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The Soaring Twenties Social Club editorial policy
What follows is our editorial practice. The founding document, a call to action. In business-speak this is a mission statement. Some might well call it a manifesto, though this term has been tarnished by those who merely talk the talk.
The 10 principles below are a statement of intent, testimony that we are serious about changing the nature of online writing and discourse and being a true oasis of art in a desert of content.
The internet is not what it once was. Rather than co-operation we now have cults of personality and parasocial relationships between audiences and big name content creators. Rather than true creativity we now have lowest common denominator tactics at the behest of mysterious yet revered algorithms. And rather than high quality, deeply personal and highly individual artworks and expressions we now have low effort, generic and follow-the-leader creators who are shilling trend-chasing content.
This is a sad state of affairs.
The internet has become uniformly dull. With so many addicted to their screens and devices as they are forlornly searching, clamouring for something which they cannot find. They’re searching for the good stuff, the real authentic independent voices that the internet was supposed to champion and empower.
Instead most of what people encounter online is like junk food- a quick hit of something that offers no nourishment, no sustenance.
So our mission is to change this. Our mission is to offer a real alternative to the lacklustre content that makes up the bulk of what the majority of people are exposed to online.
And to do this we first have to draw some lines and hoist some flags. So here are the 10 principles of the STSC. This is what will define our work now and looking forward.
A simple rule yet one which many are afraid to stick to. So many are so beholden to the metrics that they will cheapen and sully their work in the hope of making some numbers on a dashboard rise just a little higher. This is short term thinking. We are creating for the long term, we are committed to delivering work that is capable of standing the test of time and standing on its own inherent merit. And so lazy, insulting-to-the-audience engagement tactics have no place here.
We will honour the intelligence and value the time of the audience, and over time the Soaring Twenties Social Club will be respected as a stamp that signifies quality, artistic integrity and authenticity.
Copywriting and its consequences have been a disaster for the human reader.
The ubiquity of listicles, of fragmented sentences (with each one being a new paragraph) and endless subheadings and bullet points have eroded the reader’s attention span and ability to stomach anything other than hyperbolic prose and prosaic storytelling that are inevitably the prelude to shilling some sort of product or service (there will be more on this later).
We won’t stand for that here. We are bringing back the paragraph, the point that is allowed to unwind and reveal itself slowly and at its own pace and we are bringing back the flowing run-on sentence that won’t score so well on the Flesch-Kincaid readability score yet might allow you to actually feel something and be inspired.
No hot takes on the current thing
Someone has to formally take a stand on this.
Unless this tactic is explicitly ruled out the contemporary online essayist could easily find themselves defaulting to giving their take on the current thing. The system is engineered towards this since talking about the current thing turns us into obedient spectators and ill-informed analysts in the walled garden of an eternal present. There is more to life than whatever is trending on social media today. Creators have more to offer the world than a snarky rejoinder and a hastily constructed diatribe against who they have been told to scapegoat (or indeed a saccharine puff-piece about who they have been told to praise) to a deadline for some money.
All work by humans- not A.I.
AI might be fascinating and it might be revolutionary. It may well be a help to humanity. But if you want to see art created by artificial intelligence and read words that are the output of chatbots you will have to go elsewhere. Everything published by the STSC will be absolutely and categorically the work of humans. And further we do not consent for any of our work to be used for the purpose of training AI models.
This is a simple commitment to outstanding quality and consistency. Every piece will be the product of the creator in question being given a free reign to express themselves to their fullest ability. Everyone will be encouraged and guided to transcend their limitations through the supportive culture our active community members have both nurtured and built. Creators will be given ample time, help and- as we grow- resources to forge their best work.
No one will phone it in, nothing will ever be published merely to fill a gap in a schedule or simply meet a deadline. The explicit intention is to have the STSC become a trusted stamp of excellence. If we have produced it you know it will be worth the time.
No shilling posts
The work will stand alone. Every piece will be a self-contained. Nothing will be an empty call to action. Everything matters and the entire body of work will be worthy of attention.
We are aiming for respect and a sterling reputation for authenticity, excellence and doing things the right way. We are looking to build a relationship of trust with an audience. This is a long term game. And nothing mars this more than excessive shilling and insincere calls to action.
No quotations without experience
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”
The point here is that many writers online glibly pad out their work (and social media posts) with quotations as a means of filling space and borrowing the viewpoint of another. But in the STSC we are more concerned with wisdom and viewpoints gained from real world experience and so our work will reflect this.
Quotations are a garnish to bolster the business of living, and not the other way around.
Half of all posts published will be fiction/poetry/art
Within our collective we have a great number of supremely talented essayists and non-fiction writers. But we also have an impressive roster of storytellers, poets, painters and more. All mediums of expression are represented and so they will all be accounted for and showcased.
We will broaden your horizons and introduce you to works and ideas and forms that you may not have delved into before. We will show you a better way and make your time online a truly enriching and meaningful compliment to life in the real world.
The money goes back in
This is not a moneymaking venture for the founder or anyone else involved. But money will be made and supporters who believe in our vision and our accomplishments will be invited to donate and become a patron of the arts, a proud defender of the creative spirit. And these proceeds will fund future projects and lead to the creation of tangible and beautiful artefacts- from books to paintings and more. And the proceeds from this will fund even more works. And on and on it will go.
All of the above principles can be broken, as long as this is done artfully
We are artists. We balk at rules and strictures that may limit our creative expression, no matter how sensible they may be. And so any of the above rules can be bent and even broken as long as this is done with extreme levels of wit, finesse and artistic skill.
So that’s the talk. Now stay tuned to witness us walking the walk.
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