With Lemon Curd Magazine ready to launch its second issue, we sat down with Beth Phillips, founder of the art and literary magazine, to find out more about its inspirations, and her advice for anyone wanting to start their own creative enterprise.
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon Curd is an art and literary magazine that aims to provide a voice for new creatives that have something important to say. We love receiving work that breaks taboo, anything raw, real and outspoken.
What inspired you to create lemon curd magazine?
Well, I was coming to the end of my undergraduate degree studying Creative Writing, and didn’t really know where to go from there. I think, like a lot of my peers, I was lost; although I wanted to pursue my passion for the arts, I didn’t know where to look. I had always loved the idea of creating a community of creatives, sharing our work in a safe space and had been toying with the idea of creating something over the summer of 2018. I guess this was the first step to creating the magazine.
After this, I decided to study a postgraduate degree in Cultural Arts Management. During my studies, I learnt the important steps in how to start up your own creative business. This practical knowledge, combined with the creative aspect of my undergraduate degree, really inspired me to get started on Lemon Curd.
Alongside this, I soon found that many of my undergraduate writer friends were still struggling to find a platform where their voice could be heard. I’ve always been a big believer that creativity can bring people together, and that the arts should be a place of collaborative movement, helping one another receive the recognition they deserve. The foundations of Lemon Curd started from there, with the submissions portal opening in October 2018. What was once a little passion project came to life!
Where did the name come from?
Honestly, I wish I had some really interesting story to tell you, but it’s actually quite boring! I was originally going to call the magazine marmalade, but I saw lemon curd in the fridge at the university shop and thought, yeah that has a nice ring to it. And that is honestly it, the rest is history.
Why do you think it’s important for creative people to have a space to share/community?
This is a biggie for me. I truly believe that all art stems from wanting to be heard – if you have something to say or express, then the world should hear it. I think having a community space within the arts is so crucial for our skills to develop and for us to progress in our craft. By having others around you to help, whether this be to provide feedback, validation, or even just a friendly face, this can provide the confidence needed to actually share your work with the world. As creatives, I think life can seem a bit lonely sometimes; a lot of my work is done on my own, in my room, stressing over the lineation of a poem or how the next double page spread will look. Through creating a community, loneliness can lessen, and you are provided with a group of like-minded people that will provide support.
Who can write for Lemon Curd and how can they submit their writing?
Anyone can write for Lemon Curd! Factors like background, upbringing and education are irrelevant to us, we just want people who are passionate and show their talent through standing up for what they believe in. As mentioned previously, we look for work that is outspoken, that is raw and has a message. So, if you think that is you, please send us your work when the submissions open!
All the information will be on our (brand new) website when it launches. In short, the submission process is super easy. All you have to do is send through your work as a word document and attach it to an email, then send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that submissions have no names on them, that way the process can be anonymous and as fair as possible.
When is the next issue out?
Well, our submissions portal for issue two opens FRIDAY 1ST MAY and closes on the 12th June, which gives everyone plenty of time to send through their wonderful work. After that the design process will begin, so hopefully Issue Two will be released at the end of July or start of August, perfect timing for some summer reading.
What have you learnt after the launch of the first issue to help you with the next and future issues?
There are a few things I’ve learnt, but especially from hosting the Issue One launch night, it’s how important the arts are. That night was a true highlight for me and it felt wonderful to unite so many creatives in one room, form a safe space and open the floor for performances. I definitely want to host more launch events in the future!
One thing I have learnt is to always be open to a helping hand. There was so much to do behind the scenes of creating the actual magazine, along with the launch night. If it weren’t for the help of others, the night wouldn’t have run so smoothly (so thank you everyone!) Also, be as prepared as possible. If something doesn’t go according to plan, you should always have a back up or solution. It may not completely help, but at least you can be as prepared as possible. I’m an avid list maker and plan everything to a T just to make sure, but even then something could go wrong. Also, if something does go wrong, don’t panic. Learn from your mistakes, and know you did everything you possibly could to try and stop them from happening.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Honestly, just go for it! Jump in the deep end and let your creativity run wild. Writing was, and still is, the thing that brings me the most joy. I honestly don’t know what I would be doing if I didn’t have some kind of creative outlet. My main advice would be try out a few different genres and forms, see where you feel like you sit best. Once you think you’ve figured that out, try and work towards cracking a ‘voice.’ It’s taken me years to figure out my ‘sound,’ but once you get it, it’s great.
Also, free writing is a saviour. Just start writing anything that flows through your brain. Don’t let the pen off the page, write exactly what you feel, and then see what you end up with. I normally do this at the start of my writing process for about 5 minutes, just to see if there are any ideas inside my brain that I haven’t quite put on paper. It also helps when you are in a creative rut and don’t know what you want to write.
Don’t feel frustrated if you can’t write constantly. Creativity comes and goes, and it’s important to remember that some days will be more of a struggle. Just have fun with it, try and get your work out there as much as possible and remember that success isn’t based on how many publications you’ve been featured in. Success should be found through feeling pride in what you have created.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to launch their own creative project?
Get clued up on what’s already out there – see what your USP (unique selling point) is and really build on that. The Arts Council website is great to have a look at, especially if you want to learn more about the arts and getting funding! Also, get involved in other projects – before I started Lemon Curd I was writing for other magazines. This comes back to my love of collaboration and community I think, but also you can learn a lot from how an already successful project operates.
Start with a plan, write down what you want to create, who it’s for and why you want to make it. It’s important to have passion for what you’re making. If you feel joy when thinking about your own creative project, then you should definitely go for it. No idea is too big – as long as you are prepared and have done your research, you should be good to go! There are lots of different ways you can go about starting a project, so being prepared is the best way to move forward.
Both the Lemon Curd instagram, and my personal instagram, are always open for more questions about this! I would love to help people pursue their passion projects and build the community of artists out there, so please do reach out if you have any questions!
Follow Lemon Curd on Instagram @lemoncurdmagazine and twitter @lemoncurdmagaz1 – Follow Beth on Instagram @ragdollbeth