Challenging the confines of creative conventions, Still is a literary and arts magazine based in New York and Berlin. They want to be a platform for emerging talent, pairing form-flexing writing alongside seasoned voices and impeccably curated photography.
Luigi Di Bella
Executive editor, publisher
Managing editor for writing
Managing editor for photography
What is Still?
Still is an annual independent magazine featuring inventive writing and photography. The writers and artists who contribute to the magazine challenge creative conventions in form or content and include an eclectic range of creators working in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays, translations, and fine art photography. Still’s editorial departments are based in Berlin and New York, and each year we publish a German and an English version of the magazine.
Our magazine from its inception has been contributor driven, as we feature the works that we garner primarily from open calls and requests for submissions. We’ve featured seasoned voices such as Garth Greenwell, Uljana Wolf, Tim Mohr, Michael Lowenthal and Friederike Mayröcker, as well as the up-and-coming voices of Sascha Hargesheimer, Sophie Seita, Fabian Hischmann, and Saskia Vogel. Since the inception of Still, we’ve also had the wonderful opportunity publish the works of a wide range of photographers from graduate students to well-known artists such as Lotte Reiman, Peter Puklus and Swiss duo Onorato & Krebs.
What makes it different to the rest?
With our diverse editorial team operating on both sides of the Atlantic, Still’s editorial strategy merges contemporary German and American literary sensibilities. A key component of this work rests on the magazine’s tradition of publishing written works in translation. Still’s editorial team leverages its place in the Berlin and New York literary scenes to publish emerging writers and share new works with our international readers. Moreover, when you open a copy of Still you will notice that we avoid labels so both our authors and readers are liberated from the assumptions that distinguish short story from extended poetry, for example. As editors, this too is liberating, as we are empowered to ultimately reckon with text as text.
Who makes Still?
Still’s team is comprised of editors, writers, artists, translators, designers and a growing network of contributing editors. Members are based in Berlin, New York City, Milan, Cologne, and Vienna, and include professionals working in creatives industries, tech, law, and academia. The diversity of the editorial board is one of the key strengths of the magazine. What binds our team is our passion for publishing compelling photography and the latest literature that is reflected in up-and-coming writing. Our team produces Still each year on a volunteer basis, where we devote our efforts not for commercial gain, but like many independent literary magazines because we feel compelled to be a resource for new voices.
Who reads it?
Still issue five, which was published in the summer of 2017, attracted a range of readers, including young professionals and influencers in the Berlin, New York, and London creative industries.
Why do you work in magazines?
We love magazines! Given our eclectic background, we have found in independent publishing a common ground to express our literary and photographic interests. Not to mention, in both Berlin and New York, we have found a beautiful community of fellow independent publishers who are of the same mindset. We are lucky to work with passionate people in this indie mag world, who, too, put together their magazines with great care and attention to detail. For us, the attention to the aesthetics of our magazine and the content is intertwined. We relish the time we get to spend editing texts and photographs, and ultimately curating their presentation together.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
Books! For the past two years, we have published Still Drama, which is our annual book series devoted to promoting new dramatic writing and theatre pieces. Currently, Still Drama has only been published in German, though we hope to expand to English in the near future. We are also honoured to be in the process of publishing the text of Ingeborg Bachmann Prizewinner Sharon Dodua Otoo, in a limited edition with American and British English translations.
We also recently launched our website, which serves as a digital outlet for our print magazine. We also curate several readings throughout the year and our photography department is currently planning an exhibition in Berlin for this summer. Stay tuned!
What would you change about Still if you could?
Like most independent literary magazines, we would love to grow our subscriber base and to hear more from our subscribers. Subscribers are the very backbone of every indie publication, and we hope to bring new faces into the Still family, wherever they may be.
Where do you see Still in five years?
In next five years, we hope to expand our digital and print platforms and to keep growing and learning within the indie magazine market. To complement this growth, the editorial team is exploring new ways to post conversations/correspondence between visual artists and writers on the web. We also hope to expand in new regions and hope to create special editions of Still where we have editorial contacts.
What we find beautiful and inspiring about our magazine is that the English and German versions help to give our readers a peek into domestic literary scenes, where our website helps to forge these communities together via translations. We hope to be able to collaborate with new editorial teams to continue to show the nuances of new locales in an effort to celebrate particularity without compromising our interest in a global dialogue. Whether we expand to London, Lagos, Buenos Aires, or Paris, we hope the next five years will keep us honest in our goals to publish the most exciting literature and photography that a place has to offer and to present it in a way that ultimately honours its writers and artists and inspires new readers and viewers.