Today we tossed around the idea of creating a published journal of sorts, like the Stacks writing group did. It would feature original short stories and poems by our members, as well as artwork throughout. There seem to be four basic questions (or groups of questions) in doing this:
1. Getting the content. Poems and short stories, short enough to fit on one or two half-sheets of 8.5" x 11" paper, plus illustrations. All must be in a format that can be scanned, copied, and/or digitally stored. All content will be being released into the wild. Its appearance in even something like this may count as first publication, so that may complicate matters for pieces people may intend to publish later.
(One suggestion was that the content could be the result of a "free write", so that numerous stories and poems would be based on a single writing prompt. This would also keep the length of each piece low.)
2. Design. What works best for this? Everything typeset neatly, the rough-and-ready look of zines, or some combination of the two? What should the title be? What other information will be contained? How long will it be?
3. Creation. What sort of paper? Should the cover be a different paper? What kind of staples or stapler? How many copies? Where is the best place to do this? Who will bear the cost?
4. Distribution. The journal will serve as a sampler and an ad for the group. Where should we place copies? How many copies at each location? How many copies will we keep for ourselves, and for future use?
We are going to contact several people currently publishing zines (including the Stacks zine) to get their advice. We might not have something in place for the Scranton Zine Fest in June, but we may have something ready to be dropped off at local libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops before too long.