When I first read Slingshot around the turn of the century I wasn’t impressed at all. I can’t remember why, I just didn’t like it. Years later in either late 2005 or early ’06 I found myself at one of the worker–run cafes in Portland, Oregon at the time, the Red and Black, without reading material. I grabbed a recent copy of Slingshot and read it cover to cover, enjoying every article!
Knowing myself, I’m sure at least some of the change in perception was from my own personal growth â€” or the other way around depending on how you look at! I’m also sure at least some of my change in opinion came from what was possibly a whole different slew of contributors from the first couple issues I perused of Slingshot, and the first one I actually read and enjoyed all the way through. Since then, my readings of Slingshot have been mostly somewhere in the middle.
If I’m not mistaken, pretty much every issue includes a call for submissions in the introduction. Though I’ve been writing political material and trying to get my work published much longer than I’ve been reading Slingshot, this didn’t register with me for years. The first submission I made wasn’t accepted for publication, and I was asked to edit my second but didn’t. Some months later after writing another version of the second submission, an article about writing prisoners for the website People of Color Organize! I also sent it to Slingshot and it was accepted with a major addition from the collective which made it far better, and became a new draft which was published by both the journal and website People Not Profit.
In other words, I would recommend that radical writers and artists please consider submitting your work to Slingshot. Even if your first submission doesn’t get printed, please don’t be discouraged but think about trying to get something else of yours in.
Something else I’d really like to see in Slingshot are more stories written about the various projects in the Slingshot Radical Contact List written by the participants. I think it would also make Slingshot more of a newspaper, which I had pointed out to me in a critique of my original draft where I referred to Slingshot as a journal, it is the paper’s intention to carry news. All over the world people are facing similar struggles and the more news submitted to Slingshot about the ways people are resisting capitalism, hetero–patriarchy and white supremacy will benefit all of us greatly.
For non–writers and artists living in or visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, please consider volunteering for the collective. There are many ways to plug in and help from typing to folding and taping copies of the paper for mailing. It’s a truly collective process and a great deal of fun, for the most part. We critique the articles submitted as individuals, but then discuss and pick them for editing and or publication as a group. Individuals volunteer to do layout for specific pages, but again the whole group evaluates the final pages. Slingshot is also pretty generous with throwing down for food on the long workdays. Eating, listening to music and all the discussion both in regard to the paper and whatever else comes up are all a huge part of the process.