In April of this year, nearly thirty writers, artists, and thinkers collaborated on a publication with the hope that others might see the potential for a new voice in Oklahoma, a voice committed to exploring our heritage while illuminating the vibrant culture around us. We wanted to bring new life to the amazing stories around us, and to use some of the most talented people in Oklahoma to tell those stories.
Just a few weeks ago, on May 15th, we introduced our first print edition to Tulsa by dropping off stacks of This Land at various distribution points throughout Tulsa. We asked local business owners to sell the copies we gave them, and to keep the profits as our gift to them. We were surprised when most places began to sell out of our issues within a few days. It cost just under $6,000 to print four thousand copies, and many people contributed to This Land for nothing in return. Since starting up, we’ve already burned through 2,000 copies, and the demand only seems to be increasing.
We’re seeing the same hunger for our online content as well. In just a short amount of time, the site accumulated nearly 700 Facebook fans and has generated almost 30,000 page views. Our feature article, by Randy Roberts Potts, has received thousands of reads and dozens of comments, some of them from overseas, while many others are moving accounts of similar experiences. Another one of our contributors, Rivka Galchen, was just selected as one of the New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” writers to watch–one of the most prestigious literary accolades a young writer can claim today. It’s heartening to see that the rest of the world is interested in the stories Oklahoma has to offer.
All that to say: Thank you. We got the message loud and clear, and we’ll try our best to keep doing our job. But we’d also like your help. If you enjoy This Land and want to see it thrive, there are a number of ways you can support our efforts. You or your boss can buy a banner ad–they’re inexpensive and we can help make them for you if you want. Another thing you can do is buy an issue or two and send them to people you like. You can order online, or you can visit one of the local shops that carry This Land. If you’re the artistic type, you can contact me directly about the articles you’d like to write, or the other creative things you do that might help us. We’d also like our readers to tell us about the stories they’d like to know more about–or simply help us broaden our readership by suggesting our fan page to your friends. Our hope is to blossom into a full-blown regular print publication, while fostering a health online community, and to do that, we need your continued support and input.
Thanks for reading and enjoying This Land.
(and photo by Michael Cooper, of course)