“Everything in everybody’s life is … significant. And everybody is alert, watching for the meanings. And the vibrations.” –Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
In 1970, journalists’ Warren Hinckle and Sidney Zion started a little-known magazine called Scanlan’s Monthly, and for nearly a year Scanlan’s produced journalism so controversial the Nixon administration ordered an FBI investigation into its activities and many of its printers declared the magazine “un-American,” forcing the magazine to close after only eight issues. Except for the recollections of history geeks and literary nerds, the magazine inevitably fell into the gray obscurity of the all-too-fast brand of American journalism.
Despite its demise, however, Scanlan’s Monthly was a key member of a small club of magazines that introduced a new form of writing to its audience and fundamentally shaped the American literary landscape. Codified as the “New Journalism,” magazines like Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, and Rolling Stone among others gave writers the license to infuse nonfiction with literary techniques more commonly found in fiction with an emphasis on “truth” over “facts.” Writers who introduced this method have produced what are arguably the best American works of the latter-half of the 20th century, including Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Gay Talese, Terry Southern, Norman Mailer, and Truman Capote. In the case of Scanlan’s, one Hunter S. Thompson was given the column inches to develop and showcase his evolving “Gonzo” method through his piece “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” which propelled his career into Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.
Nately’s Magazine intends to be the spiritual continuation of what these writers began, and draws its water from the legacy of Scanlan’s and the other publications who brought them to life. Nately’s, however, intends to go beyond simple nonfiction. No one form holds a monopoly on truth. The magazine fully endorses the notion that fiction or poetry can often be just as true, if not truer, than any piece of journalism. Nately’s is beholden to no master of mode. The fundamental editorial policy of this magazine is to be as truthful as possible to the story being told.
Like many things, this online literary magazine will always be a work-in-progress and will undoubtedly evolve, adapt, and change as time goes on. But at its core, no matter what, our purpose will be to illuminate the human American experience through creative writing. We want to know what it’s like Out There through original, inventive works from writers who walk the Earth with a pen in one hand and a knife in the other. We want to know what the American world is like, from the boroughs to the wilderness. We want writers who’ve drank too much, who’ve withered under with crippling neuroses, who’ve imbibed in toxicity, and who’ve indulged in self-destruction and survived long enough to put the experience to paper. We want writers who’ve stomped through crumbling urban terra, who’ve hiked remote ridgelines, and who’ve found spark in the doldrums of the fly-over suburbia, and who can express it artfully.
If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it.