Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magazine Soapbox

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Magazine Soapbox on Tuesday, October 20th at the TRUCK Gallery!!!
Editors Anne Burke from The Prairie Journal and Leah Gillis from FreeFall talked openly about the ins and outs of small, independent magazine publishing. Both editors voiced the many possibilities for emerging and established writers and visual artists to contribute to local arts and literary titles and are keen to explore new and innovative ways to partner with creative people to enhance the cultural landscape in Alberta.

When Burke recalled the history of small, literary magazine publishing in Alberta and more specifically Calgary, she remembers Dandelion stood alone on the shelves. Now, more than 20 years later Dandelion is accompanied by publications such as AMPA members Prairie Journal, FreeFall, filling Station and Other Voices to name just a few. Although the landscape of literary magazines has grown, working in the industry is not for the faint of heart. Both Burke and Gillis agreed, "It is a labour of love" but with hard work also comes rewarding work. For both editors, one of the biggest rewards is the ability to expose writers and visual artists by giving them a platform to share their craft with the world.

Reader Geo Takach talked about the importance of magazines as contributors to the creative and cultural aspects of our communities and noted the importance of researching various types of publications to see where your work fits best. "When you have an affinity for a publication, your writing will most likely make sense within it."

Kim Firmston gave an emotionally charged reading of her latest piece of fiction, Life After War that is published in the Fall issue of FreeFall.

Thanks again!!!

For more information on AMPA's Arts and Literary members, visit