There are two days of the year I particularly look forward to. One in February and one in September - two days in which I get to feast, all-consumingly on Sister Magazine’s latest issue. Two days which I discover, after talking to Beccy Hill - Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the biannual print publication, will multiply to four as of 2019.
But before we so excitingly get ahead of ourselves, this month saw the launch of Sister’s ninth print issue - The Sound Issue. From partying into the early hours at VFD Dalston to dominating the newsagent window displays in Soho - it’s safe to say each issue of Sister just gets bigger and better - no doubt to Beccy’s focused determination. Carrying on the signature ’S’ theme each new issue inhabits, the concept of ‘Sound’ was this edition’s point of interest and over the years Beccy has lead feminist discourse around everything from Size and Space to Strong and Sad.
So clearly leading the independent publishing scene, it would be crazy to not ask Beccy to contribute to Make Magick Happen - the series that aims to support budding independent creatives. Because with an ethos so confidently refined and growth so continually soaring, we wanna know how she does it and what goes on behind the scenes of Sister Magazine!
Tell us a little bit about you and your work…
I’m the founding editor of Sister magazine, but I’m also a freelance writer and full time hustler! I started Sister six years ago now, whilst I was at university and it’s been stressful, wonderful, and all things in between to watch it grow into what it is today.
The ninth print issue of Sister Magazine launched this month - what was the process like making this issue?
It always feels like each issue takes forever to make! I guess being bi-annual means it’s such a long process between issues, but we are stepping up to publishing quarterly as of next year which I’m really excited slash terrified about. This issue was really fun actually, I quit my full time job last month and so to have that extra time to work on Sister made such a difference to the issue I think.
The Sound Issue very much empowers voices speaking out for those marginalised and individuals creating positive change in the world. What motivated this?
I think that when I decided on the theme being sound, that was really my perspective - people using their voices and their platforms to make change. We shot Chidera’s cover back in May, and she really was the one who inspired this idea and led the way for the rest of the issue.
What is your favourite thing about The Sound Issue?
It’s so hard to pick, but I did really love interviewing Chidera and Seinabo, as they were so inspiring to speak to. I even enjoyed transcribing our conversations!
"The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to never expect Sister
to be as important to anyone else as it is to me."
What is the biggest thing you’ve learnt about making a magazine since the first issue?
Well, I’ve definitely learnt a lot! Mainly from making mistakes. I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is to never expect Sister to be as important to anyone else as it is to me. I’ve lost friends on this journey and upon reflection, it’s because I thought we were all working towards the same goal, and maybe for a period of time we were but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. I wish I could let go of it a bit more sometimes, but it’s my baby.
Is your goal for Sister today the same as it was when you started?
I guess so, I don’t really think I knew what I was doing when I made the first issue. I did know that the kind of publication I wanted to read didn’t exist, and therefore I was going to make it, so in that sense I guess it’s reached that goal. My goals get bigger every day now, haha!
"There is enough room for everyone,
and for all of our voices to be heard."
If you could enforce one change within the independent publishing scene, what would it be and why?
I don’t know about enforce, but I would certainly like to see more genuine support within the independent publishing scene. Just because somebody else’s star is rising, doesn’t mean that yours is declining. There is enough room for everyone, and for all of our voices to be heard, it’s not a competition.
What is one thing anybody making a magazine or zine should know?
That it won’t make you any money! And that it will rob you of many precious hours of sleep.
Finish the sentence: ‘Success is….’
Really isn’t the same if you don’t have the people you love to share it with.
Grab a copy of The Sound Issue from a range of Stockists or Sister's online store
and keep up to date with Beccy and Sister on Instagram.
Pictures courtesy of Beccy Hill and Sister Magazine.