Byte Experts: Nina-Sophia Miralles

Posted by Justine Solomons on 17 May 2023, in Byte Experts, News

I started LONDNR Magazine in 2015 for the simplest reason in the world: I wanted to be a writer, and no one would publish me.

I’d sent endless submissions: to zines, travel websites, short story competitions, poetry prizes… in retrospect, I was probably casting my net too wide. But no matter what I tried; the result was the same. Always an indifferent, opaque silence. Like standing on a platform waving at someone only to have them walk past you.

So, in what I can only describe as a fit of defiance, I decided to publish myself. If I started a website then maybe I could build an audience, and, eventually, publish other aspiring writers who needed a portfolio. I wanted it to be a “magazine” because they’re a unique cultural artefact. But they have changed.

The digital age spiralled into a frantic, 24-hour race-to-the-bottom that survives on SEO-optimisation, not literary merit. Of course, there are still wonderful outlets that publish great things online – but the overriding trend has been that of Buzzfeed listicles and blogs which aim to ‘churn’ content.

I may have been a hapless, unpublishable graduate, but I wanted to stand apart as a place where you could read insightful, well-researched, beautifully written cultural fodder. A platform that would quietly respect its readers and avoid distracting videos and regurgitated sponsored posts. Thus, the online version was born – it continues to this day – and to my utter disbelief, people read it. Through I met amazing writers, hosted live events, and collaborated with major brands like Bloomsbury Publishing, Waterstones, and The Fashion & Textile Museum.

During the pandemic, with revenue from events knocked on the head, I had to shelve LONDNR. Now I won’t take you through the ups and downs of that particular rollercoaster, but when I decided to restart, I wanted to address zoom fatigue. My big idea was to try and create a print edition to run alongside the digital.

Our first mag – an experimental little beast – came out in November 2021 and we had an amazing response. We did a follow-up issue, and then another. We kept the format small, so costs were low. This also meant we could give it out for free: good writing should be accessible.

Now, as I type this, Issue 07 has landed. We’ve also been publicly supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England. Our circulation has ballooned to 10,000 and we’re stocked everywhere from Eurostar lounges, to headquarters of major companies like Reuters.

I’ve spent 8 years on this bumpy road, and somewhere along the way I believe I’ve become a fully-fledged writer (a published one!). But I’m also an editor who loves to amplify the voices of emerging writers, because I remember so clearly the confusing early days. Therefore, LONDNR supports creatives though a variety of initiatives from free workshops to mentoring. Finally, I am devoted to the experience of reading… so I only want to publish writing that sparks conversations; writing that is a feat of storytelling.

If you would like to support what we do and believe there should be more thoughtful voices outside of the mainstream, please consider taking out a subscription (it’s only £25 a year, and you get £30 worth of gifts – we think that’s a pretty tasty offer!). Or, if you’ve got a story of your own… get in touch via​​​​​​​. You never know how you might first get published.

Byte the Book members can get 10% off their subscription to LONDNR by using the discount code make-media-meaningful on the website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *