Hotdog issue 3
Delivered to Stack subscribers in Feb 2018
Megan Conery and Molly Taylor
What is Hotdog?
MC & MT: The short answer is: hotdog is a poetry magazine. The long answer meanders through poetic discourse, art history, design and is filled with overly personal details.
What makes it different to the rest?
MT: We wanted to make a poetry magazine that is honest, emotional, and puts our contributors first. When it came to issue three, we were faced with a non-choice. We could spend money on extra design features. Or, we could pay our contributors. We chose the latter.
Who makes Hotdog?
MC: Um, we make it! Francesca Kritikos, who we published in issue two came on as editor for issue three. Which was great. She’s obviously amazing. We probably don’t do things the way you’re ‘supposed to do it’. But, why would we, when we can do them the way we want to?
MT: It’s really collaborative and 50/50 in the sense of input, but we both have our strengths. I’m a bit more editorial and Megan is a bit more design. We’re constantly in communication with each other, even now that I’m living in New York. Every draft, poem, pull quote, image, QR code, em dash…it’s the two of us together, deciding what to do, how to approach things.
Who reads it?
MT: It’s a mixed bunch, but I think it’s mainly people who are interested in poetry and writing. I do a bit of googling to see who the readers are, is that okay? Megan told me that this is too creepy to admit, but being uncomfortably honest is my forte. The thing I’ve been most pleased to find out is that readers tend to feel quite emotional about hotdog’s existence. It seems like it’s filling a gap in terms of being so welcoming, personal, earnest. People need that: they were bored of the seriousness of the literary space.
Not that hotdog isn’t serious, but it’s funny, too. It’s really funny. There’s a bit in issue two where Megan describes meeting Bridget Minamore in an ‘ultra trendy Costa Coffee’ – it kills me every time. Oh and the hotdog ipsum in the new issue, which we made from our Twitter archive. When people get that humour and the ongoing visual gags that are going on within the pages, they get really excited and so we get excited…
MC: …and then we get really emotional, not joking, every email can result in crying. Seeing people who’ve been hanging out with us since issue one is really wonderful. Oh and our Moms? Hopefully.
Why do you work in magazines?
MT: A few reasons. Megan and I met while studying publishing. It seemed like the right medium at the time. Print forces you to be clever about space and balance. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently — I hate being on my phone all the time, but I am. Emailing for work, texting friends, social media, playing music, researching. I’m honestly scared that if we don’t keep printing things then nearly every experience in our life will involve a screen/moving our thumbs (am I the only one with what feels like thumb-joint-RSI?) I love getting on the subway with a book or a magazine, it’s one of the most treasured parts of my day. It’s a moment of peace.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
MT: I moved to New York three months ago — a step that took me out of art publishing and into the gallery world. It’s amazing, but I’m still adjusting, and work takes up 90% of my waking life. To keep up, Megan and I will exchange voice notes most days or call each other for three minutes at a time. On Sunday, she made me pick up the phone so she could tell me to make sure I’m drinking enough water. Making a magazine on top of a job is really hard. That’s why it’s crucial that we have each other. And crucial that the other person is Megan because I can get all overwhelmed but she literally never runs out of energy.
MC: I’m freelancing at the moment, writing, designing, being an amateur potter… Last year, we created a zine for an art auction that helped raise shitloads of money for three women’s charities in London. Oh, and obviously doing everything I can do for Repeal the 8th.
We’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up with hotdog, but aren’t quite ready to unveil it on the world (follow us on Twitter/Instagram where we’ll wow you with our excellent social media skills and passion for hydration.) That’s the best place to find out about anything that’s coming up.
What would you change about Hotdog if you could?
MC: Have shitloads of money, so we can pay loads of amazing people and publishing brilliant writing and artwork? Easy, right?
Where do you see Hotdog in five years?
MC: More issues? Using teleportation devices? We’d love to do a podcast…especially now that there is an ocean between us. Ideally, we’ll still be pushing poetry on people. Running more events, working with charities, expanding into small press publications… Who knows, it’s gonna be fun to find out.