Raw Print and the magazine shop, Ideas on Paper, have been organising monthly, term time presentations by magazine makers for the last three years. The events take place in Nottingham, an hour and 20 minutes from Sideburn HQ. Ideas on Paper stocks Sideburn and Alex, the owner, asked if I’d be interested in doing a presentation. Some part of me thought it would be a good idea. A while later the rest of me disagreed. Why was I spending time organising a talk, when I could be earning, or working on bikes, or doing any amount of other things? I didn’t have an answer.
Then the day, a Wednesday in October, rolled round. I pocketed a thumb drive with a very basic Powerpoint presentation on it, and drove to Nottingham. I was sharing presentation duties with Kayti Peschke (above in the yellow) the founder/editor of Caboodle, a self-confessed cute magazine aimed at women who support or work in the independent craft scene. We met at Ideas on Paper, found out we both grew up in West Yorkshire and had a few mutual friends.
Kayti decided she wanted to talk first, and we followed Alex to the nearby venue. Antenna is a new, very smart, multi use ‘media’ centre. There were already people waiting to get in when we arrived. The new students were back at university and Nottingham Trent Uni, who help promote the Raw Print nights, had done a great job of attracting people to these nights. It's £3 to get in, and it's not a structured lecture, so it's impressive that people turn up.
The crowd were 80% female, and looked much more of a Caboodle crowd, but not all students. I recognised a couple of familiar faces, Andy formerly of Scootering, who had recently launched ScooterNova, and Sideburn contributor, Dave Bevan (author of many of our recent film articles and also the Odgie article). We all listened as Kayti explained her route into indie mags and I watched as many in the crowd made notes. There was a 15-minute break, then It was my turn.
I had tried to write the whole talk, but ditched that idea and, instead, wrote headline style prompts on the back of old Dirt Quake flyers and referred to the 20-odd photos I’d pasted into the Powerpoint document, one of which is below – Mick, Sideburn’s Rome-based Deputy Editor.
I’m increasingly conscious of my age now, 46 if you’re wondering, and remember exactly how I looked at 46 year olds when I was 20. Well, I didn’t. Unless they were a friend’s parent, they were invisible. I assume I’m invisible to 20 year olds and I don't have a problem with that. Still this lot seemed to be listening, and yes, making notes. I raised a titter and was asked a bunch of questions and really enjoyed the experience. Kayti had said, ‘You’re supposed to do stuff that scares you,’ and we’d both been a little nervous, unaccustomed as we are to public speaking.
The evening reminded me of something an old friend told me years ago: It’s always easier to say no. Not to do anything new, different, risky, interesting, unusual, time-consuming, off-piste. I’m glad I said yes to Raw Print.
Raw Print nights run the first Wednesday of the month in university term time. Find out more at raw-print.com