In this issue, we speak with Sophie about Asymmetry Stories, which Sophie describes as:
“an online platform that aims to publish digital novels by new authors, and foster author-artist collaborations with illustrated stories.”
She says of the project so far: “We have published content by BAME and LGBTQ+ creators. It’s still a work in progress, and we’re currently in the midst of putting out new horror-fantasy chapters. You can check out our work at asymmetrystories.com.”
Regarding the inspiration behind the project and how it came to fruition, Sophie tells us:
“This project was a dream of mine while I was still studying English with Creative Writing at Brunel University. I noticed that there weren’t very many avenues to gain an audience/readership as a budding and learning creator, and I wanted to change that.”
After Sophie graduated, she was contacted by her course mate Howl and his friend Kyle Ubhi, who is now Asymmetry’s web designer, and together they founded Asymmetry Stories with Sophie appointed as the Editor in Chief.
The Challenges Faced
Sophie has acted as Editor in Chief of Asymmetry Stories since May of last year, and in terms of the challenges that she has faced during this time, she explains, “In the beginning, as a first-time Editor in Chief, I was way too optimistic about upload frequency. Our weekly publishing schedule was not only too demanding, but it was really wearing us down trying to upload on time (we now publish content once a month).”
Furthermore, Sophie explains that she “had to get to grips with producing promotional Instagram content” and has “gotten the hang of using Canva to whip up some visuals.”
In terms of other challenges that the team has faced as a result of working on the project online, Sophie explains, “I love working with Howl and Kyle, and I can truly say that they’re great buddies of mine. However, in the beginning, a huge problem we faced was coordinating our (Zoom) meeting timings, because a third of our team currently lives on the other side of the planet!”
The team has resolved this through arranging a weekly set meeting time slot and Sophie explains, “Although we have to sacrifice some of our time on the weekend, outside of our usual working hours, it’s really helpful to chat and brainstorm new themes and platform designs before getting started on work the following week. We’ve always worked online (given geographical distance, the fact that we began our project during the height of the first wave of COVID-19 in the UK, and odd meeting hours).”
In terms of contributors, Sophie advises that the team are “always on the lookout for new artists to bring our characters to life. Please send us a message on Instagram (@asymmetrystory) to get in contact with us!”
The Rise in Publishing Projects
When asked why Sophie thinks so many new projects have been released in the past year around the publishing industry, Sophie explains,“I think that because we’re all stuck indoors now, and so much of our work and work-related interactions (which take up the most part of our day, from Monday to Friday) have all been shifted online, people find themselves browsing more and more digital content. I think quite a few people have used this opportunity to set up online magazines/newsletters etc. I also think that due to the pandemic, people find themselves either unable to find their way into the ever-competitive publishing industry because there are fewer internships and job opportunities around these days, and creating a new, digital project (that is cheaper to create and circulate than, say, a journal in hardcopy format) is a fun way to get involved in publishing processes, and a means to grow CVs.”
With regards to the ideal job role that Sophie would like to have, she explains, “I already work in the publishing industry as a freelance Editor and Proofreader, and I’m really loving all the projects I’m currently working on. I never thought I’d be a freelancer, and ideally, I’ll find a job as an Editorial Assistant in a small, independent publishing house.”
Sophie expresses that, “I definitely think working on Asymmetry has helped me become a better Editor, as I learn to become ever more meticulous in proofreading, and also figure out how to help new authors create better and stronger characters.”
On a final note, Sophie speaks to all publishing hopefuls when she explains, “I knew working on Asymmetry would help hone my editorial skills. However, I’ve also learnt to work around a busy schedule, between Asymmetry and other freelance tasks, and I’ve also picked up some administrative and social media experience too! All of these skills are listed as necessary in many Editorial Assistant job openings, so I’d really recommend starting a project if you’re a publishing hopeful!”
Thanks so much for speaking with us Sophie!
You can check out the latest from Asymmetry Stories through the links below:
Meet the team here.
Check out Asymmetry Stories on Instagram: @asymmetrystory
Check out the website: https://www.asymmetrystories.com