Posted by: noelwilliams | January 26, 2013

Where next?

Rosemary and I met this week to discuss future developments for Antiphon. We have occasional editorial and business meetings, in which Rosemary tries valiantly to keep conversation on track with sensible and interesting observations, whilst I interrupt with red herrings or personal anecdotes that lead us wandering astray: plagiarism, reasons for writing poetry, the value of sestinas, the quality of student writing – they can all derail discussion, until we recollect our purpose and get back down to Antiphon business.

This time we began feeling pleased with ourselves, because we‘ve figures which show how successful Antiphon has been to date. Over our first year the number of submissions grew steadily. As did the number of readers, which now certainly exceeds 1000 and may be as many as 1500. It also seems that the average reader spends more time with Antiphon than our earlier readers did, so this perhaps means readers are getting more from the magazine, too.

Which means we want to be even bigger and better, of course. So much of our discussion these days is about what we’ll expand, what more we will do. For example, we still feel we’re not getting enough submissions from good UK poets, and we’re not sure what to do about it. So if you are, or know of, any upcoming poets whose work would sit comfortably in Antiphon, please spread the word to them. Or if you’ve ideas on poets we might invite to contribute, let us know.

One thing that is very important to us, as you’d probably expect, is feedback on the poems we print. So we’ve decided that with the next issue, Antiphon #6, we’ll ask readers to tell us their favourite poems. We’ll then invite the poet with the highest number of reader votes to send a couple of  poems for display in Antiphon’s Exhibition Space, as “Featured Poet”. This will give the poet an extra opportunity to publish their work and the associated publicity of being readers’ favourite and featured poet.

We also want to expand the reviews section. We know from other magazines that many more poetry collections and pamphlets are published than ever get reviewed. Antiphon has so far only printed a few reviews in each issue, but we’ve plenty of space we can use. We like the idea of reviews because they promote both poets and presses, as well as the magazine itself. They may also attract a few readers who otherwise might not have found us, and thereby bring the poems we print more of a readership.

And we’re still considering whether to produce a print anthology of Antiphon.  We very much like the idea of a print publication, but there are several problems to solve. There’s the initial cost. There’s the issue of free copies for contributors (we might need 100 of these, which sends the cost up, naturally). Then there’s the issue of distribution and, more loosely, “marketing”. None of these are major issues for the online magazine but they’re major barriers to a print version. So we’re wondering about a Kickstarter approach, which could help with several of these at once.

If you’ve any views on using Kickstarter for poetry, or perhaps experience of print production, you might like to let us know your views.

And, as always, we’d be pleased to hear from you about any of the above. Or indeed anything to do with poetry. Our aim is to stoke the fires of poetry. For which we need fuel.





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