[thelist] Blithe House Quarterly needs web/graphic designer

BlitheHouseQtly at aol.com BlitheHouseQtly at aol.com
Sat Feb 28 15:47:31 CST 2004

Blithe House Quarterly : a site for gay short fiction 
(http://www.blithe.com/), the premier LBGT literary magazine, is looking for a graphic/web design 
volunteer to design its 2005 volume of four issues. 

Currently in its eighth year of online publication, Blithe House Quarterly 
features new short stories by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) 
authors -- both emerging and established.  With an average of over 24,000 
readers per issue, Blithe House Quarterly is the most widely read of LGBT literary 
periodicals. OUT Magazine has called us "the central publishing arm of new 
queer fiction." A recipient of Encyclopaedia Britannica's Internet Guide Award, 
we are also a featured site on internet hubs. 

Suite101.com writes: "Blithe House Quarterly is an electronic magazine up to 
the standards of print." In fact, our literary standards our higher than those 
of many print media. We publish LGBT fiction not as a genre or ghetto, but as 
a literature that can stand by any other in its quality and innovation.  

The one year graphic design volunteer commitment to BHQ is limited to 
conceiving the design premise for 2005's issues, designing and building the four 
individual issues, and doing 8 banners per issue. (I code the stories and the copy 
and paste it into the appropriate pages.) Our 2002-2003 designer, Steve 
MacIsaac, and I have pretty much redone the site architecture, so the new designer 
doesn't have to do any major rethinking. We're fairly old skool when it comes 
to code, as it has to be something I can handle with entry-level Dreamweaver 
skills.   The design has to enable on-the-fly changes to the copy as I, say, 
don't get the stories for the issues until 18 days before the issue goes live, 
so I have to code in the the titles and the story pages in HTML rather than 
JPGs and GIFs.

Now, besides the technical issues, there are aesthetic/ideological ones.   
There is an "idiom" to BHQ's design -- we don't look like a literary magazine 
and don't look like a "traditional" website, either.   Here's an article on 
post-punk design that perfectly articulates the BHQ aesthetic:


Our design concept is usually a pun on "house", "housewares". "architecture", 
"home appliances". "interior design", etc.   One year, we looked like a 
booklet of wallpaper samples; one issue had a house plan; another year, every issue 
was the diagram for a kitchen appliance, etc.    2003's theme was Bauhaus/New 
Wave graphic design with a branding logo.   I like the logo a lot and people 
have suggested we keep using it as our "brand". 

The design volunteer can reuse the house logo I designed for 2003's issues; I 
was not able to reuse it for this year's design as I didn't have the chops to 
integrate it into 2004's design premise (which is more Malcolm Garrett meets 
Peter Saville by way of Andy Warhol in a jazz record store by an architecture 
bookshop).   The designer can also come up with something completely 
different, as long as it is within our idiom.

Naturally, whoever designs the issues gets credit and linkage on the front 
page and in the bio page.   I also write kickass recommendation letters that 
have served people in endeavors that followed their tenure in the magazine.

If you have an interest in the position, or have questions about it, please 
contact me at ADAlvarez at aol.com.   Please post/forward to anyone who'd be 

Aldo Alvarez
Executive Editor and Publisher
Blithe House Quarterly : a site for gay short fiction

Aldo Alvarez
author of INTERESTING MONSTERS : Fictions (Graywolf Press)
AOL link: Aa: Aldo Alvarez sited

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