Thursday, January 28, 2010

Will the iPad save print? Or be fodder for bad jokes?

Has any product in recent memory been as hyped-up as Apple's new iPad? Apple finally cleared speculation about its "secret tablet" and revealed what many in the print world (newspapers especially) were hoping would be a panacea for publishing woes.

Gawker talks about why so many publishers are disappointed. True, the higher you hope, the harder you fall. But we need to remember that this is just the early days of the technology. It's bound to grow exponentially in the coming months and years, so print needs to focus on delivering stellar content, as always.

Related links:

I remember seeing this hilarious MADtv skit years ago (ha!):

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

filling Station submission deadlines 2010

Submit to filling Station!

Submission Deadlines 2010
filling Station is currently accepting submissions for our 2010 issues. Submissions are accepted at any time. However, to minimize contributor waiting time, please note deadlines pertaining to our production schedule:

Issue 48: February 1 2010
Issue 49: April 1 2010
Issue 50: June 1 2010

Submission Guidelines
filling Station strongly encourages all submissions to be provided in a Word document and emailed to the corresponding editor. filling Station does not accept submissions that are racist, misogynist and/or homophobic. Include a brief bio, your mailing address, and email address in your cover letter.

Fiction Editor Jani Krulc: (up to 3 pieces of short or experimental fiction)

Poetry Editor Helen Hajnoczky: (up to 6 poems)

Non-Fiction Editors Jocelyn Grosse & James Dangerous: (reviews! interviews! etc)

Visual Editor Debbie-Lee Miszaniec:

Visual submissions can be emailed to in low (or emailable) resolution. High resolution files of minimum 300 dpi may be requested, and can be sent on CD or using Our magazine publishes in black and white.


filling Station is published 3 times annually. Please allow up to four months for reply. Successful contributors receive a free subscription to filling Station. Simultaneous submissions accepted. Unsuccessful submissions will receive notice as long as email address is included. Unaccepted manuscripts received by post will be recycled.

Questions? Email Managing Editor Laurie Fuhr at

Subscribe today! Email Receive $5 off subscriptions until March 1 2010!

filling Station: innovative poetry fiction nonfiction visualart. local conception, national distribution.

filling Station subscription offer!!!

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fill up on inspiration!

Love cutting-edge Canadian short fiction, poetry, and art?
Don't Miss Out. Subscribe Today!
3 Issues (1 Year): $22.00 CAD * 6 Issues (2 Years): $38.00 CAD

Subscribe before March 1 2010 for a $5 discount off your order!

Payments may now be made to filling Station’s Paypal business account!
Email to request an electronic invoice and provide your mailing address.
Subscriptions are also payable by cheque or money order.
Cheques may be made payable to filling Station Publications Society.

filling Station Subscriptions
Box 22135, Bankers Hall RPO
Calgary, AB T2P 4J5 Canada

U.S. orders add $9 for additional postage.
Other foreign orders also require additional postage. Email to inquire.

Coming Soon!: Digital Editions on Magazines Canada's electronic storefront!

filling Station: innovative poetry fiction nonfiction visualart.
local conception, national distribution.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Pleasures of the Text Made Tangible, by Robert Bringhurst

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
6:30pm - 8:30pm
9-323, Robbins Health Learning Centre (109 St and 104 Ave), MacEwan

Grant MacEwan University’s Design Studies program is proud to
Announce The Pleasures of the Text Made Tangible, a public lecture by Robert Bringhurst.

