The Flatplan 2023
We’re excited to announce that the latest editon of The Flatplan, our magazine-making masterclass, will take place online over the weekend 18/19 February.
The world of indie publishing is flourishing and more and more people are intrigued by the idea of creating their own magazine. But knowing how to start the process can be daunting—that’s why we launched The Flatplan masterclass back in 2019.
For this fifth annual edition, we’ve again brought together some of the best indie magazine-makers to provide a complete introduction to creating a successful publication. You’ll leave with the knowledge needed to nurture an abstract idea into a real-life magazine others will want to buy, read and enjoy!
You’ll also have exclusive access to videos of both days of talks for future reference.
What’s the format?
The Flatplan takes place online across two half-days—a Saturday and Sunday. Each day runs from 13:00-16:30 (GMT). You’ll receive a single Zoom invitation to cover both days (single day tickets are not available, the masterclass runs across the two days).
What does the masterclass cover?
We aim to provide a complete introduction to the ups and downs of producing a magazine:
Developing your idea
Identifying your USP
Believing you can make it happen
Commissioning & editing
Getting your magazine into shops
Using digital platforms to promote your title
Understanding the financial side of making magazines
Ten speakers—editors, art directors, printers, distributors—will share their knowledge in a series of presentations split across the two days. Each speaker will be briefed to address particular topics, but you’ll also have the opportunity to ask your own questions of each speaker. Both days will end with the speakers joining a series of small Q&A group sessions.
How many places are there?
Places are limited to 50 to allow everyone enough time to take part in discussions and share ideas at the end of each day. Ten of these places are complimentary—open to application from PoC creatives and students/under 23’s. Please see below if you’d like to apply for a free space.
Tickets cost £150 per person, which covers both the live sessions and access to an archived video recording of the entire event. VAT (where appropriate) and booking fees are included in that figure—no added extras! Attendees will also receive a one-off 15% discount for the magCulture shop, and a copy of Park Communications’ new guide to sustainable printing.
Who’ll be speaking?
Graphic designer Osman launched his magazine to address issues of culture identity, using the three stages of Chutney production—chop, mix and preserve—to structure his content. Issue three is about to be published.
Managing director, Park Communications (printers)
Park print some of the biggest names in indie publishing, and have developed a strong knowledge of what indie launches look for from the printer. Alison will be in conversation with Jeremy Leslie, discussing how to select and work with a printer.
Illustrator and Co-creative Director, It’s Freezing in LA!
The climate change indie will publish its 10th issue this Spring. As one of its founders, Nina not only helped launch the magazine but has helped guide it through the ups and downs experienced over those issues.
Art director, Pit and Cheese magazines, and art editor, Eye magazine
Holly continues to work closely with design guru Simon Esterson on a number of magazines, while also branching out with her own projects. She’ll be discussing her working process, revealing the details of her InDesign files and project workflow.
Editorial creative director, Soho House Group
Andrew knows magazines from very different ends of the publishing world. He has worked on some of the biggest UK magazines, most recently as creative director at Wired. At Soho House he art directs their new print magazine as well as producing their social media and digital content. He also produces his own cycling magazines; The Ride Journal was a hugely successful and beautifully produced indie in the early noughties, and he’s currently busy launching a new cycling indie.
Read our interview with Andrew
Rhona launched Thiiird as a multi-channel platform to support underrepresented voices—people of colour, queer, non-binary and others.
Read our interview with Rhona
Editor, Huck, Sandwich and Pavement Licker
As well as producing his own longstanding magazine Pavement Licker, Josh knows both sides of the editorial world, contributing to many magazines as well as comissioning words for other magazines.
Read our interview with Josh
Managing director, Ra & Olly (distributors)
Ra & Olly are one of the key distibutors supporting indie magazines, operating internationally from London, actively seeking to solve the problems of indie distribution. magCulture works closely with them. James will be discussing magazine distribution with Jeremy Leslie.
Host, founder of magCulture.
Jeremy has over 35 years experience of designing, editing, publishing and selling magazines. As well as hosting the Flatplan, he’ll be leading conversations with several of our speakers.
Creative director, FUKT
Ariane will join the masterclass from her Berlin design studio to remind us that alongside the practical knowledge being imparted, publishing your own magazine should be an enjoyable and creatively engaging experience.
Who is The Flatplan for?
The Flatplan really is for everyone set on making a magazine, whether you’ve got no publishing experience at all, some publishing experience, or you’ve just got an idea and need a little help to get it off the ground. What you’ll have in common with the other attendees is that you have the kernal of an idea for a magazine—The Flatplan is a concentrated experience aimed at the wannabe publisher with a confirmed idea in mind!
You’ll learn from some of the most experienced names in independent magazine publishing, providing heaps of practical advice, creative inspiration and insider knowledge to help you take your idea from seed to fruition.
Once you’ve made your booking, you’ll be invited to tell us more about your idea so we can tailor the day accordingly.
Previous attendees have gone on to produce a wide range of magazines, including Icarus Complex, Posthumanist, Yana, Screentime, Ephemeral, Louche, and 502 Bad Gateway.
‘The Flatplan gave me all the practical advice I needed for starting my own magazine. Being able to ask questions to every single presenter was the best part. Having one speaker representing each stage along the process of making a magazine gave me enough confidence to manage the whole process.’
—Anna Nolda Nagele, The Posthumanist
‘It was during one of the magCulture Live conferences that I had the idea to launch a magazine on climate change. So I was super thrilled when they offered a workshop on everything you needed to know about the process of making a magazine from distribution, to financing, to finding writers and the right kind of format….all my questions were answered and I was encouraged in the process. Five months later I was holding the first copy of my magazine’ —Afsaneh Angelina Rafii, Icarus Complex
‘Flatplan 2020 was a unique opportunity to pick the brains of seasoned magazine makers, printers and distributors, providing the practical advice and creative inspiration needed to set our fledgling magazine idea in motion’
— Ruby Rees-Sheridan, Screentime
These places have now all been allocated.
We have set aside five free places for People of Colour and another five for students and under 23s.
We recognise there is an under-representation of People of Colour in all areas of publishing, and understand that structures need dismantling in order to begin to change the industry. Although a small gesture, we hope these spaces will enable vital projects to flourish.
We’re also keen to encourage young people to engage with magazines, so instead of reduced prices are offering free places for this sector too.
To apply for a complimentary place, please email a short proposal for your magazine idea (no more than one A4 page, please) to: email@example.com
Please add the subject line ‘Flatplan 2023 Submission’ and include either ‘PoC’ or ‘u23’ according to which place you’re applying for.
Complimentary places deadline, T&Cs
We are open to proposals at all stages of their development, be it the seed of an idea, or a fully-formed magazine. The magCulture team will select the best ideas we receive. We are usually oversubscribed so your ideas and notes need to be concise and convincing.
The deadline for all applications is 6pm on Friday 3 February, and we’ll be in touch by Friday 10 February to let you know if your application has been successful.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re grateful to Park Communications for their support of The Flatplan.