the most interesting independent magazines out there at the moment, and speaking about what it is exactly that makes them so effective.

Esra Gokgoz, content strategist at creative agency Human After All, will speak about what it means for a print magazine to have a digital strategy, and question whether magazines need to be in print at all, figuring out the things that different media do well and how to tap into those strengths.

And I’ll be talking about distribution, taking in the whole spectrum from mainstream international distributors to ultra-local DIY drop-offs, and how the content and format of a magazine itself affects the way it finds its way into the world.

Watch out for more info next week…

Guided by Cereal
Human After All

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