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“The Manuscript” shifts format

The Manuscript, a student-run literary magazine, will publish four chapbooks this spring because it did not receive enough money from CSA to print books, which it has since its creation 17 years ago.

 At spring allocations last year, The Manuscript requested $1,500 for the 2016-2017 academic year to print a book of student work each term. CSA funded the magazine for $1,125 with the explanation that The Manuscript should print fewer copies of each issue, according to editor-in-chief Alison Lorenz ’18. Current CSA Vice President Seth Harris ’18 does not know why The Manuscript did not receive all the funding it requested.

 In general, CSA determines allocations to campus publications by looking at the cost per issue, the number of issues and the readership of each issue, according to Harris.
 However, The Manuscript editorial board decided to print the same number of copies of each issue as it did last year. As a result, the magazine does not have enough funds this spring to print books as it had originally hoped.

 “We ended up printing the same number of copies because we thought that students would read them,” Lorenz said. “We did an initial distribution when they first came out, and people grabbed them. Then, we left them in the cubbies in Sayles, and they were gone in a few days.”

 This is the first year in three years that The Manuscript has created a spring term edition, according to editor-in-chief Eli Sorich ’17.

 To complete the spring issue without going over budget, Sorich came up with the idea of creating four chapbooks, small booklets instead of full glossy publications. Lorenz and Sorich will each oversee one and a group of four students will each work on the other two chapbooks. Each group or individual will select material, design the book and manage printing.

 “We wanted to do this because it was cheaper than a full edition and because it will give people on the board the opportunity to get more experience with curating a journal,” Sorich said. “Each person or group will have to think about how to order things, about where to put images, and about how to design the journal in general.”

 As typically happens each term, The Manuscript had an open submission period for the chapbooks.

The submission deadline passed last weekend, so now,the editorial board is in the process of looking through materials to decide what it wants to include in the chapbooks. The groups or individuals in control of a chapbook will pitch why they would like a certain piece in their edition. Then, the groups will design the books and print them. The chapbooks will be published ninth week, according to Sorich.

 Over the last three years, The Manuscript received variable funding, according to the CSA budget, which Harris shared with The Carletonian. The budget lists a 2015-2016 request for $1,500 and an allocation of $0, while the 2013-2014 budget lists a $2,600 request and a $2,100 allocation.

 Like The Manuscript, for the 2016-2017 academic year, some of the other eight publications that CSA funds had a decrease in funding. The Lens saw the greatest decrease in funding. It received $3,240 for 2016-2017 after requesting $5,700. In 2015-2016, it received $5,748 and in 2013-2014 $7,220.

 The Lens editor Julie Zhou ’17 did not respond to email requests for comment.

 It is unclear whether this decrease in funding for some publications is in any way related to the revisions CSA made to its publication funding guidelines winter term.

 In January, CSA floated the idea of having publications put more content online. There was significant pushback from CSA-funded publications, so this idea was scrapped. Now, CSA requires publications to keep track of how many copies of its issues are taken and wants publications to implement a subscription-based model, according to CSA Treasurer Jen Chan ’19.
 Harris noted that there are also now stricter guidelines for color printing and that CSA only funds $150 for the first issue of a new publication.

 “These changes were made to save money and to try to stop the waste of paper for unread publications,” Harris said.

 As a result of the new CSA guidelines, The Manuscript is now keeping track of how many students get the magazine.

 Likewise, The Salt, a CSA-funded web-based satirical publication, now keeps track of how many website and Facebook views it has, as this is necessary information for future CSA funding requests, according to editor-in-chief Kate Hoeting ’19.

“The policy change has had almost no effect on The Salt. Since we are a new publication that prioritizes online presence, I think we’re well equipped to navigate CSA’s new restrictions,” she said.

 Unlike The Salt, The Graphic, a printed anthology of comics, is handed out during common time. “We don’t have a clear way of demonstrating interest in The Graphic other than our ability to consistently distribute the number of copies we’re printing,” said Kirsten Baker ’17, an editor-in-chief.

“We have been in the process of updating our website this year, and part of this process is uploading digital copies of our most recent issues. Once this is done we might explore more online promotion, and if this goes well we can use Facebook/website polls to implement the subscription-based model that the CSA wants.”

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