To The Future: Introducing The Classical Magazine

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The Classical is 18 months old, depending on when you start counting. We just got done being babies. We’re toddling now, warily eying the prospect of potty-training, getting ready to upgrade these gross motor skills for some fine motor skills. But, if you’ll pardon the toddlerbrag, we think we’re pretty accomplished for babies. Just in the past few weeks, this toddler had an awesome reported piece about Filipino hoops in the Yukon, a must-read on what came out of the closet with Jason Collins, and more installments in the rad, ongoing Why We Watch feature. But, as is generally the case among our toddler peer group, we’re just getting the hang of solving puzzles.

The puzzle weighing heaviest on our comically oversized 18-month-old heads right now is sustainability: How do we find a way to make The Classical economically just, not just for ourselves, but for our writers? As most of the people reading this will remember, we Kickstarted this site. The $55,000 that 1,070 of you gave to us—the generosity of which still amazes us and fills us to overflowing with gratitude—helped get us this far. We built a site, we paid our taxes, we paid server bills, all thanks to you, with an assist to Kickstarter.

But we need to find a way to turn “kickstarting” into a steady, always-on mode if we're going to be able to keep this going. To that end, we’re going to do something old-fashioned: 1) create a product (the great and unique sportswriting we deliver on this site) 2) sell it for money. We’ve partnered with 29th Street Publishing—the awesome, nice geniuses who brought you the Awl’s Weekend Companion, Maura Magazine, V as in Victor and many more great publications—to create a magazine.

The Classical’s new magazine format is available via monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as single-issue purchases, on the Apple iOS newstand. It’s $2.99 if you pay monthly, $29.99 if you sign up for a year in advance, and $3.99 to buy individual issues. On the second Tuesday of every month, a new issue will appear to delight your senses (mostly/only your eyes) and give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of adjectives. We’ll have a PDF option for Applephobes, too, and 29th Street is working hard to make a platform-agnostic version you can get on your Kindle, Dick Tracy watch, whatever. This is just for starters, by the way: the bigger the response, the more frequently we’ll be able to put these issues out, and the more readily we’ll be able to expand in other directions. We’re still growing, and aren’t trying to toddle forever.

If you are naturally inclined to first consider the gloomy side of life, as some of us are, you might be wondering “But so this means no more Classical website, huh?” To answer that: no, this is not the end of that. Will we maintain our present volume of 10 features a week plus Clog posts? Almost certainly not, because it is just an unbelievably immense amount of work given the number of people we have doing it, and because we also have other jobs that we need in order to pay rent, buy food, etc. But you can bank on something new on the site every day, although the magazine will have a supermajority of exclusive material (and some stuff from the website). Not only is this a way to get Classical-quality new reads on sports, but it’s a way to keep on top of things without checking in on the site everyday. We know you’re busy. We can tell this blog post is maybe already too long.

So we’ll let you get back to work/Dwarf Fortress/crafts therapy/your nap. But yes: this is what’s happening with us. We are very happy, and very proud, about The Classical magazine. This is the next step for us, and we hope you like it—we think it’s pretty awesome, ourselves, although we’re obviously somewhat biased. Most importantly, it’s a way for us to keep doing this thing. Stick with us. In every meaningful sense, we wouldn’t be here without you, and it will be fun to take this next step, together. And if you have any questions, ask us over email or on Twitter or Facebook or in the comments.

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