August 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
Random House Canada has just launched Hazlitt (named, obviously, after essayist William, but which I rather like for its connotations of haz-lit–what exactly would that be?), which it describes like this:
Hazlitt is founded on the premise that anything can be interesting—that a good writer can make an opera fan care about house, or a fashion blogger take an interest in the illegal arms trade. Good writing can make a finance story as riveting as celebrity gossip.
So Hazlitt aspires to publish great writing on everything. Politics, art, the environment, film, music, law, business. Books and writers—their ideas, insights and stories—are at the heart of what we do, because books and writers are at the heart of culture, both high and low.
My favourite piece so far is Alexandra Kimball’s “How to succeed in journalism when you can’t afford an internship,” which is an honest look at the industry and its financial practices. Many years ago now I put in my unpaid week at The Times and then another one at Good Housekeeping, before having to turn down Marie Claire’s three-month unpaid gig and get a real job, because, you know, I had to buy food and pay rent. We all know that nobody’s making big money in journalism or publishing–not the writers and not the owners (mostly)–but the trust-fund effect is usually written off as not a problem. Of course there are some people who manage to get in even without a private income or supportive parent/partner, but isn’t there a better way in this day and age?
Bonus material: Susan Olding writes interestingly about the essay (“That trying genre”) in a piece from 49th Shelf last year.