The latest issue of Scratch Mag is SO GOOD and filled with women I admire. An excerpt from Beth Lisick's book (the best essay in the book, I think)! An Ellen Willis essay! And this amazing interview between Manjula Martin and Cheryl Strayed, where Strayed shares her advances for her first novel and her bestselling memoir, Wild ($100k and $400k, respectively), talks about what it's like to have money now, the kind of credit card debt she went into writing these books (MUCH), and the difference between poverty and poverty by choice.
Banking at night from the seat of a raggedy mountain bike, as a 16-year-old living on my own, I taught myself how to game the system. I leaned over my handlebars in the green light of the ATM screen, fed an empty envelope into the hole in the wall, pressed “cash back,” and waited. Every time, to my surprise, the machine ate the empty envelope and regurgitated a $20 bill back at me. With it, I’d buy a large bag of frozen bean-and-cheese burritos. The bank would call later; I’d apologize, say I forgot to put the check in the envelope. The hustle worked only if I did it every now and then, when I needed it, no more than once a month. I never thought to punch in a number higher than 20.
Alert, alert! Jane Friedman and Manjula Martin, of beloved Who Pays Writers fame, have launched a magazine! It is called Scratch, as in money, and also as in writing, and it will be have interviews, reportage, and personal stories about the economics of being a writer. A free preview of their first issue is online now, and it's definitely worth checking out. My favorite part so far is their Transparency Index, which details not only how much everything that went into the magazine costs (hosting, design, contributor pay, et al), but all of the personal relationships that led to the different pieces in the magazine.