Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Stories from the City

An opportunity for writers and artists

Stories from the City

A one-off magazine about Liverpool: its life, culture, landscape, character and history. Yeah, Yeah; It sounds like its been done to death, what with Mercy, the debacle about the culture company’s staffing and much more, but now, on the eve of 2008 we feel it is time to get away from all that has gone before; the hype, the parody, the critique, the speculation. We feel, it’s time to reflect on the carnival that has been capital of culture and all the rest, on the city past and present, to stop talking about The Beatles and the loss of our identity, and put across a balanced view, taking in the highs and the lows and looking toward the future.

The project is being created by Kenn Taylor and Shane Gladstone, two experienced freelance journalists and writers in Liverpool. Though it is envisaged as our contribution to 2008, the publication aims to go above and beyond talk of the 'year of culture'. It is an attempt to get to the heart of Liverpool, unafraid to look at both positives and negatives in its pursuit of an honest appraisal of where this most idiosyncratic of cities is at, and more importantly where it is headed.

It is an ambitious plan, but we hope to achieve it, and we are looking for the best writers and artists in Liverpool to contribute to it. There is no money involved: period. This will be a labour of love. But it is an opportunity to have your voice and vision heard across the city, and to showcase your work to the world, who; in 2008 will have their radars pointed firmly toward our strange and sublime Mersey paradise. We want to cause controversy and provoke opinion; we are not afraid of being radical, provided the argument justifies it. We don’t want to sound lazy, contrived or like we’re broken recording our way over well-trodden ground, so ideas have to be fresh, relevant and insightful.
Not only that, but if we manage to pull it off we could make a lasting contribution to the culture of the city and any provide aspiring writers and artists with a decided kick up their career.

This will be a word led publication. We will set no hard and fast limits, but we’re unlikely to publish anything above 2,000 words or below 500 unless it is a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. The aim is to go deep, try to be original and challenging. It is envisaged that the majority of what we publish we be journalistic in style, but that doesn't mean it has to be formulaic. Quality is what we're looking for. We would even consider printing poems and stories if they were both relevant and good enough. We aren't looking for half-baked rants about Yuppie flats and Quiggins. We think we're beyond that now and want to get to the heart of what Liverpool's about. Don't be afraid to be critical or positive about the city. Liverpool is both brilliant and awful at the same time, and we want to reflect that. A slice of humour also wouldn't go amiss. After all, everyone's a comedian in this town, aren't they?

We also want the publication to be striking in design. The plan is to produce it on newsprint with colour front and back covers with a black and white interior. We have two principal graphic requirements which we may give to two separate artists or combine depending on what people propose. For the front cover, and possibly the back, we want to have a masthead, but more importantly a striking piece of cover art, something that stands up in its own right as an artwork. No prescriptions, other than quality, originality and, obviously, that it’s something related to Liverpool. Also, we want a graphic designer to come up with a house style for the entire publication. There may be some illustration inside, but we won't commission that till we know exactly what we are publishing, so someone with a knack for typography is really what we're looking for. You have the opportunity to stamp your vision across the entire magazine. Again, don't be afraid to push the boat out, but readability must remain the key.

The only qualifications we require before submission is that you must have lived in Merseyside at some point for at least a year. Other than that we don't care if this will be your first published work or you're a professional.

’Stories from the City’ will not be out till May at least, so you have a little time to procrastinate. But the quicker you send things in the more likely they are to get in the mag. As we envisage submissions to be high, it is probably best if people with an idea write a pitch/outline then send that to us along with an example of their previous work, that way no one's time is wasted. But full finished pieces are also welcomed.

Please send ideas, work and comments to:

We will give you some sort of response as soon as we can.

Shane and Kenn

No comments: