How to become a magazine editor

My oldest son started a magazine.

Adam saw a need for a place where artists could showcase their work and themselves, and so he created it. Out of nothing.

His goal was to give artists a free published forum and get businesses to sponsor them. He literally had nothing to show local business owners when he went asking for money.

He walked in with a blank piece of paper the size of his magazine, which had yet to be produced, and asked for money. And he got it.

I’m so proud of him for doing that.

He knew nothing about lay up and design, so he taught himself. And, he had no idea how to sell advertising, so he learned on the job.

He was the sales force, producer, designer, photographer, copy editor, and distributor of Stateside Magazine. It caught on so fast; I don’t think he was even prepared for its quick success.

As it grew, he began to get artists who wanted to have things their way. So to deal with that easily, he started to say, “I’ll have to ask my editor”. Then he called me up and said, “How would you like to be my editor?”

And that’s how I became an editor of a magazine.

There were two distinctly, unique things about his magazine. One was the cover page. He wanted it to be completely different each and every month, and to showcase a new artist.

Everyone told him he had to find a font and style for the name of the magazine, or no one would be able to recognize it as the same magazine each month. I love what Adam said:

“I think people are smarter than that.”

The other brilliant strategy he had, was to “ShaRE-cycle” the magazine. Each week he noticed hundreds of other publications getting thrown away, and he wanted his magazine to be one that people shared, instead of tossed.

We worked well together and I thoroughly enjoyed the role as Editor in Chief. I remember one woman who was very upset with me because I wouldn’t allow her article in the magazine.

I offered to edit it, so it would be readable, and her comment back was “But it’s my art!” This wasn’t a poem or anything like that; it was an article about a honey badger. Funny.

But mostly, everyone was great to work with and all the artists loved the exposure our publication provided them.

This is actually a photograph of Chalk Art at i madonnari – Italian Street Painting Festival

We had a lot of fun with that magazine and threw several events around it too. The one-year anniversary bash was one of my favorites. Adam got several local artists to perform and we all had a great time.


Sometimes I don’t feel right calling myself an “editor”, but I was one and I sure enjoyed it while I was doing it. And, we put out a great magazine too.

It came as second nature to me and I’m happy I had the experience. Turns out I’d use that experience with a writer I was soon to meet.

Loretta Sayers, Editor

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