Transitions, our 17th Edition, will be our last (at least for now). This blog explains why we've made this difficult decision, and what comes next.
We’re changing our approach to storytelling.
The sad part is that our next Edition, Transitions, will be our last - at least for a while.
Adventure is part of society, not an escape from it. Community, culture, personal identity, small-p politics, environmental crises and straight-up stoke all interweave through adventures, which is why telling adventure stories helps us understand the world and effect change. Alongside a cast of amazing contributors and loyal Patreon supporters, we’re lucky and proud to have been able to do this through Editions.
Since 2020 we’ve helped spotlight issues like food poverty, environmental greenwashing, outdoor racial inequality and adventuring with a period. We’ve platformed campaigners like Guy Shrubsole, fighting for Britain’s rainforests, and Ellen Miles, arguing for nature as a human right. We’ve shown how adventure can be activism, from Tasmanian paddling to Palestinian skateboarding and British trespassing. We’ve profiled local heroes like Riverkeeper Frederick Tutman, and people outside the frame of ‘adventure as leisure’, like Sudanese refugee Abdullah (not his real name). We’ve explored the role of adventure in society through thinkers like Dougald Hine, Adam Weymouth and Neftalie Williams, and learned from others telling important outdoor stories, like Melanin Basecamp founder Danielle Williams. We’ve heard from writers like Jini Reddy and Nick Hunt, academics like place-writing professor David Cooper, and artists like woodland photographer Simon Baxter, documentary photographer Michal Iwanowski and sheep-impersonating performance artist Miranda Whall. And of course we’ve found thought-provoking adventures everywhere from Parisian servants’ quarters to video games and hard shoulders.
Unfortunately though, Editions aren’t proving sustainable at the moment. It’s no secret that generating income through longform journalism, which takes time, is growing ever more difficult. We’re proud to have pledged all our Patreon revenue directly to Editions contributors, supplemented by a portion of our small revenue elsewhere. Our rates have always been humble - a little over £100 for a while, and then a flat rate of £100 - though they are, dishearteningly, in line with many larger media outlets. But we also need to support ourselves to make this work sustainably, and especially since Covid checked our events momentum, Editions have been a labour of love.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! Hell no.
Firstly, we still have an editorial budget to use, generated through Patreon. Much of this will go into Transitions, which will shepherd us into this new chapter. We’ll use the remainder for an editorial project in the near future. Maybe a special Edition, maybe something else. Rest assured, all remaining Patreon revenue will go directly to contributors.
Secondly, we plan to keep our shoulders to the storytelling wheel. Impactful adventure stories are as important as ever. It’s awesome to see outdoor publications, film fests and organisations become much more attuned to inequalities and environmental issues in recent years. But that’s no reason to let up.
So, planning for the 2023 Adventure Uncovered Film Festival is in full swing, with Brighton, Bristol and a micro-festival in St. David’s, Wales already on the horizon for September and October. And Editions will be reborn, and reshaped, in the form of a free monthly newsletter called The Adventure Ramble. The Adventure Ramble will start as a hearty roundup of the most important, intriguing and inspiring adventure stories with a social or environmental angle. Who knows where it will end. While it will contain less original reporting, this format does mean we will now have the capacity to bring you more stories and voices, more regularly.
The first instalment will arrive on June 1st, and then on the first day of each month thereafter. Transitions will go live on July 21st.
If you’re interested in contributing to Transitions, please pitch us! As usual, email firstname.lastname@example.org with any proposal linking adventure, social or environmental issues and the theme at hand. Get in touch by May 10th, when we’ll make final decisions on what to include. And do take a look at our submissions guidelines for tips on a strong pitch and our commissioning and payment processes.
An ENORMOUS thank you to everybody who has made Editions such a joy, from contributors to collaborators, social media champions, pitchers and everybody featured in one way or another. Together we can be proud of what has become a rich archive of some of the important work taking place in the name of adventure.
We look forward to ending well by gathering your ideas into an aptly timed document of adventurous transition!