Smile Politely

Dear readers, we could really use your help

When I joined Smile Politely almost three years ago, I intended for my involvement to be strictly editing. I enjoyed reading the magazine, and it needed a nit-picky, anal retentive editor like me, so I volunteered my services.

I expected to remain invisible, behind the scenes, taking care of my handful of writers and cleaning up random typos, grammar, and syntax. I never intended to write for Smile Politely. I never intended to become its LGBT editor. I never intended to love the magazine as much as I do or care about its editors and invaluable writers as much as I do. I certainly never intended to become Smile Politely’s editor-in-chief. But here I am, and it falls to me to tell you, dear readers, about our next project.

When I became e-i-c, one of my goals was to eventually approach our publisher about building our magazine to be more than just an online presence. I wanted some kind of print edition (daily, weekly, monthly, didn’t matter). I assumed that, after the laughter died down, I’d need to show charts, slides, sales projections, etc. to prove this wasn’t a crazy idea. After all, we at Smile Politely are nothing if not cynical, and when it comes to print publishing, we’re the biggest cynics of all.

So I had no idea where to start in introducing this idea. But it turns out that I didn’t have to. A few months after I took on this position, I was meeting with Seth, and after the usual bourbon and berating, he brought up the idea of a print edition to me. We’re a match made in heaven.

So here we are, dear readers: welcome to our Kickstarter campaign.

Our magazine needs a facelift. We all know this. And we’re currently in the process of a complete overhaul: a cleaner design, access through social media, a mobile site, enhanced text and images. Nothing about our content, style, or personality will change (not even the casual cursing for no reason). However, you will most definitely have a much better experience while reading the magazine and commenting on its articles.

And we’ll increase our presence in Champaign-Urbana with our new print quarterly. Bonfire Quarterly, edited by yours truly, will bring even more in-depth coverage of our community’s cultural life. More stories, more interviews, more beautiful photographs from our talented photographers, and even (finally) creative writing. We especially look forward to highlighting the creative, rich talent available in C-U. And we want everything: fiction, poetry, art, photography, even serial novels. Creative writers and artists, if you want your work published, send it our way.

Smile Politely was already a valuable, entertaining magazine when I stumbled upon it and begged entry. It continues to be an important resource for all within C-U that we hold dear. We don’t cover everything. We can’t. We aren’t always perfect. We can’t be. But we try. We constantly try.

We at Smile Politely love our community; we love what we do at this magazine; and we love our readers. We couldn’t have lasted this long or gotten this far without you. We sincerely believe that with this Kickstarter campaign, we will continue to improve upon what we’ve all built so far. Please help us realize our goal. Smile Politely is truly a labor of love for us. It’s something that we’re enormously proud of. You can help us make it even better.

So if you’d like to help, go here. And thank you. If you’d rather not, please, by all means, stick around and keep reading. And thank you.

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