In 2004 – for some strange reason – I decided it would be a good idea to return to college after a 20-year hiatus. I enrolled in Metropolitan State College of Denver as a Journalism major. I had a magazine writing class and we were assigned a project due at the end of the semester that entailed coming up with a mock magazine concept. And The Working Stiff Review was born.
I submitted a copy for consideration to a national magazine distributor that specialized in zines and small press publications, placing them in independent bookstores and national chains. They agreed that The Working Stiff Review would be a good fit in their portfolio, and I signed a contract agreeing to deliver 5,000 copies and that I’d be paid contingent upon how many copies eventually sold compared to many got returned. I quickly went back to the drawing board, called upon some connections I’d made in the publishing industry to contribute, and within a few months issue #2 was completed, printed and shipped.
After the issue had been distributed and placed in bookstores for several weeks, the distribution company went belly-up, effectively leaving me and numerous other small press publishers unpaid for our efforts. Such was the life of a zine publisher. However, I’m very proud of The Working Stiff Review, and have no regrets of the time I spent on it during its short lifespan.