Why we’re asking for your support.

Dear readers,


As Protean Magazine approaches its third year of publishing, we’re writing to offer you some insight into where the organization currently stands: our present solvency, our hopes for the future, and why we’re asking for your patronage.

During these three busy years, we have relied exclusively on crowdfunded income, which is devoted in its entirety to compensating our contributors. Our Kickstarter campaigns only cover the cost of producing our print editions; our Patreon has been adequate to sustain a minimal rate of regular online publication. But our current patron income level of roughly $1,000 a month does impose limitations on the rates that we can pay writers and how often we can publish, while precluding any compensation for editorial labor.

The five people that produce Protean have worked for years in a voluntary capacity. Our other employment and obligations impose hard limits on our time and energy. To make the magazine sustainable, we will need to acknowledge the value of editorial labor, eventually bringing on additional workers in order to share the dozens of working hours per week that are required to edit and operate the magazine. Given the growing extent of that workload, we feel it would not be reasonable to ask any future team members to offer their time on a purely volunteer basis. 

As a result, the magazine is at a bit of an impasse. We need the assistance of new team members in order to expand, but we need to expand in order to compensate new team members. We’re asking for your help in getting out of this bind and ensuring that our publication can continue.

With the benefit of your support on Patreon, we’re hoping to achieve the following:

Our first priority is to increase our minimum pay rates for contributors—writers, poets, and artists—in order to further recognize the value of their work and continue to support leftist creators.

Secondly, we’d like to be able to compensate the magazine’s workers for their labor, starting at a minimal, cursory rate, posted publicly for transparency. This would enable us to devote a greater portion of our time to its operations, and, crucially, make it possible to bring on additional team members while acknowledging the worth of their labor. 

In general, we hope to publish print editions on a more frequent basis and increase the publication rate of our online content, creating more opportunities for writers. We’d also like to be able to offer patrons and readers more gifts, rewards, and giveaways.

To realize these plans, we’re setting a goal of gaining 100 new patrons this month. We hope you’ll become one of them.

And—beyond knowing that you’re helping sustain leftist media—there’s something in it for you, too: 

♦ $2+ patrons will be sent free coupons for a digital edition of our issues. Down the line, if you remain a sustaining member, we’ll also send you Issue 3 in print as a thanks.

♦ $20+ patrons will immediately be sent a complimentary copy of Issue 3, as well as digital edition coupons.

♦ $50+ a month patrons will be sent a copy of Issue 3, digital edition coupons, and a free wall-size poster of our cover art.

We have relied on the incredible generosity of our readership to bring the magazine to this point. The willingness of so many people to give freely of their own resources to help us produce our work is immensely heartening. We would like to provide a better experience for all involved—more content for readers, more pay for contributors, more bonuses to patrons, and a recognition of the work that goes into producing the complex and time-intensive project that is Protean.

The support of our patrons, even if it’s only a couple dollars a month, is deeply meaningful to us. We hope to have your help in continuing to do the work that we love, and in building a thriving, self-sustaining, wholly independent magazine.

In solidarity,

The Protean Collective

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