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What is Scratch?
As followers of this blog already know, Scratch is a new digital quarterly magazine edited by Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin. Scratch is all about the intersection of writing, money, and the business of publishing.
Writers are used to scrambling for money, but the economic realities of the publishing industry are undergoing tremendous change. Even if you might not expect to make a fortune, for some writers it has become increasingly difficult to make a living wage. But transparent, useful conversation about money and creative work is still surprisingly hard to come by. That’s why we started Scratch.
Our first quarterly issue is titled “Hunger,” and like every issue, it’s filled with interviews, features, and personal stories about the economics of being a writer.
In an interview with Susan Orlean, you’ll find reflections on freelancing, earning money, and why being a writer is like running a small business. She says:
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.
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.”
In line with our commitment to information, at the end of each issue is the Transparency Index, which reveals the relationships and finances behind the making of Scratch.
We hope what we’re offering helps empower writers to better advocate for themselves in their careers. But we hope to ultimately provide more than just transparency and information: we want to offer context, personal stories, and maybe just a little bit of levity.
We hope you share our excitement! If so, start reading at ScratchMag.net.