Scratch is a new digital quarterly magazine about writing, money, and the business of publishing, by editors Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin. It's now out on our platform and available on iOS devices as well as in your desktop browser. A subscription gives you universal access across all devices.
Downloading or signing up for Scratch is free and comes with a complimentary issue. After that, subscriptions are available for $20 per year. Like every issue, the first subscriber issue, "Hunger," is filled with interviews, features, and personal stories about the economics of being a writer. In an interview with Susan Orlean, she reflects on freelancing, earning money, and why being a writer is like running a small business.
The world we live in now is much more about individuals. Especially for writers--ugh, can we think of another word than brand? But the fact is, it is the right word. You create a professional persona that can be applied in many different ways, some of which you don't get paid for, like Twitter, and some of which then lead to other interesting work that you maybe didn't even predict.
-- Susan Orlean
In a personal essay, Rachael Maddux critiques the common advice that writers "stay hungry".
"'Stay hungry,' as it happens, is terrible advice. Taken literally, it suggests welcoming the symptoms of starvation: fatigue, anxiety, depression, muscle atrophy, stunted growth, compromised immune response, death."
-- Rachael Maddux
In line with their commitment to information, at the end of each issue is a Transparency Index, revealing the relationships and finances behind the making of Scratch.
Scratch is all about the intersection of writing and money. Writers are used to scrambling for money but the economic realities of the publishing industry are undergoing tremendous change. Even if writers don't expect to make a fortune, for some it has become difficult to make even a living wage. But useful, transparent dialogue about money and creative work is still surprisingly hard to come by. That's why there's Scratch.
Like us at 29th Street Publishing, Manjula Martin and Jane Friedman want to empower writers to advocate for themselves and further their careers. Since 2012, Manjula has been shedding light on what different publications pay writers on the popular tumblr Who Pays Writers, and Jane has been a sought-after speaker and teacher on the future of publishing for more than a decade. Who Pays Writers is now hosted on the Scratch website. But Scratch is more than just transparency and information; it provides context, personal stories, and depth. It's like your own writing mentor, bringing you timely advice and the latest scoop three times a year.
We hope you share our excitement! If so, sign up and start reading at scratchmag.net.