Christian A. Young's Dimlight Archive

Hold Something!

Hold Something is on indefinite hiatus starting 11/29/11. I want to thank everyone who subscribed, who offered advice and support, and my friend Sam, who has been the best editor on this thing I could have asked for. You rule, friends. It has been an honor.

Hold Something is an experiment in tangible art, and in making stories for paper.

I love electronic media. I love the speed of contact I have with my friends, and the all the strange and wonderful things that can be at my fingertips with a click. My life is richer for it.

Still, there's nothing like finding something other than bills and junk in the post. It feels good to find something human and interesting that I can tack up by my bed or find by accident in my backpack weeks later.

That's what Hold Something is all about. I want to make something interesting and that people can enjoy and touch and keep.

How does it work?

Every month I'll choose a photograph I've taken and use it as a prompt for a short story (2-3 pages average), then send the whole thing out to subscribers. Each Hold Something packet contains a copy of that month's story and photo, as well as a short note from me.

Basically, it's a bit like this except with your own hand, mailbox, etc.

You can read an excerpt from February's story, "If You Can Do The Trick" here.

As an added bonus, I draw a subscriber name each month and send them a little something extra. Depending on what I have handy at any given time, that might be a spare copy of a magazine or anthology I've got something in, or occasionally a found object or other item that I've included in the story.

Will any of this material go into print outside of Hold Something?

At this point, no.

The stories I produce for Hold Something won't ever go out as submissions to magazines, anthologies, etc. However, I do plan to blog the occasional excerpt or image so that people can find out what HS is all about. I'm considering doing a collection of Hold Something stories at some point, but that's all speculative at this point. If something along those lines does take shape, I'd do my best to make sure current subscribers have some say, and enjoy some kind of discount or extras.

When do stories go out?

Hold Something posts on or around the 15th of the month. New subscribers who squeak in before I get photos printed for that month will get the current month's offering. Usually, you're safe if you've subscribed by the 10th.

How much does Hold Something cost?

If you're in the US, $5.50/month, or $55/year. This mainly covers the material and logistical costs of production, postage, etc. These items ship First-Class Mail®.

International subscriptions are $6.50/month USD, or $65 USD/year. Monthly mailings will ship by First-Class Mail® International Letter.

If you were doing this project just for the love, you'd only charge the cost of photo printing, paper, and postage. What's my subscription really pay for?

From start to finish, each month's Hold Something mailing takes about a week to produce. There are material costs, like buying toner and paper, as well my editor's cut, and the cost of my time.

Crowdfunding it makes the work more sustainable for me, and helps me justify spending my time on a short story and taking snapshots instead of, say, picking up a second job at a gas station. It's another step toward making my writing a real job, which is something I'd like to do very much.

Okay, I'm in. How do I do this?

Sadly, Hold Something is currently on hiatus. I tentatively (as of 11/29/11) plan to revisit it at some point, probably with a significant revamp. Announcements will happen on the blog when things are ready.