Printout Bristol – the morning after

by Steve Watson in May 2014
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Well that was fun. Thanks again to all our speakers from last night, everyone who came down and patiently drank beer until we were ready to start, and of course to Bristol Independent Publishers for giving us the impetus to do it, and to Bristol Festival of Ideas for including us under their banner.

Of course we knew there was something a bit special happening for independent publishing in Bristol – that’s why we travelled over here – but I was genuinely taken aback by the enthusiasm in the room. The people who attended last night aren’t just reading independent magazines on a regular basis (thanks to some particularly well-stocked shops in the city – a real anomaly outside the usual suspects of London and Manchester). They’re also making them too – a quick show of hands revealed that something like 50 people in the room were either already involved in publishing or were planning to publish their own magazine.

And this is just the beginning. There’s a strong and supportive scene here, with publishers coming together to help each other under the banner of Bristol Independent Publishers (or bip, as it’s known locally) which was only established at the end of last year. During the course of the evening another couple of magazines joined up, one of which seemed to be brand new and totally unknown to everyone.

It’s fantastic to see such a healthy local scene, and it’s really reminded me why I like working with independent magazines so much. Time and again yesterday as I travelled around the city meeting publishers I heard the same story, of people risking everything on a creative vision. People spending all their time and all their money to make something they love, and that they think other people might love too.

But of course it’s not just about pretty words and pictures, and these inspiring creative people are also having to find ways of becoming entrepreneurs, running businesses that they hope will one day support them and their colleagues.

None of that is peculiar to Bristol, but it’s funny how travelling even a short distance can help you to see things with fresh eyes. We’ve got the next Printout coming up in London on the 27th with some excellent speakers taking part, and I already can’t wait to hear their stories.

**Photo courtesy of Another Escape. For more pictures from the night, check Jeremy’s Instagram feed**

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