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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 Moore’s Almanac not being to hand I’ll 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.

We’ve 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 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 didn’t 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. Writer’s like Murray Burnett and Joan Alison (+ Julius and Philip Epsteina) all of whom wrote Casablanca. Of course we aren’t actually writing film noir, we aren’t 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 don’t 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 won’t run a centrefold, it’s 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 more.
Others have left us to go to business web sites, such as and exposure, - 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 We will start this in mid-January. Meanwhile, it’s 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, Rob Delamar at, Jaqui Wilde (now Editor) at Student, Elaine Pritchard at, 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 this year.

Sam North
Managing Editor

We welcome new writers.

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