Monday, October 26, 2009

'Next Great Idea' Contest

Welcome to the first contest at the Letters & Journals blog! As Kathy (Daisy Mae Design) and I work on finalizing some of the design templates for the magazine, I would love to get some feedback on articles you would like to see covered in the magazine. What is your great idea?

If you've been following this blog at all, you probably know that the vision for Letters & Journals is for it to be a quarterly national magazine celebrating the arts of letter writing and journal keeping.

Some of the featured articles can be found in this earlier L&J blog posting, as well as the blog that features the Table of Contents (still being updated). Now that you know what the vision is for Letters & Journals magazine, tell me what story idea would draw you in.

Here are the contest rules and prizes. There will be six different prizes! The 'Next Great Idea' notebook as pictured above is one of the six prizes. The other prizes are all pen sets that Sakura Pens of America furnished. I will post pictures of these in tomorrow's blog.

1. Contest will run between now and midnight Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009 (CST)

2. Entries can be made by:
A) leaving a comment with a story idea for the magazine
B) leaving a comment with a suggestion of what would entice you to buy the magazine
C) leaving a comment with a link back to this blog from your blog or on twitter

Multiple entries can be made as long as they are legitimate ideas/links. The comments must be entered on blogs created between 10/26/09 (today) and 11/1/09 (midnight on Sunday).

3. I will draw all of the names on Monday and post the winners on Nov. 2 or Nov 3. I will contact each winner and get their mailing information.

4. Each person can only win once and each winner will get to choose their prize in the order in which their name was drawn. Winner 1 would have a choice from all 6 prizes, winner 2 the remaining 5 prizes and so on.

Thanks! And Good Luck!


James said...

Story idea: Great letter exchanges in history. For example, a feature piece on the letter exchange between Thomas Jefferson and Lewis & Clark during their voyage to the Pacific. Jefferson was giddy every time he received a piece of mail. Another example would be the great movement of letters that was the WWII V-Mail system. That, in aggregate, was one of the most brilliant letter exchanges in history... according to me.

James said...

Story idea: a humorous piece about the evolution of letter writing etiquette.



James said...

What would entice me to buy the magazine: some form of participation by the readership. For example, different calls for mail art to the editor printed every issue, and the subsequent issue highlighting the top 3 or so pieces received. I think that people would like a sense of continuity in content from one issue to the next. I know I'd like it.



The Missive Maven said...

I already have a link here on my blog, it's been there under the prime "letter blogs" listing for a while. Does that count?

Jackie Flaherty said...

Thanks for the feedback, James! Great ideas. Very helpful.

Missive Maven- Yes. Thanks for the link on your blog. No suggestions, thoughts, ideas to submit?

The Missive Maven said...

Okay, I will be both amusing and honest, I hope.

B) What would entice you to buy the magazine?

Its existence.

Let me ruminate about story ideas. I'm bad about this sort of thing.

Olivia said...

I'd love to see an article on handwritten journals. I love journals and the promise of all those empty pages inside. I especially love art, gratitude and one-sentence journals.

LisavVi said...

I agree with Missive Maven that I would be enticed to buy the magazine just because it existed.
One idea: reviews of books about journaling and letter writing (how-to books) or fiction books that involved journaling or letter writing.

LisavVi said...

Another idea: Ideas to get children to write letters or journal. Not to sound corny and all "the children are our future" but we need to encourage the next generation to carry on the tradition of documenting their lives by writing letters and journaling.

LisavVi said...

One final idea: I use to read both Personal Journaling and Personal Writing. One thing Personal Journaling sometimes had was on handmade projects like making journals out of postcards.

Okay, this is my final idea: journaling prompts in every issue. I don't know about anyone else but sometimes I get stuck. I want to write but just can't get going and prompts help me.

jde said...

I want to 2nd James idea about 'letter exchanges in history,' except that as a regular feature and not as a single story. (Would love to see Jefferson and L&C exchanges.)

Also, another type of feature or story about journals of writers or 'important' people. John Steinbeck, for instance, wrote 'Journal of a Novel,'(actually his letters). Or Tennessee Williams' 'Notebooks.' Or May Sarton's journals. Or Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. Or Marie Curie. Or Pepys.

Clearly I adore history. Think it would make a nice juxaposition to the other stuff you want to do.

jde said...

P.S. just sharing the thoughts. opting out of the contest. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see a column of practically creative ways to deal with Journaler's page fright, writer's blocks, self-made barriers to getting to our journal. I'll publish your contest info to Twitter, Facebook and my blog Journal Therapy Cures Let me know what else I can do to spread the word!

Sam said...

A) I'd love to see something about medieval writing, how the chronicles of the day may be seen in a similar way to modern journals.

Also, something about making your own quill/reed pens and iron gall ink perhaps?

B) What would entice me to buy? Being able to get your magazine in the UK, or at the very least being able to buy/subscribe from the US without huge shipping charges.

C) I'm doing it now! ;) I already have a link to your blog in my Blogroll, and I'm sure I've Tweeted it too, is that OK?

James said...

