An indie magazine publication by Subsail

This piece was first published in the Coverage email newsletter in March 2018.

Instagram DM is my fave place to interact with magazine makers and other fans. It makes everyone in the mag world so accessible, and I see it as a real game changer.

Over the weekend I chatted with Megan Conery of poetry mag Hotdog, which I’d received through the lovely Stack this month. Here’s an edited excerpt of our convo (I kept the emojis), in which we talked about scale, distribution and doing things right.

D Love it.

D How many did you print?

M Why do you ask? 🤔🌭❓

D Just interested! The mag seems to have grown up over the first three issues and it’s... quirky.

D Hard to judge the scale of a magazine like this

M Re: scale, why does that matters? Does that change your reading of it? Or impression of it?

D Scale doesn’t matter. But scale does affect how people perceive things, like small-run fashion or large-scale magazines like Monocle.

D It doesn’t change my perception of a magazine, esp something like hotdog, because the passion and enthusiasm shines through and scale is irrelevant when reading it.

M Fair enough.
Issue 1= 100 copies on newsprint (sold out)
Issue 2 = 300 copies, glossy digital print (10 copies left)
Issue 3 = 5000 copies (3750 for Stack) litho

M For us, hotdog exists in a space that isn’t just a magazine, it’s a community, a piece of art, it’s living, fallible, flawed and human. It’s been great seeing it out with Stack subscribers—I’m sure a lot of Stack subscribers weren’t aware of us. Some were that was cool too. Our contributors didn’t know about Stack (we didn’t want any content to be impacted with the knowledge that a different audience would be viewing it) and once people started to get their deliveries, we found out some of our contributors were subscribers. So they were pretty stoked when they opened the package. Which was lovely! I actually haven’t opened mine yet … I’m too nervous. LOL

M We pay our writers and artists. Something that is super important, as a writer, a designer, &c (this is Megan btw), non-payment is a plague in independent publishing and the creative industries. It’s a huge barrier of entry.

M We like to have a laugh, a lot of drunk tweets. But, when it comes to the magazine, the people we work with, and the people who submit and don’t get in. We take shit very seriously.

D Great to see the growth and Stack is a great platform to find new readers

D Your Stack-buying contributors must have loved that! Good idea to keep it a secret

M Yea it’s been really lovely. It’s wonderful to see the work in this issue is resonating with new people. We base success on our contributors being happy with the finished product without them, we wouldn’t exist. People can feel honesty and integrity and hotdog is an honest expression of multiple voices. So, as of now, all three issues have been roaring successes. 💜 But, we’re still totally flawed, human and figuring things out.

M Thanks for messaging. Glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully, if you’re not a poetry fan, you feel a little more comfortable now. Go read some poetry! And write some too! 🦆

D Yeh no worries. I love chatting magazines with magazine makers!

If you haven't already got your copy of hotdog, head over to to purchase issues 2 and 3.