Those readers of Under a Grey Sky who have been following the progress of my new project Elsewhere: A Journal of Place will already know most of this, but in case you missed it I wanted to record an update on the journal here on my personal blog as it is has been a challenging but rewarding process so far.
When Julia and I first met to talk about the project at the end of last summer, our aim from the beginning was to provide a platform for writing and visual arts that explores the concept of place in all its various meanings, whilst also committing to print and the desire to create a beautiful object with which to transport those words and pictures. A few days ago, after months of writing, editing, designing, crowdfunding, building an audience, meeting tax consultants, and all the various bits and pieces that we needed to do to get from there to here, we sent the first edition to the printers here in Berlin and now all there is to do is wait for the physical thing to arrive.
Well, that and beginning the process of writing, editing, illustrating and designing the second edition, due in September, whilst holding a launch party and attempting to sell the hundreds of copies of Elsewhere No. 01 that will soon occupy our very own lock-up somewhere in the depths of Berlin-Neukölln…
I feel too close to the words on the page to be able to objectively judge, but I can say that I am very happy with the first edition and the collection of writers, photographers and illustrators that we are showcasing on those pages… and I am very excited about those who we will be working with for issue No. 02 as well. But I can say that I am incredibly proud of the job Julia has done on the design and layout, but especially her wonderful illustrations for each essay and article in the journal, and her cover painting. She is quite the talent and it is a pleasure and a privilege to work with her.
One by-product of the journal that has already started despite the fact we haven’t published the first edition yet is the opportunities that it is already creating for those of us working on it. I am really excited about the Fort Gorgast Festival in July (Julia’s illustration at the top of this piece was created for the festival page in the journal) where I have been asked to host a couple of place-writing workshops and, along with Elsewhere books editor Marcel Krueger, we will be talking about the German-Polish border region, the history of the festival site, and reading from the first edition of the journal.
It is all very exciting, and quite a journey from conversations in a French cottage with friends and the first moments I voiced this idea out loud… if you are interested in helping us keep the journey moving forward (and thanks so much to everyone who contributed to the crowdfunding campaign) you can pre-order the first edition here or subscribe to the journal here.