Today I am announcing the soft, squishy launch of ARTIFACT INTERNATIONAL, my membership program designed to support and maintain a host of creative writing and photography projects related to travel and exploration.1
If you have found value in what I’ve been doing these last few years and want to see more of it, please consider becoming a member.
I have big plans for 2022 and beyond, which I cannot accomplish without your support.
My interest is in the creative work that results from travel and thinking about place, and ARTIFACT INT’L (I hope) will provide the time and space for more of this work to continue at a greater amplitude and frequency.
If you’ve been following along for the last three years, you will know that I’ve been entangled in a number of projects related to travel, writing, and photography like Travel Writing World and Genius Loci.
In 2022 and beyond, my plan is to do the following:
- Travel Writing World fortnightly podcast — interviews with travel writers about their work.
- Author Profiles (monthly) and occasional travel book excerpts, reviews, and articles.
- Genius Loci monthly newsletter — roundups of news and interesting links related to the extended universe of travel/nature/place writing.
- Postcards weekly newsletter — a photograph from my travels and a note, just like a real postcard.
- Axis Mundi and Fieldnotes — short essays and reflections on mountains and topics related to travel, photography, writing, and books.
- Sabbatical — A working trip somewhere in the world this autumn,2 with an accompanying daily, pop-up newsletter. This trip will be the seed for a special edition book to be published by ARTIFACT INT’L in 2023.3
ARTIFACT INT’L members receive many benefits, detailed here: https://www.artifactinternational.com/about/
Some of the benefits are:
- Discounts on ARTIFACT INT’L books, when published in 2023, and prints
- My Lightroom presets pack
- Named as a supporting member in ARTIFACT INT’L publications
- Digital copies of ARTIFACT INT’L books, when published in 2023
- Members-only ARTIFACT INT’L forum
- Members-only ARTIFACT INT’L newsletter
- Members-only ARTIFACT INT’L podcast feed
- And much more
That said, most of what I produce will be free and open-access. Travel Writing World and Genius Loci, for example, will always be free.
So, in addition to all the benefits outlined above, members help support the publication of free resources for non-members.
Where we’ve been
On the Travel Writing World podcast over the last three years, I’ve been publishing interviews with authors and photographers who travel the world and try to make sense of it. I’ve spoken with some of world’s most celebrated writers and photographers.
When I first started the podcast, I wasn’t sure if there would be an audience for an interview-based podcast exploring travel literature. After all, it isn’t a popular genre. And I wasn’t sure anyone would actually listen. But, after three years of the podcast, I’m happy to report there is a deep interest in the creative output that results from travel. And it is growing.
I’ve also started two growing e-mail newsletters in 2021: Genius Loci, a monthly roundup of travel, place, and nature writing news and Postcards, a weekly dispatch of a photograph and a note (just like a real postcard). There are over a thousand people on my email lists, a number I never expected to reach.
We’ve also started an online literary journal called Adventures in Ideas, a place where writers can be a bit experimental in writing about travel, nature, and place. I’m looking to build upon this in the future.
I’m proud of what we’ve built, no less because it has all been free and open-access (you can read my 2021 End of Year Review for a deeper dive into last year’s work). But it is all costly, in terms of the tech and the time. That’s why I’m asking for help.
Where we’re going
One aim of ARTIFACT INT’L is to create the time and the space to do more interesting work. And, for me, this looks like special edition books.
While I don’t have any special edition books to incentivize membership yet, some are in the works. I’ll reveal more about the projects in Q2 or Q3 of 2022, just before I embark my working sabbatical.
So, this soft and squishy launch of ARTIFACT INT’L is a public declaration. While I don’t anticipate many members joining at this point in the journey — we’re just starting out, after all —, this profession of faith is a way to keep me accountable to my plans and to continue the work I’ve been doing for the last three years.
We’re going to some interesting places. And we’ll create artifacts. Together.
For more information about the program, or to become a member, visit ARTIFACT INTERNATIONAL.
- The archetype that I am trying to reverse engineer is Craig Mod’s “Special Projects” membership program.
- Hopefully South or Central America.
- Likely via Kickstarter or some other crowdfunding platform.