An Interview with Astra Magazine’s EIC Nadja Spiegelman (S2 E20)

An Interview with Astra Magazine’s EIC Nadja Spiegelman (S2 E20)

By Marleen Seegers, Co-Founder of 2 Seas Agency and Host of The Make Books Travel Podcast

September 14, 2021
literary magazine

Nadja Spiegelman © Bek Andersen

Welcome to another episode of the Make Books Travel podcast. I’m happy to be back after having taken some time off this summer.

I’m preparing a trip to Europe (I still can’t believe I’m saying this!), we just sent our Fall Rights Lists out, and both my virtual and my in-person meeting schedules are filling up, so it’s safe to say that the fall season is in full swing!

There will be one or two more episodes after this one, I’ll take a break while I’m in Europe and will be back in November with Season 3!

So much for housekeeping announcements… Today I am speaking with Nadja Spiegelman. Nadja is editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new print literary magazine with a strong international focus forthcoming in 2022.

We discuss amongst others what it takes to set up a new literary venture like this, why it is particularly important to do so now, and how her previous job as online editor at The Paris Review prepared her for her position at Astra Magazine.

Here are some of the questions I asked Nadja:

  • Please introduce us to Astra Magazine and its team
    • Which kind of material are you looking to publish?
    • Will each issue have a specific theme?
    • When is the first issue to appear?
    • At which frequency will the issues be published?
    • Will each issue follow a specific structure?
    • Will there be both a print and an online version, and if so, will there be any differences between the two?
  • What are your intentions and/or goals for the magazine?
    • Why do you think it’s vital to publish it now?
  • What is or are the biggest challenge(s) that you’re facing, while getting ready to launch? How are you addressing these matter(s)?
  • Are you and your team guided, or inspired by, any already existing literary magazines, in English or in other languages, which serve as an example? If so, which ones?
  • You were previously the online editor of The Paris Review. In what way did that job prepare you for being Astra Magazine’s editor-in-chief?
  • Did you travel to international book fairs for any of your previous positions?
    • Will you do so for Astra Magazine? If so, is there a specific fair that you look forward to attending in particular, and why?
  • You’re also a published author. What is your experience like, being on both sides of the fence?
Show Notes
Make Books Travel Podcast
  • Nadja’s book recommendations:

– Katharina Volckmer, The Appointment

– Pola Olaoixarac, Mona

– Jonas Eika, After the Sun

– Mieko Kawakami, Breasts and Eggs

– Miriam Toews, Women Talking

– Maria Judite de Carvahlo, Empty Wardrobes

  • About Nadja:

Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This and the former online editor of The Paris Review. She is the editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new international print literary magazine forthcoming in 2022.

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