Bringhurst is the author of The Elements of Typographic Style, a book that Hermann Zapf called “the typographers bible." Come show your support for the MacEwan Design Program and gain insight and knowledge from the author of such an influential and inspiring work. Robert Bringhurst was born in Los Angeles on October 16, 1946, and spent his years growing up in the border provinces and states between Western Canada and the United States. He acquired a BA from Indiana University in 1973 and an MFA from the creative writing program at UBC in 1975, where he later taught. Bringhurst collaborated with West Coast artist Bill Reid on a book of Raven Myths, and Bringhurst later wrote a book about Reid's sculpture. Bringhurst is known not only as a poet but also in the fields of typography, linguistics, art history and Native studies. He received the Macmillan Prize for Poetry in 1975 and currently resides in Vancouver.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alberta Magazines Socialize With Facebook and Twitter

MagaScene 67 - January 2010

By Diane LM Cook

Social media is rapidly changing the magazine industry landscape. Many magazines have developed an online presence to stay alive in today’s electronic environment, but magazines must now also communicate directly with their readers through social networking tools. AMPA talked to three Alberta magazine editors and publishers (Canine Review, Alberta Views and Avenue Calgary) and here’s what they had to say about using Twitter and Facebook.

Canine Review

Merla Thomson, publisher of Canine Review, says “We post Best in Show winners from shows happening across Canada every weekend on Twitter and Facebook and we promote specials which we hope will drive interested parties to participate. Lots of people sign up for our features but we have come to realize we need to create excitement through this social media to provide reasons for our followers to stay engaged with the magazine online. We are currently working on a plan to measure these results.”

Thomson believes the biggest challenge of social media is figuring out the best way to capitalize on it. Thomson’s advice to fellow publishers is to figure out what your readers want to know immediately and then give them the deeper version of that knowledge in your magazine.

Alberta Views

Beth Ed, Departments Editor and Advertising Manager at Alberta Views, says the magazine uses social media to connect with people. However, she says with a small staff, it is difficult to allocate the appropriate amount of time.

“We used to post citizen challenges to our blog which generated some good responses and interesting discourse, but it fell by the wayside because of lack of time. We use Twitter to find out what people, specifically those interested in provincial politics, are talking about. And because many provincial politicians, bloggers, journalists, and news outlets use Twitter, it becomes an invaluable resource for other perspectives from all around the province. Our presence on Facebook generated some subscriptions very inexpensively.”

Ed says one of the pros of using social media is information can be spread very quickly and readers have immediate access to that information. As well, she says the magazine can reach its readers more quickly than through traditional methods. However, Ed believes one major downside to social media is its inherent social purpose.

“Because the technology is often used for social purposes, it can be perceived as something fun rather than something productive. As well, if you rely too heavily on digital communication, sometimes the personal touch can be lost. Getting out and talking to subscribers has always been our most advantageous means of generating interest and subscriptions.”

Ed’s advice is to use social media sparingly. “Understand what the medium does best, get information out quickly, and don’t rely on it for everything.”

Avenue Calgary

“We use social media to highlight the content on the magazine’s web site,” says Avenue Calgary's web editor Tony Charron. The magazine has more followers on Twitter than it does Facebook, “however, we post content on both sites that we think readers would be interested in.” This includes articles from the magazine, blog updates, web-exclusive content, and the latest surveys and contests.

Charron runs down the pros of social media:

  • A free and useful marketing tool.
  • Allows you to see and track what your readers are thinking and talking about.
  • When content is good, it is “retweeted” by your readers.
  • Helps generate traffic to your website, online contests and surveys, etc.

Cons of social media:
  • Time must be invested in order to maintain a presence.
  • Used as more of a marketing tool than a sales tool. Social media generate interest and discourse but not so much revenue.
  • Must balance frequency of posts with relevancy of content—or their is a risk of alienating readers.

He advises the following for magazines:
  • Social media is an excellent tool to gain recognition and share content with your readers.
  • Make sure the tone and voice of your magazine matches your social media.
  • Each post must have a purpose and benefit your readers.
  • For Twitter, follow the people who follow you (it’s a great way to get to know your readers personally and to get feedback).
  • The more effort you put into using social media, the more you will get out of it.

Q&A with "Magazine Addict" and Alberta Magazines Conference Keynote Ina Saltz

MagaScene 67 - January 2010

Q&A with “Magazine Addict” and AMC Keynote Ina Saltz

A big part of Ina Saltz's job description involves judging a magazine by its cover. It's a task the self-professed magazine addict clearly loves. The multi-talented Saltz is an art director, author, photographer, design critic, professor and magazine judge (for the National Magazine Awards—US) bringing her expertise to Calgary for the first time.

