It’s as if Hannah Quinton, founder of The Rage Magazine, brought some San Diego sun with her when she transferred to Western Washington University. Bubbly and warm, her enthusiasm for the task she’s undertaken is apparent.
“Western is a very creative school with a lack of community,” she said. “Giving people a chance to grow together as students, people and coworkers is definitely something I feel like Western could thrive off of.”
The Rage Magazine is Western’s “first and only student-run fashion editorial magazine.” It is intended to be a compilation of work from the community, focused on fashion, art and culture. Conceptualized in April, Quinton came up with the idea, named it and created The Rage’s Instagram all in one night.
“I stayed up till 5 a.m. the next day, making PowerPoints and thinking about how it's going to work. I took a lot of inspiration from other magazines from other schools,” she said.
Despite discovering that San Diego State University wasn’t for her, a part of the experience that stuck with her was the abundance of art and creative communities. She took up photography there and wants The Rage to be a place for people to mix their interests and career pursuits.
Kennedy Hogan, a second-year student and The Rage’s director of social media and public relations, echoed this statement.
“I love fashion and marketing, so it just seemed like a perfect way to be able to have an outlet while also building my resume,” she said.
The Rage is to be a print magazine, allowing contributors to hold their published work in their hands. The Rage plans to keep up a website and their Instagram between issues, where blog posts and submissions that didn’t make it to the physical edition will be featured.
Running a magazine comes with hurdles. The first and foremost issue is funding, something Joan Connell, senior lecturer in the journalism department at Western and advisor to Klipsun Magazine, is familiar with.
“I know for us at Klipsun, we are underfunded,” she said. “We do not have enough money to really do the job that we should be able to do in terms of design.”
The answer The Rage has come up with for this issue is a dues system. Print magazines are expensive to create. Acquiring funding is a difficult process.
“That is a little bit up in the air, but for the people that are working on the magazine [all] quarter long, they pay like a $20 due and they are going to get first choice to be in the actual magazine itself, more than likely,” Quinton said.
The Rage is still in its trial phase. The print publication is loosely scheduled to debut in December, but in the meantime, they’re using social media as their point of engagement.
“Nobody's going to come to your website just out of the blue. You have to push your content to your audience by having an Instagram feed,” Connell said.
Cultivating their Instagram feed has been a large part of the startup process. Quinton cried when the account hit 10 followers, and has been consistently overwhelmed by the amount of interest people are showing.
“It's really awesome that I get to be a part of the team that gets to really build its image,” Hogan said. “It's a little bit stressful, especially social media, that's where people are going to learn about it, but I'm confident in my ability to replicate Hannah’s idea.”
Submissions are open to the public through a link in The Rage’s Instagram bio. If someone is interested in working on the publication, there’s plenty of time to get involved and opportunities available. A lot of work is necessary to make The Rage a functional project.
“You need an editorial strategy. You need a circulation strategy. You need a technology strategy,” Connell said. “You need strong leadership and a vision.”
Many elements of The Rage are still in the works. Quinton said her biggest personal hurdle has been learning to be a team leader after so much time working independently. She’s open to criticism though, and ready to think on her feet and change the plans.
The publication’s success and the creation of a community and culture around it are things she looks forward to and intends to work for.
“I hope in five years from now people can look at The Rage and get inspired,” Quinton said. “I want someone to come to Western and be proud of the community that they're in and feel like they can express themselves however they feel fit.”
Kumiko Juker (she/her) is a campus life reporter for The Front this quarter. When she's not checking her email, she enjoys spending time with her friends, writing poetry and accumulating random knowledge. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.