When I first read Slingshot around the turn of the century I wasn’t impressed at all. I can’t remember why, I just didn’t like it. Years later in either late 2005 or early ’06 I found myself at one of the worker run cafes in Portland, Oregon at the time, the Red and Black, without reading material. I grabbed a recent copy of Slingshot and read it cover to cover, enjoying every article!
Knowing myself, I’m sure at least some of the change in perception was from my own personal growth or the other way around depending on how you look at! I’m also sure at least some of my change in opinion came from what was possibly a whole different slew of contributors from the first couple issues I perused of Slingshot, and the first one I actually read and enjoyed all the way through. Since then, my readings of Slingshot have been mostly somewhere in the middle.
If I’m not mistaken, pretty much every issue includes a call for submissions in the introduction. Though I’ve been writing political material and trying to get my work published much longer than I’ve been reading Slingshot, this didn’t register with me for years. The first submission I made wasn’t accepted for publication, and I was asked to edit my second but didn’t. Some months later after writing another version of the second submission, an article about writing prisoners for the website People of Color Organize! I also sent it to Slingshot and it was accepted with a major addition from the collective which made it far better, and became a new draft which was published by both the journal and website People Not Profit.
In other words, I would recommend that radical writers and artists please consider submitting your work to Slingshot. Even if your first submission doesn’t get printed, please don’t be discouraged but think about trying to get something else of yours in.
Personally something I’d like to see in the journal are some historical pieces drawing from what has become a remarkable record of radicalism over the last 25 years by Slingshot itself. I’ve seen 25 years ago in… and 10 years ago in… sections in Socialist and ever bourgeois papers. Such a section would really add to Slingshot, and make good use of the archive at the Long Haul. Living participants could add exciting details. Other somewhat old radical journals that had participation by people from the long Haul such as Love & Rage and my personal favorite (Dis) Connection could be utilized.
Something else I’d really like to see in Slingshot are more stories written about the various projects in the Slingshot Radical Contact List written by the participants. One of the most inspiring things I ever did was look up everything on the list in the U$ to make a data base for a couple of Leftist artists in Arizona City looking for potential vendors. It’s an amazing informal network, and I think if it was more cohesive and formal, like the Network of Anarchist Collectives that put together (Dis) Connection. back in the ’90s we would all benefit.
For non-writers and artists living in or visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, please consider volunteering for the collective anyways. There are many ways to plug in and help from typing to folding and taping copies of the paper for mailing. It’s a truly collective process and a great deal of fun, for the most part.
http://slingshot.tao.ca/submissions.html or slingshot at tao dot ca