There’s no easy way for a long-standing, all-volunteer project to ask for help. If we write something subtle inviting new folks to join us in writing, drawing and editing this zine and our annual organizer calendar, not all that many people notice or take it seriously. If on the other hand we are more urgent and say “holy shit! after 28 years the project is hanging by a thread and if we can’t find some new blood soon, it’s unclear we can continue the project” – well that sounds desperate and pathetic and is a turn-off. Who wants to join the crew of a sinking ship?
The reality is complex. It is correct that the summer meetings to create the 2017 Organizer were very sparsely attended. If the people who showed up hadn’t been super hard-core and willing to stay late and work hard, it would have been impossible to finish. When there aren’t enough volunteers, corners have to be cut that we don’t want to cut – less time for art, writing, and editing. After we send a publication to the printing press, there is a ton of invisible background work on distribution and fundraising that falls on too few shoulders.
As volunteers we need to balance the time we spend on Slingshot with time for our friends and family, other fun projects, to say nothing of paid work.
So we’re not sure how to say it so it works, but the reality is that Slingshot desperately needs more people in the collective. The project is fun and has a lot going for it – this isn’t a sinking ship. We know how to publish stuff, we have a solid distribution network, sufficient funding, eager readers and a solid niche, look and history. The weakest spots are having enough writers and general shitworkers willing to sit through meetings and/or do all the tasks necessary to get things published.
If you’re looking to learn publishing, bring meaning to your day-to-day life, or join an interesting assortment of people, come and hang out with us. It is easy to feel powerless and small in the face of global capitalism — like nothing you do will make a difference. At the Slingshot collective, even one or two new people will make a difference. We can’t promise to change the world, but we’re serious that printing materials have the potential to make a difference.
Organizer back issues
If you want back issues of the Slingshot Organizer, we have the following available for free – just pay shipping if you are an individual (if you are a library we can pay shipping). Pocket: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Spiral: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Also, we’ve put some of the little essays that appear in the Organizer on our website: slingshot.tao.ca.
Slingshot mails over 2,000 copies of each issue for free to prison inmates an activity which involves typing hundreds of new addresses each issue. Our tiny collective is a little overwhelmed by the constant pile of letters. If you’re in the Bay Area and you want to help support prisoners, a very tangible way is to open letters and type in names and addresses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.