Monday, 30 April 2018

Lucent Dreaming

I'm lucky enough to have a poem of mine published in the debut issue launch of Lucent Dreaming, a local independent magazine that publishes the creative work of new and emerging artists. On Saturday, I attended the launch event to celebrate the debut issue at Rabble Studio, a co-working space for creatives in the heart of Cardiff Bay, which was packed out with an excited audience. Lucent Dreaming is fronted by Jannat Ahmed, who gave a wonderful, inspiring speech about dreaming and the origins of the magazine to kick off the launch. 

Jannat talked about the importance of our dreams, in all senses of the word, and how they change over time as our experiences shape and change us. She asked attenders of the launch to sign the guest book with details of our own dreams; one we have achieved, and one we hope to achieve in the future.

The brand is clear; Lucent Dreaming is all about the surreal and mystical, what lies between the gaps of our conscious mind and our dreams. This prompt has resulted in a range of unique and experimental content, from authors and artists worldwide.

Following Jannat's speech, editors Joachim Buur and Jess Beynon spoke about the benefits of collaboration and what Lucent Dreaming is all about. Their speeches proved that the team behind Lucent Dreaming are dedicated to helping writer's grow. To help submitters improve their work, they offer feedback on submissions. It is rare to receive detailed feedback from a literary magazine, and offering writers this chance to use the editor's constructive criticism to improve their work really makes Lucent Dreaming stand out from the crowd.

It was evident that an incredible amount of passion and hard work had gone into making Jannat's dream a reality, from both herself and those around her. Jannat is the recipient of the Ymlaen Placement, which is a collaboration between Creative Cardiff, Rabble Studio and Cardiff University's Enterprise and Start-Up team. This placement gave Jannat the support she needed through access to office space, mentoring and marketing her idea. I caught up with Jannat to find out more about the story of Lucent Dreaming:

How did Lucent Dreaming start?  
Lucent Dreaming launched its website on Halloween last year but had been in the works for several months before that. Last spring I was doing my Masters Degree in English Literature at Cardiff University. For one of its modules, ‘Project Management and Advanced Research,’ I created a parody online creative writing magazine as part of my portfolio. Not long after I submitted my portfolio (and was reeling from the fact it was utterly ridiculous and I’d submitted it to be marked as part of an actual degree), I was talking with my friend Jess—now also one of Lucent Dreaming’s editors—about unemployment. She was telling me she had exhausted her savings going to publishing internships and still didn’t have enough experience to get a job in publishing. That was when I told her about my desire to start a ‘real’ online creative writing magazine. I asked whether she’d be willing to donate her time to it and she said yes! I had two similar conversations with Jo and Jonas—LD’s two other editors—and so it all began. Over the summer we came up with a name and Jo came up with a logo and by November we were open for submissions!

How has the support from Creative Cardiff, Rabble Studios and Cardiff University's Enterprise team changed Lucent dreaming?

The support I’ve received as part of my Ymlaen placement has transformed Lucent Dreaming from an online only magazine to one that is also being printed. Working around designers and content creators at Rabble who have had experience of printing things before, receiving seed-funding from Cardiff University’s Enterprise and Start-up team, alongside lots of advice and mentoring sessions, has made it possible for me to try print. It’s enhanced Lucent Dreaming and pushed it closer to becoming a viable business.

What advice would you give to emerging writers when submitting their creative work to journals like your own?

Read and follow the submission guidelines! We offer feedback on all *qualifying* submissions we receive in our inbox: these are submissions that follow our guidelines. However, we’ve had submissions sent without a title, a word count, sent as a PDF instead of a document file, even submissions without the author’s name! Give your work a genuine chance to be considered by making sure you check the guidelines. Besides that, be confident and go for it! Creative writing magazines, journals, websites and blogs WANT your submission.

What does the future hold for Lucent Dreaming?

I hope it holds more issues, but more than that, I want Lucent Dreaming to be a springboard and a community for new writers and other creative folk whether or not they want to reach publication. We sell beautiful magazines, yes, but we’ve also set up a notebook subscription because we know creativity in day-to-day life is hardly ever about the business-like outcome of being published. It’s about taking time for yourself each day to craft something, even when it doesn’t feel like a craft. A haiku, a doodle, a list of important memories—they are all produced from a feeling that cannot always be pinned down, but it’s that beautiful, strange, surreal feeling that we want to inspire both through our magazine and everything else we may create in the future. I hope we inspire and keep that feeling alive in everyone who follows us. That’s our dream.

You can find more Lucent Dreaming on their website, or follow them on Social Media

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