Jeremy Leslie on The Modern Magazine 2015

by Stine Fantoft Berg in October 2015
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On Thursday 29 October the annual Modern Magazine conference returns for its third year, once again organised by our friends at magCulture.

As ever, they have a fantastic line-up of speakers including independent favourites like David Lane (The Gourmand) and Ibrahim Nehme (The Outpost), but also including mainstream stars like Scott Dadich (Wired US) and Andrew Tuck (Monocle).

So with the conference less than two weeks away, we thought we’d check in with Jeremy to see how he’s doing ahead of the big day.

Jeremy Leslie_cropped

Hey Jeremy! I’d like to start by asking you two of your own staple questions; where are you today, and what can you see from your window?
I’m working with my friends Maison Moderne in Luxembourg today; this is the view from my hotel room this freezing morning.

IMG_1901 (1)1

If I were in London it would a/ be a bit warmer and b/ I’d be at the magCulture studio checking email before the day starts; out of the window I’d see the housing co-op opposite and a few trees and hanging plants. Our building is pretty old and decrepit but the studio and this view is a peaceful oasis in the centre of London. We’re moving soon, which is exciting, but I’ll miss this view and the light.

With the amount of deliveries coming in for the conference, this is pretty much what it looks like these days:


What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?
Can I say all of it? We have a strong, varied line-up. I like to think of it as the magCulture Journal brought to life, with big mags as well as smaller Stack-friendly mags represented – in fact we have guests from Stack stalwarts The Gourmand and The Outpost, both of whom are great speakers. I’m also looking forward to Sophie Lovell from online magazine Uncube testing print lovers, and to US Wired’s Scott Dadich offering his insights into our industry.

A highlight will be our breakout sessions offering the unique chance to flick through a selection of classic magazines from the magCulture and CSM archives. Important rarities like Nova, Twen and Oz will be available to enjoy through touch, smell and sound.


What’s been the most challenging part of organising it so far?
This is the third ModMag so while it doesn’t get easier it does get simpler – there’s a team of people that come together each year and everyone knows what they’re doing and has ideas how to improve on the year before. Right now the most challenging part seems to be settling on a good venue for the speakers dinner.

What will the day look like for you? Will you be able to enjoy your own event?
By the time the day itself comes everything should be sorted, but there’ll still be some nerves. Like last year, Liv Siddall will be host for the day, so I won’t have to keep leaping up to announce stuff. I’ll enjoy welcoming everyone at the start of the day, and there’s friends to catch up with and people to meet. We’ll be launching my book ‘Independence’ so I’m looking forward to seeing what people make of that with a mixture of excitement and anxiety.

What’s the worst imaginable thing that could happen on the day?
I have a vivid imagination; I’m confident that nothing as bad as what I just imagined will happen.


How will you celebrate when it’s all done and successfully carried out?
After the talks, speakers and audience will have a few drinks together, then we’ll take our guests to dinner to thank them and celebrate. I hope to wake up on the Friday with my hangover softened by a warm glow about the day, before preparing for the next big magCulture ‘thing,’ a new venture we’ll be announcing at ModMag.

Oh, that should be exciting! Lastly, who should come to the conference, and why?
Everyone should come! If you love magazines you’ll find yourself among fellow magaholics; if you have no idea what the fuss is about come along and find out. We have professionals from all parts of the industry coming from across Europe, and we welcome increasing numbers of students each year.

But be quick – I know everyone always says this, but there really aren’t many tickets left now.

This year’s The Modern Magazine conference takes place on Thursday 29 October. If you, like us, identify as a ‘magaholic’, buy your tickets from the magCulture shop and come along for a day filled with magazines.

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