Introducing WARRANT MAGAZINE and its founder, Holly Blackmore
Holly Blackmore is a “weaver of words and experience”. She founded Warrant Magazine as a “sustainable and accessible platform for young AUS/NZ creatives over two years ago.”
NEW Writers Group Inc and Code-Mixing Poetry shared a table with Holly and Warrant at the 2019 MCA Zine Fair in Sydney. Today, ZineWest editor, Sue Crawford, is catching up with a few leading questions…
As “a community of conscious travelers and creatives” what do you and your contributors most want from WARRANT?
The central purpose of WARRANT is to form a community of young creatives across Australia and New Zealand. There is so much depth, variety and raw talent to be discovered in our own backyard. Collectively, I think we want to explore how to make sense of an evolving world through creative means. Employing artistic mediums to connect with ourselves and one another.
Practically, this means open discourse between editors and contributors. It means environmentally friendly production, with recycled paper and non-toxic inks. It means prioritising those voices who need the platform most, and remaining open to support our community in whatever ways possible.
When you started Warrant, what was the dream and has that evolved along the way?
I started WARRANT in my sixth-floor university dorm room. The dream had been brewing for a little while. I’d always wanted to be involved in a collective that was centred around local creativity — music, writing, photography — and eventually decided to cultivate this collective myself. So it came down to opening my laptop, slowly building a website and reaching out to friends for the first few articles. The rest slowly fell into place. I think when you approach something like this magazine with passion and patience — respecting it as its own energetic entity — it tends to develop itself.
You have put a lot of work into the website – any hints for non tech bloggers?
That’s a great question! We started off using a Tumblr site, which was quite cheap but definitely took tech know-how. Many hours were spent researching how to add this element, how to move this text. We’ve since transferred over to Squarespace which is much more intuitive to use, but can definitely hurt the wallet. My main tip would be to take your time with the actual design of the website — and have all your text/content ready to go. Write out your page headings and descriptions beforehand, so you can just copy and paste them in. This allows your full attention to be on formatting the site, generating some momentum with the design process.
What are you proudest of achieving with Warrant?
The MCA Zine Fair in 2019 was a really cool moment for the magazine — it was the first time that we had a physical stall to share our physical zines. There’s just something about talking to people on the ground-level. It reminds you why the whole thing started in the first place. Other than that, selling out Issue 001 this week was really special, considering we are gathering ourselves for the production of Issue 002. Really though — I’m proud every time somebody is able to see their work published alongside other creatives! It’s a gift that never stops giving.
Is there any specific advice re Warrant‘s editorial approach that would guide a new contributor?
We are pretty open with submissions, so feel free to send us anything and everything! Creative control will always rest with you, the contributor. Every article just needs a title, some text and an image for formatting purposes — other than that, you can express yourself however feels best. Some ideas might be: travel stories, midnight poetry, voice recordings, scanned journal pages, excerpts from a novel you’re working on.
Have some contributions surprised you (in a good way!)
I’m privileged that some of my favourite articles in existence have been published on our website. These include
- A 9000 kilometre journey in a forty-six year old van. My good friend wrote this based upon his experience driving up out of Canada towards Fairbanks, Alaska. : ‘Into The Unknown’ by Nathan McAndrew,
“We saw loads of wildlife, the biggest mountains we have ever seen, camped in some incredible places and ate lots of sticky buns (cinnamon buns). Let off fireworks rather close to the US border. To add we also met a fair few interesting characters and also a lot of nice folk. Went hiking and saw 9,000km of countryside that was forever changing. So go and brew some tea, get comfy and let me tell you some of the story of my journey to the Last Frontier.”
- Musings on the beauty of home after months on the road — accompanied by a collection of dreamy analogue photographs, ‘Surfer Galahad’ by Tayne Ephraim
“It’s easy enough when you’re living in it every day of your life, but when you’ve been deprived of it for long enough, of the preternatural light, of the gradations of colour, of the escarpment and the sea, the abundance and the simple largeness of it, you find it’s quite astounding, really, when you’re back in it.”
- I had no idea my little sister could write poetry, until she started sending them into the magazine. This one explores the pursuit of heaven in our day-to-day.
‘Worn’ by Zoey Blackmore “Is the sky heaven or is my mind?”
Two recent posts written by Holly herself :
‘Isolation Diaries’ — An insight into my mind and journey during the intensity of isolation.
‘wash, cut & blow-dry’ — Everything sort of aligned itself on this one morning in August, when I went for a wash, cut & blow-dry.