In 2003, McSweeney’s, the San Francisco-based literary quarterly, published the first issue of a new monthly magazine called “The Believer.” The graphic-rich journal focused on elevating new writers, publishing poetry, long-form journalism and quirky stories and was nominated for a raft of magazine awards. But hard times led to its sale, and through various twists and turns, the magazine’s website was sold to a media company that tried to turn it into a less than literary clickbait factory. This story, however, has a happy ending that is a new beginning: After a successful Kickstarter campaign, McSweeney’s has bought back “The Believer.” We’ll talk to the editors about the first new issue, and what they hope for the magazine’s resurrection.
The Resurrection of “The Believer”
"The Believer" magazine cover. (Image courtesy of The Believer Magazine)
Vendela Vida, founding editor, The Believer; author of six books, including "We Run the Tides," "Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name" and "The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty;" founding board member, 826 Valencia
Heidi Julavits, founding editor, The Believer; author of "The Folded Clock: A Diary," as well as four critically acclaimed novels; co-editor, New York Times bestseller "Women in Clothes;" her memoir, "Directions to Myself," is forthcoming in 2023
Daniel Gumbiner, editor, The Believer; Gumbiner's first book, "The Boatbuilder," was nominated for the National Book Award and a finalist for the California Book Awards.
Ed Park , founding editor, The Believer; author, "Personal Days" and forthcoming "Same Bed Different Dreams"