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Fellow writer Daylin Van Zandt sent me a message over Facebook today that inspired me. He decided to quit his full-time job to fulfill a dream. I’m so excited for him! One of his dreams is to start a community magazine. While he has the networks and the know-how to get started, he wanted some tips, advice, suggestions on what steps to take to get cracking on this latest endeavor. I asked Daylin if I could post his question on my blog in the hopes that you generous and wise readers could help out. His message is below. Please leave a comment to let him know what you think.

“I was going through old emails and I actually saved the few of them that we sent back and forth last year. I took some time to read them and it really inspired me again. I recently quit my job that I had in a call center and took a part time job tutoring which is really awesome so far. I am left with about 20 extra hours a week to pursue what I am passionate about. I have been working on some film/photography projects (none are paying yet but its good experience). I’m also trying to start a community magazine and start writing and publishing. We have a local company that distributes free arts and entertainment papers (charging for advertising) but I have heard from a lot of people that for one they are too expensive to advertise in and two the articles and coverage they do isn’t a true representation of what’s really going on in the local culture. So I’m trying to find a way to make this happen. I was wondering how you think it would be best to go about creating this. Blog? Printing? I’m really excited and motivated. I have alot of really good contacts in the city and an active involvement in arts/business/music/film/access to writers. I just wanted to know what you thought.”

  • Crystal Schubert

    I don’t have any experience creating anything like this, but his idea sort of reminds me of the neighborhood websites from when I lived in Seattle. They’re blogs, and residents send in information, events, etc, to be vetted and posted. I definitely kept an eye on the one for my neighborhood, and I know it was popular among some of my neighbors. It was myballard.com, and they also have links to similar sites for adjacent neighborhoods like Wallingford and Fremont.

    Don’t know if that helps at all, but if he decides to choose a site instead of print, he might get some good pointers from those sites :)

  • buyemura

    Thanks Crystal! Great advice. If anything, I think checking out how other local companies are getting together to distribute information could be a great first step. I’ve also had the opportunity to write for small community publications. I know it’s a lot of hard work, but it can be very successful. I would advise Daylin connect with his networks right away and set up meetings to discuss opportunities and their potential role in a publication. One of the magazines I wrote for even hosted an initial celebratory event which invited the sponsors of the magazine and the staff. It was at a public event so people who didn’t hear about the publication did so quickly because of all the press surrounding the event.

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