Longshot Magazine has just published issue #2 (the third issue of the magazine…) after a frenzy of work this weekend. The theme for the issue was “debt.” As in the past, the magazine’s theme was announced and 48 hours later, a magazine was published with photos, graphics, and a trove of writing created, fact-checked and designed, over that two day period. I’m happy to announce that I’ve got a page in the print issue, featuring the above portraits of people in Boston alongside descriptions of how much they owe.
A small army of editors and designers worked behind the scenes to make the magazine, its web presence, and a radio and podcast component. And all of the magazine’s content was created by another army of writers, graphic artists and photographers. Many of the contributions are available online, but some (including mine) are reserved for the print issue alone. It was an open submissions process during the 24 hours after the theme was announced at noon on Friday, and there are plans to publish online all 672 submissions made to the magazine over the weekend.
As before, the magazine has been getting some good press mentions. There’s a huge list of sponsors for this issue, which includes money from a a kickstarter campaign that raised more than double the desired amount of money. Best of all, through these sponsorships, contributors to this issue will be paid.
One of the founders of the project, Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic, has published a behind-the-scenes look at how the magazine came about, and Heather Jay Billings has some info about the technology behind the effort.
My submission was a humble effort that almost didn’t come to pass. When the theme was announced on Friday, I was flummoxed. Maybe portraits of payday lenders? maybe a study of bank advertising? None of it struck me. Weather was bad in Boston, though, so it wouldn’t have been fun to take pictures on Friday anyway. Waking up on Saturday, I was struck with an idea to ask people about how much money they owe. With a few hours before the deadline, I was striking out. No one was willing to be photographed and tell me how much money they owed. Then I decided rather than asking for a number, I would ask people to describe how much debt they have and that the portraits should be anonymous. Over about 45 minutes, ten or twelve people let me take their picture and told me about their debt. I squeaked in right under the wire, and thankfully, the editors like the project.