Story idea: a feature on the history of doodling. So many people do it in their journals, and so many of those are self conscious about it. What they don't realize is that doodling has a long and storied tradition - the technical term for it being "marginalia."

I think it would make for a great photo spread.

There is an exhibit on marginalia currently on display at the Getty Museum in L.A.


annie said...

what would entice me to buy this magazine would be if it was chock full of great articles and eye candy! photos of people's gorgeous journals, letter writing tools, etc. i think layout/graphic design is always important so having a 'handmade/handwriting' feel to it in part of the design would be great.

annie said...

story idea: i love going to flea markets and vintage paper fairs. and sometimes i find old letters and i love them simply because of the beautiful cursive handwriting. how about an article on interesting found letters? as in you would transcribe the letter so people can read it easily. sort of like found magazine where they publish all sorts of found letters and papers - some of them are very funny!

Clement Dionglay said...

Hello Jackie, your link is already included in the Pen, Ink, Paper blogroll in my blog. And I've tweeted this, too. :) So I got entries now? :) Ideas, feature people. People who make use of paper and pen/ink for productivity, hobby and more. And I don't need to be enticed to buy it - the problem is how to get it here to the Philippines. :)) Cheers!

ginigin said...

Thanks for a great give away. I would love to see a regular feature similar to Readers Write in The Sun in which there was a monthly or quarterly topic. Readers could write in about their experiences with different aspects of the journaling process. Topics might include: overcoming blank page fright, therapeutic and creative uses of journals, focus-specific journals, dialog journals, etc. I would love to see something focused just on children - their journal entries on specific topics or whatever they felt like sending.
Another interest would be to have a column to focus on dream work. It might be instructive on how to work with dreams in a journal, but also include examples of people's dreams and how they journaled them.
I like all the other ideas too.


James said...

Going off my idea for a feature on etiquette, Letters and Journals could have its very own Miss/Mr. Manners! That could make a good sidebar column, where people write in with etiquette questions and receive creative/serious answers.


Melissa said...

I've noticed that each individual has a certain "style" of writing and letter sending. I think it would be interesting to feature one letter writer/blog poster in each issue. This can highlight their style and allow them to share their ideas.

I also posted a link on my website:

Rashel Rabinovich said...

I would love to see reviews for items like pens, journal, etc. and also things like what does your handwriting say about you

Tejal said...

What would entice me to buy the magazine? "How to"s....such as, ideas for how to create different, cool types of mail art, envelopes, stationary, etc :)

Tejal said...

Oh, and giveaways would also entice me to buy the magazine! You know: Giveaways on writing instruments and stationary and envelopes and stuff :)

Felicity said...

Product reviews are something I am always looking for and I would not be able to resist said magazine if you reviewed stationery.
I'd also love tips for making your own envelopes and the such.

Passion said...

I posted about it on my blog :)

Passion said...

Story idea: I'd love something about journaling itself. I've always wondered WHY it helps to write things down. Why can I simply not think about it?

James said...

Story idea: The psychology of journaling and letter writing. It would take a bit of research, but I would be interested in a scientific approach to the two practices. For example, why do therapists often recommend writing letters and then not sending them? Ok, that's kind of a weak example. But I think that a few interviews with psychologists could prove fruitful.


Sara said...

i would love to see various visual/art journals, learn about the artists behind them and also see photos of their workspace or read about what they use to create (pens, paints, brands of sketchbooks etc)

second idea: there is a website called ... it has really opened my eyes to how therapeutic both art and journaling has been to me. I would love for you all to include articles about this aspect of journals :)

thank you!

Unknown said...

I would enjoy an article about book binding, specifically ideas on binding irregular materials (like, yanno, letters) for storage and archiving, or perhaps any good ideas on interesting ways to store ephemera.

Tejal said...

Sorry I keep commenting! ;P Here's the link to my blog page where I announced your contest (which you already saw, haha):

I also have your blog listed as a sidebar link.

Story idea: Different types of journals (travel journals, gardening logs, art journaling, etc)

Cindy said...

Idea: Journaling to write a memoir.

James said...

Story idea: Journaling as an author's tool. For example, my favorite author, David Sedaris, is actually a personal essayist who writes in his journal every day. He then reviews his journal from time to time to select his best, or most humorous, experiences to then develop into stories. I think it would make for a great interview story.

School Supplies Sleuth said...

Ideas that have already been mentioned that I love:

1. Great Letter Exchanges in History
(you could even do a section on love letters written back and forth, or letters during times of war, etc)

2. The Psychology behind Journaling

3. Dream Journaling

4. Letter Etiquette is a must!

5. Interviews w/famous Journalists

6. Getting children interested in letter-writing (especially when it comes to thank-you letters)

Some other ideas:

A. Quotes from people anonymously (or not anonymously) confessing to where they hide their journals (if they do) or funny stories about someone else finding it.

B. How teachers use journaling in the classroom

C. How musicians journal (song writing, etc)

D. Journaling Software - good or bad?

E. Graphology might be a fun topic! I have always found it interesting...

So many came to mind but I guess great minds think alike, because most of them were already mentioned, lol!