Saltz is teaching Pace Yourself and CSI: Creative Scene Investigation seminars at the 2010 Alberta Magazines Conference, as well as presenting the Luncheon Keynote: Covers Uncovered. AMPA spoke to Saltz about what gets a cover noticed, common design mistakes and how magazine design has evolved over the years.

AMPA: What's the first thing you notice about a cover--good or bad--and why?

Ina Saltz: I notice whether it is graphically powerful, i.e., sending an immediately clear message with images and words working together seamlessly. And that is the same thing the readers will notice, too, though they might not be able to articulate exactly why the cover isn’t compelling. No matter what the subject matter, if readers don’t “get” the idea in a couple of seconds, you are making them work too hard and they’ll just move on.

Who should attend your sessions and why?

IS: Anyone who is involved in the decisions made on a cover should attend my session CSI: Creative Scene Investigation, if for no other reason than to learn how to avoid making serious cover mistakes. You would be amazed how often even the largest magazines with the biggest budgets overlook obvious problems. And I promise to give you plenty to think about, including ways you can improve what you are doing on your covers at no additional cost.

You have worked for many years as an art director, critiquing both large and small magazines. What is one design mistake that you consistently see?

IS: I see a less-than-perfect marriage of words and images. The level of conflict may vary, but if the cover’s main message is confusing because they don’t go exactly hand-in-glove, it’s a missed opportunity. Every magazine is different, but whatever your subject matter and your audience, you must be direct and speak with clarity to your audience in the way that appeals to that specific group.

How has magazine design changed from when you started in the biz?

IS: I am happy to say that it has changed for the better. Overall there is a greater level of typographic finesse, as young designers are experiencing what I call a new “golden age” of type,and stock resources have exploded so there is wider availability of quality images that are not original, commissioned artworks. What has impressed me most is the high quality of even small circulation city and regional magazines, especially since they often contend with limited budgets, fractional ads, and tons of listings. Navigation aids and clear organizational hierarchy are key.

REGISTER for the 2010 Alberta Magazines Conference--Western Canada's largest professional development conference for magazine professionals. Early-bird ends February 16th, so don't delay!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Art & Copy screening Jan 27th 5-7 PM

If you missed the screening of Art & Copy at last year's Calgary International Film Festival, be sure to check it out at the Uptown Stage & Screen, 612 8th Ave SW on Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 between 5 - 7 PM.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Build Your Brand, Build Your Business - with the UTNE Reader's Bryan Welch


Find out why we need to redefine what the magazine business is all about, and how magazine publishers’ experience in creating branded content will be critical to moving forward effectively and profitably. Join longtime publisher Bryan Welch for a discussion about what makes a strong magazine brand and how it provides value in all aspects of your business. Specifically, he’ll talk about how to actively engage your existing audience, develop new ones and find out exactly who your readers are. Why does it matter? Because in reader-driven publishing, knowing your readers is how you successfully compete in the changing media landscape. It’s your relationship with your readers that you’re selling, and if you are the expert on your readership, then advertisers will buy from you.

Learn specifically how to:
• Stand apart from the competition, especially new media
• Create real value for readers and advertisers
• Develop a loyal reader base
• Deliver on the brand experience you convey

About the Speaker

Bryan Welch runs Ogden Publications, a diversified magazine publishing and affinity marketing company he started in 1996. The company publishes eight magazines in the sustainable-lifestyle, rural-lifestyle and collectible categories, including Mother Earth News, Natural Home, Utne Reader and the Herb Companion, all of which are category leaders in digital media, print and online. Ogden also publishes books, market insurance and financial services to their subscribers. About a third of their gross revenue comes from ancillary marketing. His company’s websites generate about 20 percent of revenues and two-thirds of its total audience with about 1.4 million unique visitors monthly. As a journalist, Bryan has covered sustainable lifestyles, energy alternatives, green building and conscientious business practices for nearly 30 years.

