Dot Shots

16 August 2012 | 6:00 am | Troy Mutton

“I am at the beginning stages of founding a bad-ass girl art collective. Watch out for that one.”

No longer do you have to search too far or too wide to find cool little collectives in our fair city. They're – very pleasingly – popping up all over, and dotdotdash is another that has been doing amazing things for the past few years. A not-for-profit, short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, visual art and more tri-annual publication, dotdotdash celebrates issue number ten with the 'Fingerprints' edition.

Managing editor Kate-Anna St Valentine explains, “We do set a theme for each issue. Rather than the theme being a strict guideline for contributors, it acts more as a launching pad… This is particularly true of 'Fingerprint'. Instead of being a traditional magazine, contributors have submitted zines to us, a mix of which will be sold in magazine-sized packaging. As far as I am concerned, it is the most exciting issue yet!”

Of course rather than create your own (although strongly encouraged), dotdotdash are an outfit that don't care about your previous experience or skill level; the main focus is on what's put in front of them. “We really just focus on presenting innovative and exciting new work,” St Valentine explains. “When we edit the content of each issue, we edit blind. While this makes us sound like a bunch of drunks, it actually means that the editors are not privy to any personal information or background of the contributors at the time of choosing the successful pieces. The best part of this formula is that we are able to publish solely on the strength of the work, rather than the background or cred of those submitting. Everyone is on equal footing. We provide feedback to everyone who submits work, and have quite an interactive editing process to get each piece of work to its highest potential.”

With any not-for-project such as this, the obvious issue is raising the funds to actually be able to get the publication out three times a year. And as with any good publication, the office is a crazed mess come final deadline. “A whole lot of time and effort goes into applying for funding and collecting donations,” says St Valentine. “I am lucky enough to work with the greatest group of sub-editors and volunteers that I could possibly wish for – they are responsible for getting the magazine together in time and on budget. I can assure you that many late nights that devolve into a bleary-eyed mess of near-crazy staff do take place in order to make the trains run on time.”

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Funding becomes more of an issue when your funds get stolen too, which has led to their upcoming fundraiser. “A little while ago we had all of our fundraising profits from 2012 stolen, which, obviously being a magazine funded on grants and goodwill, was a massive blow to us. Instead of rallying together to sink Musictown, we are throwing this benefit for the livelihood of dotdotdash. We have a beer pong tournament, a $10 art show, and some wicked tunes from Suburban & Coke, White Oak & Stuyvesant and Pukeulele – an all-girl ukulele dream. Damn the man! Save the Empire!”

As for the future, besides issue 11 of course, St Valentine – a self-confessed riot grrrl from way back – is looking to starting her own little side project. “I am at the beginning stages of founding a bad-ass girl art collective. Watch out for that one.”

dotdotdash 10 will be launched on Friday 24 August, Fundraiser Benefit Party, Paper Mountain.