'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.
This week we speak to Bonnie Stevens, founding editor of Mous Magazine,about dismantling editorial hierarchies and learning from each other.
So, what is Mous?
Mous Magazine is a design and culture publication which aims to provide an immersive and inclusive exploration of art, design, society and sex. We do this through our print publication, monthly panel discussions, creative workshops and online content.
When did you start?
Mous Magazine launched online in July 2014 and the first print issue of Mous Magazine was published in July 2015.
Who is Mous for?
Mous Magazine is for an intellectually engaged, arts savvy reader of any age. Mous Magazine is also for new, emerging or inexperienced writers who want to gain industry experience in a supportive and collaborative environment.
If the publication were to recommend a book to its readers, what would that be?
That’s a very difficult question, but probably When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. It’s witty, cynical, intelligent and completely engaging. Each short story in it is like a joke and the final sentence is the punch line. Not to mention it is stylistically masterful!
What's the best feedback you've had on the mag?
While we are lucky enough to get some great feedback from our readers, for me personally, the most satisfying feedback we’ve ever received is from our contributors. Throughout the production of issue #3 our contributors provided anonymous feedback surveys, so we could know how to better improve our process. Hearing the overwhelmingly positive feedback that being involved with Mous had given them confidence, improved their skills and enhanced their employment outcomes, is easily the best feedback we have ever received.
What's the weirdest criticism the publication's received?
Probably about a year or so ago we copped a heap of abusive comments on an interview we had published with Nicky Minus over two years ago. Obviously the comments were not triggered by Nicky’s art, but other current events. It was the weirdest criticism we had received because frankly it was completely incoherent, misogynistic and in no way the sort of conversation you would normally see in the comments section of Mous.
Tell us something people don't usually know about Mous.
People are usually unaware of our editorial process. Over the past three years we have been refining a ‘communities of practice’ based approach to publishing. Essentially we are attempting to take away the typical hierarchical structure of a magazine where you have an editorial team and writers, to a more collaborative approach where editorial decisions, editing and feedback is done collaboratively in a peer-to-peer structure. This means as the founding editor, every contributor is given the opportunity to critique my work too, which I think is a great way to learn!
When's the next one out?
We’ve just launched our third print edition (yay!). It can currently be found online through our online store, at Junky Comics and at Avid Reader. Very soon you’ll also be able to purchase issue #3 through over 230 local and international stockists who currently stock issue #2.
Where can readers find you?
They can also find us in real life at any of our stockists: http://www.mousmagazine.com/stockists
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