Monday, August 22, 2011

New Contrast in Crisis

Dear Friends

How many of the faces in the attached picture can you recognize? All of them appeared
in Contrast / New Contrast and many were first published there. South Africa’s foremost
literary journal has survived crises for over 50 years. We’ve reached another crisis moment,
this time financial.

The magazine has always depended on subsidy – subscriptions cover less than half
the cost of production. Now the devastating loss of Stephen Watson, whose presence
on the Board was our main (sometimes only) channel to funding, means we have lost
the complex relationships he had with funders, and our funds have all but dried up.
There is not quite enough to publish the next edition (the shortfall is about R15000) and
thereafter the future looks bleak. Although our subscription base has doubled
under Hugh Hodge's editorship, it is not enough to cover the production costs.
Increased subscriptions will help with economies of scale.

Our catch-22 situation is this: In order to apply for State or corporate funding,
we need to complete 3 years of audits. The books are up to date, but the audit
needs to be signed off by a Chartered Accountant, and this seems set to cost R60 000!

I’m asking you to either

* Make a donation,
* Buy a print subscription
* Buy an e-subscription only R100
* Suggest a literature-friendly chartered accountant: [ click here]

Also, please send this appeal on to your friends, and help to save an important piece
of our common culture.

Yours warmly

Michael Cope
Chair, S A Literary Journal