An update on the current position of Film Stories and Film Stories Junior magazines in the light of the current lockdown, and what we’re up to next.

Firstly, hello, and I hope you’re well and safe. That’s the most important thing. You don’t need me to tell you it’s been a bit of a few weeks.

What I still want to talk about is how it’s affected Film Stories and Film Stories Junior magazines, and the plan going forward from here. And thus, I’ll crack on.

Film Stories monthly

When the last issue of the magazine came out, we had a Lashana Lynch/James Bond cover, sales had been growing both online and in an increasing number of stores, and we were attracting more advertising too. There was a glimmer of us breaking even for the first time. I nearly had an extra biscuit as a treat.

By the time the issue actually came out, though, the lockdown had begun. And like many magazines, Film Stories was instantly affected. Not for the better.

I’m not grumbling about that, or asking for sympathy, to be clear. Lord knows there are more important ramifications of this horrible virus.

As per my previous post at the start of all of this, to stay on the safe side for the future of the magazine, there’s been a delay between issues 15 and 16. We’ve had to tighten our belts a bit, and apologies for the month away (I’ll be emailing subscribers affected shortly to apologise directly to them). But we’re still going, and have lots planned.

Thank you so much to everyone who has sent messages of support, subscribed, bought back issues or just said hello in the midst of all of this. I’m grateful too to the small team who help me put the magazine together.

The next issue will be on sale at the end of this month, and will remain monthly again thereafter, after the slight pause.

Film Stories Junior

There’s been a slight knock-on to issue four of Film Stories Junior too (sadly, issue three of the magazine also landed at just the wrong time!), which will now be out in June (courtesy of the planned cover films and opportunities for young writers we were hoping to provide suddenly shifting). We’re still accepting pitches for the next issue: junior at filmstories.co.uk.

A separate Film Stories Junior website will be live over the next week or two as well that we’ve been busy putting together. More on that soon.

Film Stories: over 70s

I was unsuccessful in attracting someone to share the financial load of a separate Film Stories special that I’d previously posted about, written by brilliant people over 70 who have been sending in some terrific pieces. I’m still trying, but if the budget won’t stretch, I’ll be running the special as a separate section within the monthly magazine. I’m determined to offer writing opportunities to people, irrespective of age. And I’m proud to be able to do so.

More details on that project are here.

Subscriptions

Full disclosure: the current lockdown has hit us hard. Again, there are people it’s affected worse, and I’m not suggesting for a minute that a film magazine is the most important thing in life.

I do still think it has a place in life, though. I’ve always prided myself on Film Stories subscriber funds being ringfenced, so that if ever the worst happened to the magazine, I wouldn’t be running off with people’s money, and they’d get it back. That’s still true, please be assured.

For the foreseeable future though, subscriptions will be our absolute lifeblood (even more than ever). If ever you’ve been tempted to subscribe to either Film Stories or Film Stories Junior, might we tempt you now?

If you want to subscribe via direct debit, I can do a limited time offer, of your first three issues for £9.99, and then the regular subs price of £29.99 every six issues after that (UK only, with free postage and a saving on the cover price).

Because I hate being that person who just misses a special offer, if you’ve recently subscribed and feel a bit miffed that you’ve missed out, just mail me – simon at filmstories co uk – and I’ll sort something out.

To subscribe to Film Stories and take advantage of the offer – you need the coupon code INTRO – please follow this link: https://www.webscribe.co.uk/magazine/filmstories

To subscribe to Film Stories Junior, please follow this link: https://www.webscribe.co.uk/magazine/filmstoriesjr

Thank you.

Future fundraising

It’s no secret that both Film Stories and Film Stories Junior came to life off the back of Kickstarter campaigns. We’d have never got off the ground without them.

Lots of independent magazines run a fresh campaign every year, given that it’s one of the best ways to attract new readers and subscriptions. I’ve been a bit torn on this, because I don’t want to keep asking the people who have supported me for more money. That’s why I’m writing this part of the note, so you know where I’m coming from.

My plan, in the next couple of months, is to look at Kickstarter again for the two magazines, to hopefully raise the profile of them both further, and attract more funds. This isn’t to line my pockets – I’ve never taken a penny from Film Stories – but to invest into the magazines and offer even more opportunities than we do already.

Pitching articles

Thank you to all of the people who offered me their words and help for free during these times. It does remain a firm Film Stories rule that nobody but me works for free, but I do hugely appreciate the offer.

Budgets are down for the minute, so I’m limited with what I can commission and pay. But please bear with me. Pitches as always go to pitches at filmstories co uk and apologies it’s taking a while to respond. But I will get there.

Thank you

Sorry for all that being a bit waffle-y, but hopefully that explains where everything is. Thank you again for all your support. For spreading the word about the website, to my Patreon backers, just anyone who has read something we’ve done, download a podcast or given us a little lift.

You people are the best. Stay safe, take care, and I’ll have further updates soon. Oh, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below, and I’ll answer them there!

Simon Brew
Editor, founder, coffee drinker
Film Stories

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