From the Editor
The history of human development is punctuated by Big Moments. The discovery of beer, of course, was one such Big Moment. Although most anthropologists hold that bread was the driving force behind agriculture and therefore the genesis of civilization, some reputable scholars argue that beer was in fact the primary agent of human cultural evolution. For our ancestors to have gone to the trouble of selecting, saving, planting, and nurturing seeds, they needed a higher reward than mere bread. Bread could be made with most any grains; beer required careful attention.
Now we have our own Big Moment to announce. The evolutionary process at work behind the magazine has precipitated a significant shift in the way we work with authors and publish articles. Like the evolution of beer and brewing (if not of civilization itself), these changes are rooted in the creative processes inherent in the hearts and minds of brewers.
First, beginning with the next issue the mix of regular columns will change. We are reducing the overall number of columns to free up space to accommodate the many authors and article ideas we receive from the brewing community. This larger feature editorial section will also give us more flexibility in selecting the best mix of articles possible for our readers. In short, it means more articles, more variety of authors, and more opportunities for prospective authors.
And it is authors who will most enjoy the biggest part of our Big Moment -- after four-and-a-half years of publishing the contributions of so many authors who have generously invested their time and effort for the good of the brewing community, we are taking our first step toward more of a mainstream payment system for authors. Until now, our "Information for Authors" page has promised payment in the future. I am pleased to announce that the future has arrived.
As we begin our venture down this road, payment will be modest Ñ two cents per word, plus premiums paid for good-quality photographs and illustrations, captions, titles, and so forth. That means an average feature article will pay anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on its size, graphical components, and how much the author contributes to the finished product. All the details are spelled out in a new information packet that can requested by calling the editor at 1-800-427-2993 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the next several issues, bit by bit, we will also be improving and adjusting the graphic design of the magazine. Our designer, Susan Heisey, has already done much to improve the magazine's look and feel; in coming issues she will be able to take our newfound flexibility into the graphical dimension as well.
I should emphasize the fact that we are changing neither the focus nor the content of the magazine. We are merely adjusting the form of presentation and evolving our relationships with authors. We will continue our fundamental commitment to quality, balance, depth, and careful editing.
Beginnings are often a time of endings as well, and this issue marks the last installments of John Palmer's "Home Brewery Basics," Jim Busch's "Home Brewery Advancement," and Norm Pyle's "Craft Brewery Operations" columns. These authors have devoted a great deal of time and energy to their responsibilities and should be thanked and applauded for their contributions to the magazine over the past couple of years. They will continue to write for the magazine, though on a more periodic (and leisurely) schedule. Cheers to three of the brewing community's greatest contributors!
As Jim Busch points out in his article on enzymes, beer is the happy result of naturally occurring elements that interact according to their natures. I would like to think the same of BrewingTechniques Ñ it exists because of the interaction of writers, reviewers, editors, and readers, whose intrinsic motivation is better beer. As the familiar advertisement puts it, "Anything less would be uncivilized."
|Issue 5.4 Table Of Contents|