Monday, February 8, 2010
1pm to 4pm
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Calgary
Cost: $20 for AMPA members/students by Jan. 25; $30 after that date
$30 for non-members by Jan. 25; $40 after that date
Out-of-town Voting Members qualify for a travel bursary.
Register via or by calling 403-262-0081

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Strategy + Innovation = Alexander Manu

strategy[strat-i-jee] a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result: a strategy for getting ahead in the world.

innovation[in-uh-vey-shuhn] the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.

Strategy + Innovation= Alexander Manu. Keynote speakers and innovative minds simply don’t get much bigger and better than Alexander Manu, and this January 19, 2010, he will fundamentally change how you see business in our web 2.0 World.

When he is not developing innovative policies and strategies for industry-leading companies like Motorola, LEGO, Whirlpool, Nokia, Navteq and Unilever, Alexander is a sought-after lecturer, author and strategic innovation practitioner.

In his client and research work, Alexander is involved in transforming organizations by exploring and defining new competitive spaces, the development of new strategic business competencies and creation of imaginative innovation methods. He believes that the exploration of possibility requires imagination as a prerequisite for strategic change and innovation.

As an author, his brilliant mind has produced such highly acclaimed books as: "Everything 2.0: Redesign Your Business Through Foresight and Brand Innovation" (2008), "The Imagination Challenge: Strategic Foresight and Innovation for the Global Economy" (2006), "Tool Toys: Tools with an Element of Play" (1995), and "The Big Idea of Design" (1999), as well as over 40 articles published in national and international periodicals. His current book, "Disruptive Business", is set to be released the winter of 2010 by Gower Publishing.

Regularly lecturing around the globe on innovation, imagination, change agents and strategic foresight, Alexander has been invited to give over 300 keynote lectures in 23 countries. And finally, on January 19th 2010, he is coming to Calgary where he will inform, engage and inspire you.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from one of the world's most forward thinking and innovative strategic innovators.

AMPA Members receive the member rate.

Begin your Evolution. Register Today

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cheers to you, next Editor of the Year. Nominations now open.

It’s time to nominate your editor for AMPA’s Editor of the Year Award presented by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts—Mountain Region.

The nomination process is easier than ever before.

Simply fill in the attached one-page nomination form and return to AMPA. And read the guidelines.

The award is open to ALL Alberta editors, AMPA member or not.

It won’t take more than five minutes so please take the time to recognize your hardworking editors.

Deadline for submissions is NOON on January 22.

The winner will be announced at the Alberta Magazines Conference on March 11, 2010, and will receive a weekend getaway to one of Fairmont’s mountain resorts. Ooh la la!

Stay tuned for...Speakers announcement (including NY Art Director Ina Saltz) and early-bird registration for the 2010 Alberta Magazines Conference.

As a side note: you can't win if you don't enter. Self-nominations are accepted too, so editors, give yourself some props and YOU could be the next Editor of the Year.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Skiff Reader: Kindle for magazines?

It's thin, large and pretty damn sexy. And it could do for magazines and newspapers what Kindle has done for books. Say hello to the Skiff Reader.

Here are the specs:
- 11.5"display
- 1600 x 1200 pixels resolution
- quarter of an inch thick
- stainless-steel foil screen (most readers are glass)

According to a press release sent out Jan. 4 2010, the Skiff Reader is "the first e-reader optimized for newspaper and magazine content" and will be previewed at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas later this week.

"A full touchscreen enables users to intuitively navigate and engage with the newspapers, magazines, books and other digital content they purchase through the Skiff Store, as well as personal and work documents. The device weighs just over one pound and lasts over a week of average use between charges."
The reader will be 3G enabled, with WiFi capabilities. Sprint has partnered with Skiff.

"The Skiff Reader will feature the Skiff service and digital store, allowing consumers to wirelessly purchase and access a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, books, blogs and other content from multiple publishers. Newspaper and magazine content delivered by Skiff will feature visually appealing layouts, high-resolution graphics, rich typography and dynamic updates, supporting key design qualities that help publications differentiate themselves and attract subscribers and advertisers."

Fingers crossed that this will revitalize magazine publishing and newspapers.

Find out more.