The Flatplan masterclass, 2024
We’re excited to announce that the 2024 editon of The Flatplan, our magazine-making masterclass, will take place online over the weekend 2/3 March
The world of indie publishing continues to flourish, and more and more people are interested in creating their own magazine. But starting the process can be daunting—that’s why we launched The Flatplan masterclass.
We’ve organised the masterclass for five years now and every time we see real magazines develop from the workshop. This year’s edition, the sixth one, takes place online over the weekend of 2/3 March 2024.
We’ve brought together again some of the best indie magazine-makers to provide a complete introduction to creating a successful publication, along with specialist printers and distributors. Learn from the people behind MacGuffin, Pit, Thiiird, Chutney, OOF, Sandwich and Huck magazines.
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! Ticketholders will also have exclusive access to videos of both days of talks for future reference (and so that people in other time zones can still benefit from the sessions).
What’s the format?
The Flatplan takes place online across two half days—Saturday and Sunday. Each day runs from 13:00–16:30pm (GMT). Before it all kicks off, you’ll receive a single Zoom invitation to cover both days (single-day tickets are not available, the masterclass runs across the two days).
Ten speakers—editors, art directors, printers and distributors, see details below—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.
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. We’re grateful to Distripress Training Foundation for funding these free places.
Tickets cost £150 per person, which covers both the live sessions and exclusive access to the video recording of the entire event. VAT (where appropriate) and booking fees are included in that figure—no added extras! You’ll also receive a one-off 15% discount code to use at the magCulture shop.
Who’ll be speaking?
Our line-up is a carefully considerd mix of editors, designers, printers and distributors. They have different levels of experience, and work in very different genres of magazines.
Kirsten Algera & Ernst van der Hoeven
A magCulture favourite, MacGuffin is both creatively brilliant and commercially successful. Its two founders will be revealing how they started their magazine with little direct experience of publishing, and sharing what they’ve learned across the 13 issues to date.
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 currently available.
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 a printer. Alison will be in conversation with Jeremy Leslie, discussing how to select and work with a printer.
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.
Time Out’s Art & culture editor, and founder of OOF magazine
Eddy is a London-based art critic and editor who has written for publications including The Guardian, ArtReview, The Art Newspaper and Vanity Fair. As founder of OOF, the biannual magazine about the intersection of art and football, he has also commissoned writers and opened an art gallery specialising in football art.
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 40 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.
Stuart worked with publishers the Dazed Group for ten years, before setting up magazine distributor WhiteCirc. Specialists in indie mag distribution, WhiteCirc work internationally with a wide range of publishers. He’ll be sharing his experience distribution in conversation with James Laffar and Jeremy Leslie.
Who is The Flatplan for?
The Flatplan is for everyone and anyone interested in publishing their own magazine, whether you’ve got no publishing experience at all, some publishing experience, or you’re very experienced and need a little help to get your idea 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 an idea in mind.
You’ll learn from some of the biggest 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 BSKT, 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
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: Friday 16 February
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 16 February, and we’ll be in touch by Friday 23 February to let you know if your application has been successful.
If you have any questions please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org