A month isn’t a long time to produce a new magazine.

Yes there’s hundreds, if not thousands of magazines out there that produce a new issue every few weeks, but a new magazine is different. Regular magazines have an established, experienced team of writers and editors who have in most cases been doing this for years.

Plus established magazines don’t have to invent themselves from scratch. There are no worries about writing styles, tone, design, fonts, straplines, and all the other minutiae that have to be considered with a new publication. We had to do it all. In a month.

Back to basics

It all started in February with our version of Dragons’ Den – a bit like the TV version, except the ‘dragons’ were considerably nicer and no one got any money out of it.

Students pitched four different magazines to a panel of industry experts, who then selected their favourite. The winner, as you’ve probably figured out by now, was Queer, “the only magazine covering the whole of the LGBTQ+ spectrum”.

Vivienne Lynsey takes centre stage for our cover interview (Credit: Vivienne Lynsey)

As none of us had ever made an entire magazine before, we were given a session which we’ll call ‘magazine production for dummies’. Editors were appointed, the production and subbing processes were explained again to us, feature ideas were bandied about and we all left confident that we were well on top of things.

A week passed, some people made a few enquires and did a bit of work on features, some of us didn’t. The next session we’ll call ‘a bit of a bollocking’, where it was politely explained to us that we were up against a deadline and should be a bit further on than we were. As in we should have about finished all the copy for the magazine.

Naturally, production then continued and/or commenced at a quicker pace, and that’s when our team excelled themselves.

Open Season: the lowdown on life in the Nottingham Lions (Credit: Ben Clarke)

Let’s take a closer look…

We interviewed two of the region’s top drag queens, Vivienne Lynsey and our cover star, Nana Arthole, on the highs and lows of life in high heels, complete with some fantastic photos by Olivia Manchon. There’s a fascinating piece on the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and veganism, complete with the obligatory recipe (which our writer, Ellie Edwards, disgracefully hasn’t provided us with samples of).

We’ve got a gender-neutral fashion special, beauty tips and tricks, a Miami travel guide (and no, the university wouldn’t pay for a research trip), and an interview with local gay football team, the Nottingham Lions (we won’t repeat all the ball and tackle-themed headlines we rejected for that one).

Finally, our columnist, Bradd Farnsworth, takes a light-hearted look at the pros and cons of dating apps, Warren Beatty and the merits of post-Geri Spice Girls.

And, just in case you’re thinking I’m being egotistical, my main contribution consisted of a brief piece on the Oscar-winning Moonlight, so I’m being a bit of a glory-hound here.

Obviously, writing a magazine is only half the job, and our design wizards Nikki Brown and Ben Clarke (alongside our editorial team of Jade Moore, Joanna Oleskow, Sarah Paoletti and Emily Smith) then did a great job of making the whole thing both look fabulous and make sense.

The result is Queer, a magazine we’re proud of. We hope you enjoy it.