Phlegm? No, mucus.

Lauren Beukes gives us a little insight into her success here. While I’ve not yet read any of her work it’s something I intend to do. Her Arthur C Clarke award for Zoo City suggests she has talent (other than her looks, and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and there seems to have been, and still are, lots of people going out on a limb to put her where she is, or at least help her to get there. She surely understands the aspiring writer so I was more than a little disappointed earlier this year to overhear her asking another writer why they bothered to allow magazines like Murky Depths – in this case specifically Murky Depths – that only pay token rates, to print their work, and even that they shouldn’t do it. Surely writers like Lauren should be encouraging and supporting small press publications who one day would love to be in a position to pay pro rates. We all have to start somewhere. Surely an aspiring publisher is not that far removed from an aspiring writer – only, publishers are the ones investing their money and time in writers. That the likes of established writers such as Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Mike Carey, Juliet E McKenna, Richard Calder, Stan Nichols and Robert Rankin have supported Murky Depths says a lot about their appreciation of what the independent press is trying to do. It’s a shame that not all new kids on the block think that way because then, perhaps, we could work towards success together.

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2 Responses to “Phlegm? No, mucus.”

  1. Totally agree with you, Terry. I know I am still effectively a ‘nobody’ at the moment, but I like writing ‘for the lurve’, or for token remuneration.
    Small/Indie press offers emerging talents (eg. ‘wannabes’) like myself confidence, exposure, and a sense that someone values our work. All utterly essential to those of us still trying to get established. It’s a form of symbiosis.
    I’d like to hope that if I do ever become ‘successful’, I wouldn’t forget who helped me get there.

  2. I’m with Rob on that too. MD is clearly one of the best and most unique magazine to hit the market at the moment. I think you’ve done an astounding job. Success is a strange thing in this industry and it can be fleeting. Any writer is only as good as their latest work and can be dropped by publishers far quicker than they were taken up. Being humble goes a long way with readers – arrogance doesn’t.

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