The past few days I’ve become obsessed with creating a book in blurb, as I am handling the layout of the literary magazine my son’s school is publishing. It’s been exciting and fun to make it work, but as I’ve been planning out pages, it’s also been interesting to be on the “other” side of publishing.
Even though I did not have to make any of the editorial decisions (the English teacher handled that), I do have to make space decisions. Since putting all the material in would make printing the magazine twice as expensive, I have to keep the page count to 40 or less. And that means cutting. One writer’s shorter poem might make it instead of a longer one, simply because it is short. Or I might prefer one artwork over another because it works well on the page with someone else’s poem.
The picture shows my planning the layout of the final pages on my couch last night. I simply had to physically move pieces of paper around to see what might jive with what, as I was nervous whether I could include everyone’s work, especially some of the longer poems. Thankfully, it worked out that I don’t have to dump a single contributor, which is especially important since I’m dealing with children’s work. Being entrusted with the kids’ work is a special joy and responsibility. But working on the layout also reminded me that despite all the excitement over showcasing stunning poetry and art work, space and ultimately the money that space costs, do matter.