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The challenge: Make a magazine in just 48 hours

May 7, 2010 |  4:50 pm

Clock_prague

A group of ambitious, creative and quite possibly insane writers, designers and editors has launched a seemingly impossible project: They're creating a magazine in just 48 hours. It is called, with elegant logic, 48 Hour Magazine.

On Friday, at noon Pacific time, they announced the theme -- the entirely appropriate "hustle." Writers, photographers and artists are invited to submit work that fits the theme until Saturday at 4 p.m. Pacific. And then, the plan goes, they will have the remainder of the 48 hours -- until midday Sunday -- to complete the selection, editing, design, Web version and -- really? -- the printing. The mad rush of individual and collective effort will slam to a halt with a genuine printed magazine, all in the course of a single weekend.

Typically, magazines work months and months ahead. Two days is about the amount of time it might take a traditional print magazine to coordinate editorial meetings for an upcoming issue.

Who would be crazy enough to invent such a challenge? Actual media professionals. Alexis Madrigal is a staff writer at Wired.com; Sarah Rich was an editor at Dwell Magazine; Derek Powazek is the editor of the long-lived storytelling site Fray; Heather Champ is former community director at Flickr; Dylan Fareed is a software designer with experience in print; Mat Honan is a freelance writer.

You might not know them now, but you could before this is over; they've begun streaming their manic  magazine production on Ustream (as of this writing, they look a lot like you or me -- people staring into computers -- but at some point, it's bound to get more exciting.)

I'd like to tell you more, but if I want to try to contribute, I've got to hustle.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: The town hall clock in Prague. Credit: kainet via Flickr.

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