Who needs another end of year round up? Everyone does it, grinding over
familiar territory and showing pictures of what Posh and baby Brooklyn
have been up to; worse, others predict how the year ahead is going to
turn out as well. Old Moores Almanac not being to hand Ill
forego the most obvious predictions (More rain) and just hope the year
turns out better than you expected and not as bad as I expect. Somewhere
between I guess.
Weve been through quite a year here at Hackwriters. We began the
year as Bloc Magazine, we were nominated again for the Guardian Media
Award and so kept it going. Nevertheless, the reality was that we had
already decided to go to a dot com site in 2000. We had realised that
to build an international audience it was necessary, being a .ac.uk/bloc
type address completely baffles search engines. The hardest part was
thinking of a title, then trying to buy it and of course find a title
that would reflect who and what we are.
Hackwriters is (we hope) an ironic title, alluding to the Hollywood
greats who churned out all those great movies scripts in the 1930 and
'40s. At the time they didnt think they were lasting or good,
people gave them no respect at all. Men like Raymond Chandler (creator
of Philip Marlowe) whose work is not only popular, but at the root of
the bitter sweet charms of film noir. Writers like Murray Burnett
and Joan Alison (+ Julius and Philip Epsteina) all of whom wrote Casablanca.
Of course we arent actually writing film noir, we arent
even writing movies (well I am, but getting them made is something else
entirely). Hackwriters is about a spirit of writing. Getting the job
done, making comment, moving on. Ephemeral stuff.
The very act of examining our entrails produced some interesting results.
Does Hackwriters stay fixed? Become a Travel magazine? A Film magazine?
A platform for fiction? Or do we keep the door open to everything and
each month reflect what the our regular writers interests are and what
crosses our path?
This is much harder than you would think. Hackwriters exists for writers
to experiment with styles and genres, write fiction one week, non-fiction
another, be light one day, dark the next. To fix the magazine as one
thing or another, like all other magazines might take us to places we
dont want to go. Can Business Traveller be anything other than
about Businessmen who travel? Could Garden and Home suddenly do a political
issue or run a centrefold. (No,we wont run a centrefold, its
the web dear reader, there is no centre) Nevertheless that means we
also have to ask our regular readers to adapt to what we produce month
to month, participate in the experiment alongside us, as it were. Actually
that is what we want to do, one month be Business Traveller, another
WIRED, maybe one week Screen International. We want to try being writers
without borders, free to cross any frontier and stake out a claim.
There have been successes this year. Regular contributor John Peters
has sold one of pieces on' 'Raising
Oscar' to RightStart Magazine and I hope they take
Others have left us to go to business web sites, such as evolvebank.com
and exposure events.com, TravelSelect.com - the lure of vast riches
I guess. Actually, running a free magazine is a crazy idea when you
think about it. Sponsors gladly accepted in 2001.
So this is our request for 2001 to you, the reader.
Email us, raise issues, comment.We want to start a Readers Discussion
area (no live chat with inane comments - simply - you post articulate,
well thought out ideas and suggestions in our new readers area). We
want to create a dialogue between our readers and the writers.
How? Well to start write to me firstname.lastname@example.org We will start
this in mid-January. Meanwhile, its the holiday season, enjoy,
drink, eat, drive carefully, think of others and write something, we
want to hear from you.
All the very best to you and thanks to all those who have helped us
have a great year: John Lewell of Metaplus.com,
Rob Delamar at Spark-Online.com,
Jaqui Wilde (now Editor) at Student
UK.com, Elaine Pritchard at Holdthefrontpage.co.uk,
Beatrice Wood, David Cornwell, Jon Wood at Orion Books, Sam Lewellyn,
Alison Stanley at Harper Books, Janie Bolitho, Hilary Bonner and Brian
Hall-Tomkin and all those who have generously written for Hackwriters
We welcome new writers.
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