Lighthouse is launching at last, with the help of many beautiful friends! Finally, after months of meeting to organising fonts and logos, designing page layouts and debating the finer points of paper density, this new stage of journal preparation takes us outside the Playroom doors, fishing for readers for our first fundraising event. We’ve been able to secure a packed programme of readings from established local writers, including poetry from the eponymous George Szirtes, sweet Helen Ivory, indefatigable Martin Figura, quick-witted Joanna Guthrie, droll Tom Warner, electric Heidi Williamson, bird-lover Matt Howard, and prose from the superbly talented Justine Mann, Mark Wernham, Rebecca Stott and more. Combined with regular slots for open mic throughout the evening, ensuring emerging writers feature alongside the published and practiced literati of Norfolk, the night will be spilling over with home-grown talent.
The event is scheduled for the 1st October at Norwich Arts Centre, with a capacity of 150 seated guests, at £5 a ticket and £200 hall hire, so although the event will raise a certain amount of reserves, we have to work harder to raise enough money for the first issue of the magazine. Therefore on the night we will be selling raffle tickets for a number of great prizes, including the top prize, bed and breakfast in Halesworth in Gatehouse Press’ very own Tom and Juliet Corbett’s absolutely stunning garden studio, as well as books, cakes and other treats. Simultaneously, we will be selling advance subscriptions to Lighthouse magazine, hoping to hook an early readership in to help support the initial launch edition.
All this means we’ve reached a new level of development in the creation of Lighthouse, beyond laying the foundations, actually switching that giant lamp on. Now we need to whack up the voltage to advertise the s**t out of our idea, pooling our collective social networks gathered through various associated writing ventures to spread the word. This is sink or swim time, and hopefully we’ll spark enough interest to move forward to publishing in late January 2013, opening for submissions at the end of October as our local efforts start to spill outwards from Norwich, engaging an extended community of creative writers and readers throughout the UK.
So far this is just planning and preparation, purely hypothetical stage-setting. My fears for the event in particular focus on the empty hall, both literally and hypothetically. Will people come and fill the venue? Will people want to submit to the magazine? I know that I personally am sceptical of new presses, I feel less confident about sending my work to be included in a product when I haven’t seen any proof of its quality or value yet. The Lighthouse fundraiser is therefore more than just a potential money-spinner, but an opportunity to rally support and build a more public profile that will enhance our credibility from the very beginning. This in turn will help to establish the magazine as a firm platform for new and exciting writing, supported by existing writers who are keen to push new writing to the fore and inspire confidence in the Lighthouse magazine for readers, writers and investors alike. Wish us luck!
Posted 8 years ago