In the Structo 20 editor’s letter, I wrote:
And so we will not be opening submissions immediately after this issue goes to press. Instead, we will be spending some time to figure out what’s next. This will mostly involve conversations with writers, readers and fellow publishers. We want to know how we can improve. Is a print magazine the best focus for our efforts? If so, what does it look like? How often is it released? How is it funded? How can we pay writers? How can we make a better, more open, more transparent platform?
And, indeed, Structo is changing. If you’ve followed the magazine for any length of time, this will come as no surprise – we average three or four issues in any one particular print format before iterating to something else that better suits our needs. But this time we’re switching things up a little more fundamentally: we’re going digital-first.
The magazine has always had a digital counterpart to each print issue—both in the form of paid PDF editions released alongside the print version and then, a few months later, a freely available version over at Issuu—but these digital offerings have always been a bit of an afterthought. That changes from this point on.
The aim of Structo has always been to give great writing a platform, and this new model will allow the writing we publish to be read by more people than ever before.
Here are the two most important changes:
1. Format and schedule
Beginning in February, we will publish a new piece of writing—or a number of shorter pieces—every week on our website. After 20 or so weeks, at the end of June, the issue will be complete and a beautifully designed, full-colour print edition of the magazine will immediately become available.
This weekly release schedule will allow us to give every piece we publish some individual focus, while simultaneously giving the volunteers who work on the magazine (that is to say all of us) a more predictable and less compressed schedule.
We will now be paying contributors—each writer published in Structo will receive £25 alongside a copy of the print issue. This is obviously a token payment, but is in recognition of the fact that writing has value and should be treated that way. A surprising number of established paying markets are at around this level, so it seems like a starting point, at the very least. We will review the rates, along with everything else, once this new form of the magazine has been up and running for a little while.
We will be accepting work for the next issue throughout January. Submissions will be via Google Form, as ditching Submittable is a big part of the reason we can now pay our contributors. There are still no submission fees. What we continue to require, however, is proof that those sending in work have recently supported a literary magazine. The standard of work increased so dramatically once we began asking for this a few years ago that it makes sense to keep that going. We also heard about some great magazines in the process.
Head over here to check our submission guidelines and send in your work.
That’s it for now. Do reach out if you have any questions.