Hello, it’s Wendy Pratt here, founder and editor in chief of Spelt magazine. You may have noticed that we are somewhat late getting this glorious issue to you, for which I apologise and also thank you for your patience. The print literary magazine community is full of fallen soldiers right now, with so many beautiful, interesting, necessary print literary magazines folding due to increased costs of paper, printing and postage and falling readerships. Spelt is determined to not be one of them, but we also don’t want to simply stay static and rely on the editors working for free, contributors not receiving renumeration for their work, or the magazine being sub-standard in terms of quality. A good lit mag should be something a contributor proudly displays on the bookcase, a rite of passage for writers on their journey to success. Right from the start, the aesthetics of the magazine, the colour and vibrancy and design that we are so proud of has been something we are unwilling to change. It is tough to keep a print magazine going in the current climate. We have been exploring funding options that will help stabilise and grow the platform and the magazine, reaching new audiences and really bedding into our mission which is still to validate and celebrate the rural experience across the board. Unfortunately we were not awarded ACE funding this time around. i should point out that the funding wasn’t to fund the magazine, but rather to give us help in building the platform to push Spelt further, diversify our audience and bring more underrepresented voices in nature writing to a wider community. We’ll try again, but it has been a blow. The problem with funding being that one has to stay in one place while waiting, unable to start new projects or move forward because future structures within the magazine core will change if that funding arrives. It’s by no means the end of the world, it just means that plans have now changed and we’ll be trying to fund differently, the building of the platform will take longer etc. We will try again and to be frank, there are worse things happening in the world.
Look out for some new projects starting and check out the shop where you can now buy PDF versions of the magazine, and PDF subscriptions. We have lots of other ideas for the future of Spelt and we are working very hard to maintain a good quality, interesting and innovative magazine. Thank you for your support!
Issue 08 is a particularly special one. It feels like we have fought to get it to print, and that makes me very proud indeed. Not only does it feature wonderful poetry and creative non-fiction, but it is the issue in which we say goodbye to our current columnists and start thinking about the next cohort. Thank you, Kiera, Elizabeth, Ruth and Andrew, for all your hard work. This issue also features an ex-mentee of mine, who recently published her first book. Victoria Bennett’s ‘All My Wild Mothers’ is a stunning debut and I feel honoured to have had the chance to work with her early on in the book’s development and to discuss it with her for the magazine. This issue also features our first ever poetry film, which you can watch by using the QR code. This is Helen’s first issue as poetry film editor, and I wish to extend a warm welcome to the team.
2023 is a fresh year, and a new chance to explore and grow and I look forward to bringing you four issues of the beautiful thing that is Spelt magazine, with the help of Steve Nash and Helen Dewberry, my brilliant co-editors.
Until next issue