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Clarion 2004

Regina Brewster

James R.Cain

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Frequently asked questions concerning Dark Animus.

What is Dark Animus?

Dark Animus is a small press publication created to support the work of emerging writers, poets and artists in Australia and overseas.  The publication is A5-sized and each issue contains 80 pages of illustrated poetry and fiction.  We do not publish interviews and our book reviews are only published online.  The web space is used in support of people appearing in Dark Animus and in support of emerging and existing speculative talent.  Our first issue came out in November 2002.  

The publication itself is a non-profit production.  As a small press publication, our production costs are higher per issue than a professionally produced publication, but this is the only way we can get the publication produced at this point in time.  Hopefully this will change in the future.  If and when it does, any profit will be channelled back into building Dark Animus and increasing/giving remuneration to all contributors. 

Why do you produce the publication if it simply doesn't pay?

I feel that Dark Animus is profitable but not yet, in terms of money.  It's contribution is cultural and its worth is in encouraging emerging writers, poets and artists to persevere and develop their talent.  

In my mind, the next Ernest Hemmingway is out there working in K-Mart but his/her work and worth hasn't been realised.  They're not financially viable for a mainstream publisher the list of whom is dictated primarily by marketing concerns.  If he/she does not go on to produce their life's work, then that's a tragedy.  The loss to human cultural is immeasurable.     

Beyond that, I believe one day the publication will build itself into a profitable production.  We have a solid and often loyal readership base.  I just have to hold onto the dream.

Where are your readers?

Our readers come from all over the world.  About 50% are within Australia, and our readership base there is increasing.  The rest are international, and we have readers as far away as Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany and of course, the USA.  Most of our international readers are in the USA.

How many issues a year do you produce?

Dark Animus started out at 4 issues a year.  In 2004 though, we lost a couple of financial supporters as they could no longer help in producing the publication for life reasons.  This had nothing to do with Dark Animus - they're still involved, just not as financial contributors.  We had to cut back to stay alive. 

At the moment, we're committing to 2 issues a year until we get more support.  It's all we can afford.  We're also starting to pay for new fiction as of Issue 8, which I see as a necessary expense.

Where are we at?

Beyond the publication, I'm trying to make the web site more useful to readers and visitors alike.  We donated web space to the  newly-forming AHWA until they got a site of their own.   We donate web space to artists and writers that appear in the publication and don't have a presence on the web.  I'm also trying to build a library of speculative fiction reviews.

The Dark Animus awards - generously donated by George Higham of Poe Puppet - will be run every two years.  These awards recognise the best cover, internal illustration, poem and new fiction as appeared in Dark Animus over the period.  These awards will continue and voting for the next award will follow issue #9.   

How can I help? 

If your a writer and want your book/comic reviewed, then see the Book Reviews page and send us your work.  We'll gladly review it. 

If you're a reader and you read something you like, then email me a review.  Have a look online and you'll see the sort of thing I'm after.  I want honest, readers' reviews looking at the positive qualities in the book as well as mentioning the negative aspects as you saw them.  If you have something negative to say though, frame it subjectively so that readers will know it's just your opinion.  I won't accept flame reviews.  Reviews should include ISBN details and any necessary links so that people interested in buying the book, know what to order. 

If you're a reviewer, and have some old reviews you wouldn't mind contributing to the library, then send that through.  I'll need to know where it's been published before so I can give appropriate credit on the review.

If you're a subscriber or casual reader of Dark Animus, then drop me a line and give me feedback - positive and negative - on the material in each issue.  I like to post it online for contributors to read.  I know that contributors visit the Reader's Raves and see how their work was received.  A little praise or appreciation can go a long way in encouraging new talent.

If you wish to make a donation to support the publication, this may be done via Paypal.  Payments should be sent to skullmnky@hotmail.com

Beyond that, if you want to get involved contact me and tell me what you have to offer Dark Animus.  The more people that get involved, the better the publication will be. 

In this modern publishing world in which we find ourselves, it's increasingly important to foster emerging talent, and that's what Dark Animus is all about.

James R.Cain 6/24/5


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